Wednesday, 28 April 2010

To date

Two weeks. Two weeks in life passes by in the blink of an eye. However, two weeks as a computer programming apprentice is eventful to say the least. So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that unfortunately our blog has suffered. So to recap on the events to date, as much for the benefit of this blog, as for our own recollection and realisation of our accomplishments we will discuss our actions. To follow on from our last blog entry, as a team we listened to the recording of our radio debut. This provided at least an hour of amusement as the realisation set in that a microphone in the face has an unusual effect on our vocabulary. 'Erm' and 'Really' being a main point of reference during our short interview.

The following days consisted of finalising our preparations for the forthcoming business fair. The final designs for our banners, leaflets, business cards, and shirts were sent to the printers. We also started on the development of our vehicle diagram and GUI of our electronic car dashboard. We laid out this brief diagram using pygame imported into the python programming language. Through intuition and trial and error we eventually ended up with a rough sketch of the program.

Before we knew what was happening we found ourselves setting up the stand. On our three tables lay our two apple macs, a variety of business cards, leaflets, and other such essentials.

Day of the fair. Our macs sprang to life displaying our prototype programs with almost as much enthusiasm as the people who programmed them. Today was the day. Love it or hate it, we would get through it. The day started slowly and with little interest from prospective customers. Apparently, apprentices aren't qualified to deal with the demands of software development. How narrow minded. If any of us believed this was the case we would not have been there. We needed to show we could, to stand out, to prove ourselves, to show that in this corporate event inexperience was not a disadvantage. We did this the only way we knew how, we embraced our youth. We played the Wii and encouraged others to join in. A talented member of our team played acoustic guitar and we spoke to the public without any fabrication or falseness associated with such an event. We socialised, not with the intent to sell but to express our passion for what we do. With in a short period of time we were approached by a local news paper for a photo as we were the only stand that stood out among the clone like stands.
We had positive responses from other stands and passers by, and although unorthodox we was original and genuine.

Although the day was far from perfect it went well for our first time at such an event. We all learnt a lot and it was an experience not to be forgotten. Granted, there are things we may have done differently given the chance. However, one thing we would never change was staying true to ourselves and the company.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Week 6

Moment of the week: Lewis finally passed his driving test! After 4 tries.

Monday was a Bank Holiday so we didn't have work.

Tuesday came along and after a 4 day weekend we were all rearing to go. We started off by talking about twitter badges and sorted out lines of code. This continued until lunchtime. After lunch, a man from a certain web based poll came in and spoke to us. For Tom, the chat was very short as he came down with the contagious skivitis as he left earlier than the rest of us, along with Carl who was his taxi.

On Wednesday we continued with the badges using Dashcode. We found this very frustrating as the code was some what difficult to get to grips with, as such we are still continuing with this. We also continued with the virtualisation project we had been working on, where we had to describe the effects and the cost of using this method.

Thursday (today) was a very interesting day as only 3 apprentices were there throughout the morning. Lewis had his driving test and another apprentice agreed to give him a lift from the test centre, who's car then broke down. Meanwhile Mel and 2 other apprentices went to a local radio station to pre-record an interview about the apprenticeship programme. When Lewis turned up we congratulated him and then proceeded to cook lunch. After a lunch break of football and yet more fifa, we continued with the virtualisation project and working on regexp.

Lunch Menu:

Tuesday - Sausage and Mashed potatoes
Wednesday - McDonalds and Dominoes
Thursday - Pie and chips

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Week five

This week was quieter than previous weeks. Our objective was to finish the preparations for the Huntingdon Business Fair 2010. This week was about polishing off work that we had already done and talk to the printers (Mitsa). We also started talking about the projects which would needed to be completed before the business fair, such as the electric car and the Quickvox website (
On Monday we came in and started working with GIMP (a photoshop clone) and for a period of time became very frustrated. We were using GIMP for the banner design which will play a key role in the advertisement of ScrumIT. With the banner taking center stage of the exhibit it was imperative that it exceeded expectations. Over the course of the week, many hours were spent realising our mental imagine of the design and deciding what was to be included. Mel wanted individual pictures of the team, where as none of us wanted pictures at all. We settled on a group picture in the end.
Going on to Tuesday, Ben returned from a serious case of Skivitus, the team continued with the GIMP project, and also started work on the control panel of the electric car. We did a CRC session trying to work out what was essential for doing this project, and we figured out the basics of what is needed.
Wednesday came along and we unfortunately found out that Lewis had caught a serious case of Skivitus (but still had time to go on Facebook). Mel took the executive decision early on that Domino's pizza was on the agenda for Lunch. We had finally finished the draft for the banner and along with other designs we proceeded to take them to Mitsa to ensure they were good enough for printing. While the selected group had gone, the rest of the team worked on describing virtualisation which was assigned to us all. This was complicated but was quickly on its way to being finished. Also during lunch, Emma and Phil took some free balloons from Domino's which were soon deflated and inhaled. Emma sounded like a chipmunk and Phil gave us a rendition of a song whilst under the influence of helium. This wasn't a great idea as later on it did not agree with us.
Thursday was Subway and Pay Daaaaaaay. Everyone was happy and distracted by the prospect of subway. We carried on with the planning of the car control panel and finished off the virtualisation report, only for it to not be read. Phil and Emma spent the day getting giddy over the upcoming party.

Food Menu:
Monday- tuna pasta bake
Tuesday- Curry
Wednesday- Dominos
Thursday- Subway