I haven’t written anything since college. It’s not that I’ve been busy, it’s just that life is a lot different now and it’s much easier to write a quick rant over Twitter or share a quick picture over Snapchat. Compared when I first started my website in 2008, it leaves very little incentive to write blog posts. Not only that, but they take forever to write and proofread. By the time I finish writing this, I’ll probably have read over it 20 times.
Before I became a developer, my website was basically a photo gallery and blog. Blog posts were very casual and about really not-important stuff. Over time, I turned it into a tool to help attract employers while I was in college. And that’s about it. After college, I just left it alone. I had a full-time job now, there was no use for it. Maybe I could blog about development? Sure, but the only development I did was on company time. Anything outside of that would be focused on trying to get the most of life. And that’s when things started to bite me in the ass.
I started to stagnate as a developer.
When I started my job as a full-time iOS developer, I learned a lot. But there came a point within those two years that the learning just ceased and I didn’t realize it. A coworker of mine is an avid iOS developer that loves to learn about new things during his spare time. I was the opposite. Learn only what I need to know at the time that I need to know it, and that’s it. Now I regret not having that drive because I feel like I lost two years worth of learning opportunities. It was my own fault and I’ve spent the past few months making up for it.
If I’m to improve as a developer, then it can’t just be on company time anymore. From now on, I’m committed to becoming a better developer without the assistance of the company that I work for. I’ll commit more time to experiment, learn, and retain my skills. I’ll use this blog to keep track of it all as well.
I’ve worked on a few things recently, which I’ll write about them later. This is now a development blog.
I’m a bit more than halfway done with my final semester of college. Things have been going well. The drive has slowed down a bit, but I’m still committed to my senior design project. Our team has gotten a lot of work done. Our program can now retrieve info from a user’s Google account and display it in an interesting fashion. We also have three different touch gestures working. A lot more work needs to be done, but here’s a screenshot. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, you can learn more about it here.
A lot of great things have been happening as this month comes to a close and I’m much happier than I have been before. It’s safe to say that 2014 is definitely my year and it’s the start of many new beginnings. I have less than two months left before graduation. Over the past 4 years, College Station has become my home. Even though exciting things are waiting for me in Austin, I’m really going to miss this place.
I just finished up the Industrial Affiliates Program poster for my team’s senior design project. This is the poster that we’ll be presenting to companies later in the semester when they come to view the projects that Computer Science students have been working on. Rather than read all of the details about our project here, you can view it all on the poster. Our project is going well and though it seems that I’m doing a heaping majority of work, I’m thankful to see my team members working hard as well. Hopefully we can make an outstanding impression once we’re finished.
I’ve gone through a lot during this past semester. It was definitely the toughest semester of my academic career and I hope that it stays that way. As difficult as it was, it also ended up being quite successful. Here are some academic highlights:
On top of the course work and working a part-time job, I felt concerned at the beginning of the semester. Since this is my final year in college, I knew that there was something important that I had to do: find a job. I’ve seen friends and other college students fail to find jobs after graduation and it gets to me as a result. Even though I’m majoring in something that’s high in job security, I still couldn’t help but fear that I wasn’t going to find anything. I knew that I wasn’t the best Computer Science student (seriously, this program is pretty darn competitive) and I also failed to find an internship this past summer (possibly for the best; needed to take care of some classes). Regardless, I stayed confident and believed in my abilities. For the past three months, I spoke to dozens of people and have been interviewed by many companies. By the time final exams came around I had multiple offers. If I was told at the beginning of the semester that this would happen, I wouldn’t have believed it. Even then so, it was still hard to believe.
I’ve received offers from big names for positions that weren’t too appealing. Sure, it’s nice to be paid well to have financial security, but money doesn’t make up for being miserable about what I’m doing. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided that I wanted to work for IBM in Austin. The team that I’ll be working with is friendly and is focusing on an area that caters the most to my interests: mobile development. Words can’t express how thankful I am for the opportunity to work on what I enjoy the most while staying in the state of Texas. I’m extremely excited. I look forward to learning and contributing as much as I can.
But it’s not over yet. Everything can’t work out until one thing happens: graduation. I’m about to start my final semester of college. It’s only 12 hours, but it has the potential to be the most ambitious one yet. I’m ready and determined to follow through on any opportunities that this semester will grant me. I’ve had so many tough moments during my time in College Station, but coming to Texas A&M as a Computer Science major was undoubtedly the best decision that I have made in my entire life. I feel so proud and privileged to call myself an Aggie and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
This summer has been surprisingly busy. Time has flown and it’s hard to believe that there’s only a month left before my final year in college starts. I attribute it all to being more ambitious and finding things to do. On top of working 30+ hours a week, taking 8 hours worth of classes, and working out regularly (yes, still trying to look like Old Spice guy), I’m primarily focused on keeping my programming skills sharp. It’s the life of a loner, but I can’t complain because I genuinely feel like I’m learning every day. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother me though. *hint*
About two weeks ago, I finished up Iuvo for Android for its initial release here in the States. After a ton of user feedback, I fulfilled requests, added features, and published the app for worldwide use (English only). It was quite a learning experience and one that I was able to accomplish without the assistance of others. I worked on Iuvo for about 5 weeks total and there are about 5 weeks left before Fall semester starts. Instead of coding another app, I want to focus less on Android and redirect my efforts to improving my coding philosophy and learning a new programming language. I’m going to read a book called Code Complete, a book published by Microsoft Press. It’s a textbook that was used for a class this past semester, but we weren’t exactly required to read it. I hate reading books quite frankly, but I’m told that this book is very insightful, so I’ll give it a shot. I’m going to focus the rest of my coding efforts to C#. I have yet to code in C# for a single Computer Science course at TAMU, so I figure that now would be a good time to start. I’m told that it’s like Java. If that’s true, then I should feel right at home. I don’t expect to get too far, but if I’m able to create a Hello World! and then some, then I can’t complain. Time well spent.
5 more weeks… my final year at TAMU will be starting before I know it. No pressure.
This past semester was pretty stressful, but I’m happy with the way things ended. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to write much during this time, but thank goodness for Twitter.
With the semester over, I took a two week break. Just lounged around, played video games, and doing overall nothing. I went on ahead and uploaded a small amount of my projects for the semester. I cherry-picked the ones that looked the best and were the least technical so that any visitor should be able to have a little bit of fun with them. They are:
Summer classes will be starting soon, but in addition to taking classes, I will be working and trying to improve as a coder. I want to start on a new Android app based off of a previous project that I worked on with another team. I’ll be reading a book or two to help with my coding practices as well.
One more year until I graduate. It’s scary to believe.