segunda-feira, 24 de março de 2014

IP PROMAND 2014 was awesome.

Thursday was our last production day. I knew my team was rushing to get all the things done for the last day. On thursday morning, our core funcionality was not working - not because of bugs, but due to not having a database developed. On our thursday's daily meeting I knew everybody really want to get some code ready for presentation. So, thursday was spent by making final design and database.

Friday was the final presentation and goodbye day.

I was not nervous. I knew that my presentation was not a presentation to sell a product, but to show what we have developed, how we have accomplished the features we were asked to do, and how joyful were this two weeks. So to say, I didn't care about selling this app. I thought that this was not the objective for this presentation - It ended up being a little boring, but had no time to make it funny. My project owner asked me for some stuff, we picked the features that could be done, we prototyped them, we developed them, and we presented them.
These were my thoughts before presentation. Maybe I was wrong. After the last presentation I really understood I wrong I was. Shame on me for letting my team and our application going like that on presentation.

After all presentations, only one thing stuck in my mind. Last presentation had some clever ideas that I really enjoyed: they shown their application on tablets, and release those tablets to everybody watching their presentation; some videos made for showing what the application was, what was it for; and gave an example of how a typical user would be like. Amazing, guys! I will try to implement some of those in future presentation.

I'd like to send a thank you to my roommates, Mesfin and Ruslanas for don't getting mad when coming to room late at night and maybe some snoring; also a big thank you for my team: Mihail, Ranek and Ruslanas. Mihail for being a very good java programmer and taught me about some cool shortcuts that I didn't know about - did you know that typing "sout" and pressing tab would show 'System.out.println();', at least on Android Studio?; Ruslanas for being the mac guy who gets some cool design done in half of the time as me doing some crappy stuff - for example, on social buttons that we(me and Ranek) spent about 40 minutes trying to have some good image buttons from google and Ruslanas just added some better image buttons in 10 minutes; Ranek for being patient with his computer and Android Studio and still managed to get some work done - I would have break my computer in two half if it didn't work after 5 reinstalls of Android Studio, Java and Gradle.

Last but not the least, also say thank you for portuguese companions as we have spent great time on travels and work breaks.

Our way back to Porto begun saturday at 9am. We had almost no problems, until we get to amsterdam. Our flight was canceled. Still, we managed to get a hotel and plan travel on next day. The hotel was called NH Schiphol and it was awesome: we ate some awesome pizzas with heineken beers; went to room with big and warm bed, tv playing some nice chilling sounds, controlled room temperature, bathtub big enough for my feet, free wifi with high speed connection... felt like a final reward after this two weeks working hard.

So, looks like everything is getting back to the usual week after week routine: eating some cookies with tea, waiting for bus, having classes, lunching with classmates, study... I'm missing polish breakfast, lunch and dinner, missing the river passing by when going for food, the always-funny mood, the cool weather, the people, the teachers... (hope I'm not forgetting anybody)... it was awesome.

On friday night, I couldn't avoid my feelings. Usually I don't like people this much, but... I don't know. Everybody was cool and awesome. And seeing you leaving and thinking about that we may never be all together again makes me sad. Pretty sad.

I hope I can see you soon.

Thank you.

quarta-feira, 19 de março de 2014

Sunday is chilling day - March, 18th

Usually, I don't mind arriving late at places. But I don't like deliver things after deadline - hate it, in fact. I have to hurry up things, and I'm not as creative as if I have free time. And I think I will not write more characters than the previous entry. Damn!
Ok, getting back to story telling...
After saturday's very late blog entry, I got some 6 hours of sleep and woke up at 8AM on a sunday morning. We have learnt and coded a lot of android stuff on this first week of IP PROMAND, and on sunday we took more time to chill. Things were pretty cool. At first, we went to Exploseum, a museum made out of an old nazi explosives factory. Although I have some problems remember stuff I should know - like who's from Lithuania or Latvia or Estonia (my fault, I can't remember that. I'm sorry.), and therefore can't remember almost nothing guide told us. Although that, I've enjoyed this visit: I can remember about atomic bomb videos and how devastating they are - hope there will be no nuclear wars never; I can remember about guns - almost everybody was wearing guns and taking photos - it was so cool; I can remember about the final experiments that we were seeing a scientist (?) doing - Some juice with dry ice that looked like it was talking to us when we were drinking it, some volcano eruptions, cotton that is consumed instantly with fire, some amazing chemical reactions, and the last explosion of a water bottle, filled with some chemicals. Everybody was looking at that, and expecting it to explode at any time. We stood like a minute or more staring at this water bottle to explode. We were expecting that it was going to explode and kept staring. Then, Ignas thought about getting my attention to tell some funny stuff. I just looked at him to see what he had to say. In that three seconds I was looking to him, water bottle just exploded! I was expecting it for a minute, and the only thing I got from explosion was the sound it made. Thanks to technology, other students were recording this explosion in video, and I could just see it in no time. Still, my experience was not the same. Damn, Ignanounous!
After this visit to museum, we went to... *drum rolls* ...go-karts! Since I'm a male, my expectations were very high. I like speed, I like challenges, I like to compete. So, it was the best place for me. I have played trackmania when I was in highschool. My first thoughts when I was driving were that this is like trackmania; or, well, trackmania is like go-kart. Anyway, I've just drove for ten minutes, but enjoyed every second. Most of the time I was the first placed, but almost at the end, miguel did a better time than me. Also, I had a crash. I should have proceed with caution but no time to break in a curve, and kart just skid. Well, I did not finish first or in podium even. Some nineth place for me, I think. well, after this race, Valera just bought some kind of a pizza with mushrooms and everybody took some bites. The kindest guy of promand!
Also tuesday was the day to present about Portugal: our country, our cool weather, our food, and our wine. Hope that everybody enjoyed as I did. All presentations were great. Good and funny times we had with this cultural presentations.
This is the third blog entry and there is only on more blog entry to do, and I already feel sad that I will be leaving on Saturday morning. I want to stay forever with my team, developing and learning. Damn.

Making it work - March, 15th

After reading my first blog entry, and checked all other blogs, I think that I will continue writing like I did with my first blog - sharing some stories.
On wednesday's night, I had two tasks: prepare sprint backlogs with burndown charts and write my first blog entry. 
Since I've only learned about Scrum technique on tuesday and I am the Scrum master, I felt a newbie trying to apply some professional techniques to some people I don't know. I had to read presentation’s slides on Scrum, searched on internet for some google docs Scrum templates - although it looks like an easy 5 min research, it took way more time because I couldn't pick the template that would fit the best (they were either not the scrum templates at all or to complex Scrum templates). After some reading on this field, and help that Ramunas gave me that afternoon(thank you!), I could make it simple. I've also about two hours typing my thirty five hundred characters.
Thinking about presentation that I was preparing, remembers me that there were also Ruslanas and Ranek working hard and with some fun on prototype. I was just amazed, when they asked me for some photo.

Let me tell you, how did the first example happen! So, when were trying to have some photo example, I asked Mihail for some known Latvian developer. It seemed difficult at first because he couldn't think of any, but he came up with a search result. He just googled "tom cruise". (As far as I know, tom cruise is not a developer, but an actor.) After getting it, I thought that something like "how to be hot" could be a funny example. Ruslanas, took care of picture, making it round. Ranek added it to prototype. Since we were just making some "brainstorming" for example, Mihail and me got back to our work. After an hour or something like that, Ruslanas just asked me for a photo. "I don't have a photo", I said. "Yes, but I can take one now", he answered. Well, since i'm in a "getting out of the comfort zone", I just said yes. After some photos taken, I have checked all other funny talks they have added. I just bursted laughing after seeing all the talks they have added, since "How to make a good prototype" where Ruslanas is the speaker to "How to became a great leader" where Kim Jong Un is the invited speaker to "How to become a scrum master" where I would asked to speak. (And let's not forget the fact that "How to pick up a rich developer" talk has a favorite star, that meant that user would like to attend.)

After this amazing prototype work and me spending some time on my two tasks of that night, I ended up going to bed at two, knowing that in five and an half hours, I had to wake up. Next morning, I have drunk 4 glasses of tea, to avoid the effects of sleep deprivation.

Before presentation, it was told that the every team was going to choose the best prototype. I just presented sprint backlogs with burndown charts and let guys present our prototype. After presentation, I enjoyed seeing other projects with high fidelity prototypes that had a very good UI, or some others low fidelity prototypes with well-defined functionalities. When it came to choose the ones we liked the most, we had a tie. Two guys picked on prototype, two others picked another one. Since I, despite the fact I'm the Scrum master, am as equal as they are, I just had to get easy, and pick the other idea, and it was it. After getting some results, I couldn't believe that we were the ones getting more votes. I wasn't working for it, neither other guys were. And we got some reward. Some chocolates with grapes inside, or something similar, I don't know. Although I didn't liked them too much, it remembered me in every bite that working hard and with fun, sometimes, just pays off.

I would also like to talk about my friday's afternoon mistake that allowed only Mihail to work, and today's negotiation between AndroidApp, an high quality application development company, and SCC, some company that makes oral deals, and takes his word back, that didn't really care about not having users using its android application, that failed to understand that we are a high quality company, that have no IT background and therefore doesn't know about cloud services, that... ok, its enough. You can see why this deal was not going to happen.

Also, I'd like to say thank you to all teachers that are leaving or have already left by today. I'm really loving my stay in here, and without teachers, there would be no learning, no IDE's working or applications debugged. Thank you!

And in about 6 hours, there will be some go kart and sightseeing city - that's how sunday's are meant to be! :D

First try - March, 12nd

First of all, I'd like to say that I've been loving all of this three days. I've been enjoying the stay in the hotel, country mates, team members, teachers, polish cuisine, ladies that have keys of bedrooms, and everybody in general seems very nice and friendly. I've been so busy talking with people, hanging around, learning about android, learning about scrum, working on prototyping, lunching in canteen, dinning on a restaurant, sight seeing city, debugging code, helping debugging, that I feel that I'm already in Bydgoszcz for a week. Never I ever thought that the I on IP, really really meant Intensive.

So, because I'm late on this blog entry typing and I've read some other people's blog entry, I feel that I have to make something different. Instead of making some history log, I'll be sharing some stories that I think that shocked/amazed me the most.

Since we went from Lisbon to Warsaw, we took a train to come to Bydgoszvz. As we arrived at Bydgoszcz train station, and after five hours on planes and three hours on a train, our thoughts were about heading to hotel to get ready for the next days. We knew that there should be some taxi waiting for us having some card saying "PROMAND 2014". Time went by, and we couldn't successfully find any taxi with such card. After an sms sent, we were told that some grey mercedes taxi would come to get us in five minutes. Not even half of that time has passed and a taxi had come - but not all are great news. As we tried to talk with taxi driver, we discovered that we does not speak english (nor portuguese) and we just understand a word from him: PROMONT. 

Outside of taxi, our - let's say - dialog was like: 
-Taxi driver: *some polish words* PROMONT *some more polish words* PROMONT.
-Me: Where is the place we're going?
-Taxi driver: *some polish words* PROMONT *some more polish words* PROMONT.

In no time we found that this conversation had no use. So, we prefered to wait a little more, because, this taxi arrived "just too fast" other than five minutes told to us. After twenty minutes, we just got ourselves tired of waiting, and decided to try to talk once more. Fearlessly, me and Miguel just got in taxi and hoped that he would take us to the hotel, and everything would be okay. After some time, I could see taxi driver's smartphone having a message saying some polish words PROMONT. And figure that this could be just some misheard or mistyped word. Needless to say, we got to our destination. I was happy to get to hotel, and also, because there was some wi-fi.

On Monday, we had to have a presentation about Malware on mobile devices. Although I've made some presentations back in Porto in portuguese, I've never done a presentation in english. This was for me one of the biggest challenges so far on this IP - and I think that I went through it in a good way. Also my country mates did a great job helping me, praticing this presentation and everything went in such a good way.

Can't finish this blog entry without saying that I'm really enjoying the project that was gave to my team. Always loved google products, apps and mantra, and being able to have some work done for google developers group from Riga, means something special for me. Also, we've discussed about who's going to be the Scrum master on my team, and after some time, I thought about give it a shot. I'm coming out of my comfort zone. Hope that I could make it great.

Last but not the least, I hope that there is no problem having no image, since I just typed about thirty five hundred characters.