This article is a follow up to my previous article on my internship at General Electric. It’s just a short note to sum up some important things I learnt.
1. Theory learnt in class is actually applied in the industry: there are some things that you learn in university you will probably never use again but other things you will use every day of your life. At the beginning I was like, who cares if the 7 layers of the OSI model are the application, the presentation, etc.? And who care about normalising the databases until it is in Boyce-Codd normal form? Actually a lot of people take those things very seriously.
2. Documentation is important. I used to see it as a time consuming process that was barely worth doing. Now I understand how it increases teamwork efficiency....
General Electric is a USA based multi-national company, where I worked as an intern over this summer. This 100+ years old corporation operates in more than 180 countries with more than 300,000 employees. GE's broad range of products are from jet engines to power generation equipments, financial services to media content. The unit I have been working for was GE Energy....
I spend a good deal of my time trying to understand what is unusual about successful start-ups founders and product creators, that is, what is special about their way of doing things. Hence we can infer some attitudes and "design patterns" that are often found among these people. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of traits that I have noticed in these people....
Enough talk. This one will be my last post on Bavardica (for this version at least). I now need to get back to work. Anyway, this is just a summary of the most important lessons I learned from building and publishing Bavardica. I sincerely hope you get some useful information (or reminder if you already knew all of this) from that. ( PS: a working version of bavardica is available at www.bavardica.com )
1. Nobody will use an application unless it provides some value, something interesting they don’t already find in what they normally use. This is so true, even for free applications. They might try it but they would give it up quite soon if there is no actual incentive.
2. The very fact that they are asked to register will discourage many people from trying a web application. The most obvious causes might be that they don’t want to waste time doing it, or they don’t want to give away their details for privacy purpose. So at least a trial version should be offered to visitors without registration so that they can see what it’s all about before they make any decision....
A few years ago, I could easily spend hours sitting in front of the computer, watching photos on Facebook or on Hi5. That's right, if people publish their photos, the whole point is that we can watch those indeed.
Sometimes I went on profiles of people I didn't even know! When I was asked what I was doing, I used to answer: I look at people's prosperity! Actually, I was a little envious!
I have so many projects running through my mind, so many dreams still unrealised, that sometimes I have these "down" periods, when I feel that everyone is happier than me and that I am running late! Not specifically late with regard to others, but mostly late on the vision that I have for myself!
I envied those who were able to reach some of my dreams and who don't always realise that they are privileged! I also envied these people who enjoyed their youth in the fast lane because, stuck in my perpetual "school-house-sleep" routine, I might not have had any interesting story to share with my children!
But at least, it's fortunate that I happen to be the prime confidant among my connexions. Therefore, for lack of better insight, I would still have the experience of others as a reference point!
And then one day I realised that no one ever photographs their bad times!...
This is the last part of the series on Bavardica. Apart from a user friendly and colourful user interface, the other features include the edition of the character outlook in real time (while on the scene). Here again, hair style, skin, clothes and shoes can be changed. Additionally, colours of all those garments can also be changed. The way it works is pretty similar to the way a character is created.
In the meanwhile, some other functions had been added:...
How I draw the 2D characters
Due to the nature of the drawing art, which is not really computer science related, I thought it was best to describe this process in another part right after the progress description. This work had been a full part of the project and even though it does not directly concern programming (before we get into animation), it is also a computer work involving a pen tablet and some image processing software (Adobe Photoshop). The following screenshots describe the steps in the drawing of one character (out of four)...
As we discussed the subjects areas related to Bavardica, we can now go through the steps in the actual achievement of the project.
i. Sending a public message over the TCP network from a Silverlight client
The model selected for this project is the prototyping model. Starting first with a throwaway prototype, I could first send simple TCP packets using Silverlight and a console application as a server. It was a very basic chat that let a user, say A send a message to a user B so that no one else with receive the message apart from A and B. The server is a .Net console application and the client is a Silverlight application hosted in a......
A modern instant messenger is composed of various features which include public conversations, private conversations, user picture and signature. When it’s time to innovate and make an instant messenger that is so special that it is both interesting and standing apart from whatever program already available on the market, it is not too obvious to figure out what extra features could be attached. It feels like almost everything had been already thought of and implemented in some other application.
However, Bavardica is my attempt to make a communication platform like no other. Bavardica, derived from Bavardage, which actually means talking in French, has got mostly two assets over regular instant messengers. Firstly, there is the permanent presence of artificial beings that interact with other users. Secondly, the application relies on a two-dimensional space which represents a small world in which the users are inhabitants represented by animated characters. This project is a good chance to set the scene of what could become an innovative virtual world....
Wherever you move on Internet, you are often forced to leave some information about yourself. To access a service, you may be asked to give your real name, phone number, address and so on. They call that required fields. Either you fill the form or you just leave it. But a lot of information is intentionally released.
The current trend is to share private information and photo in an intimate way, with family and friends via social networks. Even some people seem to enjoy displaying this personal data over the public internet. Nowadays, you can tell your own story to the world, describing your day to day activities as it happens (e.g. via Twitter). Some say that it’s fine. It’s also ok if some people get an access (somehow) to your Facebook wall and check your pictures. It seems that if you didn’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide so it’s ok if people see it....