Yelp Engineering Trip

Yesterday, I returned from an outstanding trip to Yelp headquarters in San Francisco. Along with five other programmers, through LaunchCode,  I had the opportunity to meet with Yelp Engineers to gain production insight and to discuss the advancement of my software engineering career. Here are a few photos from Twitter.

Oregon Garden App by Paul F.J. Aranas

Hello readers, subscribers, and friends:

I just graduated from Udacity’s Android Developer Nanodegree program. This is a video of my Capstone App put to music. It does not show the GPS locator, which tracks the user’s movements through the garden.

Coming Soon to the Google Play Store!

Narrowing the Focus

I’m now officially working on my capstone app for Udacity’s Android Developer Nanodegree. First, in stage 1,  I will be designing the app, before starting to build it (stage 2). My design documents will include a description, UI flow mocks, and a list of required tasks that I need to complete to build the app.

I had been planning on creating an app on outdoor activities in and around Silverton, Oregon– where I live. However, there are a lot of activities and I want my app to be focused and manageable. We have Silver Falls State Park– which is huge. People call it the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Park system. It is 9,200 acres with waterfalls, camping, hiking trails, and activities. Although rare, you might even run into a black bear or bobcat– if so tell the park ranger. Then we have the reservoir– which is literally down the street from me– where you can go kayaking or boating, have a picnic, do some camping, or go for a nature hike. Next, there’s the Oregon Garden– which is a treasure. It is a lush 80 acre botanical garden with an amphitheater, a resort hotel and restaurant, tours, and year round activities. Some of the events include Christmas in the Garden, Yoga in the Garden, Movies in the Garden, Jazz in the Garden, Brewfest, a fireworks show, Art in the Garden, and many other events and activities. Also in Silverton, there are parks, the river, and other outdoor activities.

The project needed narrowing. This is usually how research goes– you start out big and then your idea becomes more focused as you progress. For this project, my focus will be on the Oregon Garden. Over the next week, I will be designing the app on paper: illustrating each screen, documenting the tasks, deciding on my method for handling data persistence, describing any corner cases in the UX, and noting any libraries I will be using as well as documenting my reason for their inclusion. After I am satisfied with my design, I will arrange a meeting with an Oregon Garden representative to discuss the app.

La vie est belle, profitez de chaque moment

My Android Development

Since last summer, I have been enrolled in Udacity’s Android Nanodegree program (co-created with Google). It is a 9-12 month project-based journey for Java developers. It has definitely helped me take my software development skills to higher levels as I prepare to work full-time as an Android developer. One of many things that I love about the program is the community aspect. I find that developers, whether on Stack Overflow or in my Android developer community- are more than eager to help each other and share knowledge, as well as show enthusiasm about one another’s creativity and accomplishments. I love the idea of open source as well. This camaraderie is actually something that I would have liked to see more of in my academic experience as a lecturer in political science and international relations.

Currently, I’m on my next to last project, which is developing an Android wear watch face for an app and syncing the data. After that, I begin work on my capstone app, which will be published in the Google Play Store. I’ve decided to create an app focused on outdoor activities in and around Silverton, Oregon – where I reside. I’m looking forward to it. It will be in the Play Store in mid-summer. I’ll be blogging about the research process for my app over the next couple of months.

La vie est belle, profitez de chaque moment