Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Final project for CSCI 3211

Here is a link to the slides used in my presentation: Presentation Slides

Hope everyone did well this semester and good luck with this final assignment! Happy holidays!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meeting in Review

Bringing up the core of my idea, creating a way for scouts to track their progress, was immediately shot down by my dad because there is already a service that includes different versions for different areas in scouting. He also followed it up right afterwards telling me I should create a website for the troop. So it seems like the secondary ideas for this project have now become the focus.

The other thing is my dad doesn't really have a lot of ideas of what to do with the site. He wants a place for announcements, to view a calendar, to post pictures, and contact information with meeting times. To me, it seems a little empty. I guess I also need to find a way to connect it an email account so emails can be sent out about events. I think I need to put a little more time into revising my idea now...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Troop Tracker concept - Interview Plan

The week since I posted last has been pretty long and I'm frazzled trying to catch up with all my work. As a result I haven't gotten to think about the project I was working on for my troop as much as I would have liked, but the upcoming week doesn't exactly look like wide open...Such is the life of a student and everyone has dealt with it so I can't complain too much I suppose. ON TO THE PLAN!

Objective of Interview

  • Determine who will be responsible to data management and how to access the application.
Date, Time, and Location
  • To be determined
User participants
  • Blane Nagareda - Scout Master
  • Assistant Scout Masters invited
Project Team Participants
  • Brent Nagareda


  1. Who will be responsible for the majority of the system management?
  2. Who will be responsible for the data entry?
    1. If done by a Scout:
      1. Will there be a supervisor
      2. How much access should the scout have?
      3. Could a position be introduced so each patrol has their own person keeping track of everyone.
  3. Where can the service be hosted?
  4. How visible will an individual scout's progress be to the rest of the troop?
  5. How visible will the entire troop's overall progress be to the public?

Important Decision or answers to questions

  • Refer to notes taken

Open items not resolved with assignments for solution

  • Refer to notes taken

Date and time of next meeting

  • To be announced, most likely after at least a week to let the Scout Masters discuss.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Troop Tracker concept - Reach Out email

This post will be building upon the idea I had create a program that will help to track a Boy Scout's progress through the scouting program.

Since I was thinking of working with the troop I used to be a part of, communications with representatives will be easier as I already have a strong friendly and professional relationship with many of the leaders. The Scout Master also knows that I am a computer science major at HPU and may be willing to help me practice my art.

Things to mention:

  1. Introduce the type of class this is and basic idea of the project (help local organizations)
  2. Talk about the idea I have for my project (its general purpose, who would benefit and why/how)
  3. List 3 or 4 features it might have (visual timelines, scout event tracker, important information announcements)
  4. I should also let them know that this is only for one class, so setting meetings to show the next build might be on a bi-weekly basis or so at most.
  5. At this point, I could ask if it was something they could use and see if they have any questions or comments. If they don't think it would be useful to them I could ask if there was something else in particular that they had in mind.
  6. Thank them for their time and perhaps direct them to the previous blog posts with the ideas I've been coming up with. That way they would have another record of the things I was thinking of implementing and they could even make some comments on the posts saying what is good or ask for other features.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stakeholders for LoL concept

My post for this week is a follow up on the League of Legends post I made last week. I have to admit that this is the idea I'm most interested by because I think I could also benefit from this project. As far as stakeholders go:

Team Captain (Internal, Executive Stakeholder) - At the moment, there are only about four out of seven people who have been playing ranked games on our team. The captain could keep track of how well the other members are doing and who on the team they work well with.

Active Team Members (Internal, Operational) - A big reason I think this could help our team is compiling stats from games to show what someone is good at and what they need to work on. Core mechanics like farming gold, map awareness, awareness of the enemy team's item composition, awareness of common items and what they do.

Inactive Team Members (Internal, Operational) - Inactive meaning they don't play in ranked matches. We formed the team to play with our friends but our skill levels are very different. This app will give them more detailed feedback on their own play style while also providing a level they can measure themselves against. They could even ask for more detailed descriptions on why someone does a certain thing in game and be shown an example of how and why to do it.

I have a firm belief that lots of the people I play with could do well in practicing their core mechanics, the trouble is knowing exactly what needs to be practiced and a way to actually keep track of your progress. Maybe there could also be a queue that people could put all the things they want to keep track of and they would be able to easily see their progress for each item.

Stakeholders for Homework Helper concept

One of my project ideas was creating an app that would help students keep track of things like their assignments and test dates, but it would still require a lot of initial data entry at the beginning of the term and the only stakeholders would be the students. However, I vaguely remember hearing about another app that was popular in an Asian country where the students would set up their own network with their class and they would put in the content all on their own. If a student wanted to sign up for a class, they could first check if a group already existed from their school, with that course type and number. If it did exist, they could just click and join that group, otherwise they could create a new group. Everyone could contribute to building the course schedule, upload assignment handouts and other things.

Students (Internal, Operational Stakeholders) - They are the ones who will be administering their own classes. If there were a point system, could help this group police themselves and if a student has low points, they wouldn't be allowed to make as many posts .If there was a way to see who made what changes, the points would be easier to distribute as well.

Teachers (Internal/External Stakeholders) - They aren't quite as needed here, but can contribute to the group as well. Having a teacher accounts would probably lead to a lot of abuse to the system. They could still set up the group and add in extra assignments or even extra credit.

Students from other classes (External Stakeholders) - If the group had a chat/ message board of some kind, other students who might be thinking of taking the class next semester or who will be having the same professor might want to check in on what the current students are saying. It would almost be like ratemyprofessor.com but it could also give some insight on how difficult certain assignments are, how difficult quizzes or exams are, or with which concepts everyone in the class began to struggle.

Stakeholders for Troop Tracker concept

From my previous post on helping my former troop, these are the possible stakeholders:

Scout Masters (Internal, Executive) - The Scout Master's main role is to guide scouts and make sure that they are learning and completing requirements to achieve their next rank. They can use this information to make sure that everyone is steadily advancing and that no one missed a requirement that will leave them further behind.

Scout Leaders (Internal, Operational) - They will be in charge of checking on the requirements most of the scouts are missing and planning classes or activities based the data.

Parents (External, Executive) - The parents of a scout are usually a driving force behind a scout's attendance at events or motivation. This will give them an easy way to keep track of their son's progress and of upcoming events.

I was also thinking it would be good to add a notification feature. If there is an upcoming event, it would send a reminder of the date, time, and meeting place. It could also give a checklist of things they might need to bring. There could also be an area where each boy could keep all the information they have on their Eagle Service project, things like estimated costs, volunteers, and meetings and what was discussed. This would create an easy way to present all the information when they have to show what they did at their Board of Review.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Welcome to the Twisted Treeline

Problem Description:
I play League of Legends with my friends and...well...we are decent. We created a team and currently we have about a 40% win/loss ratio. After a few losing streaks, we had a few talks about what we could try to win more games. Keeping track of what characters worked well with each other, practicing times, and item choices were all brought up.

System capabilities:
  1. See stats of champions at different levels with different items
  2. See what team compositions have the highest win rate
  3. See what characters have the highest win rate
  4. See what teams may have good synergy
  5. Which players have good synergy
  6. Sign up practice times
Business Benefits:
There are many sites that have bridges to the information that Riot Games (the company managing League of Legends) has put out to the public, but we formed our team to play in a 3 vs 3 format while most 3rd parties focus heavily on the 5 vs 5 format. I believe having a custom interface that can crunch numbers, track stats, and schedule games is a viable way to improve ourselves in the theoretical part of the game in-between the times we are practicing the technical part.

Homework Schedule Helper

Problem Description:
I've noticed that the farther I get in my education, the harder it gets to keep up with all of my homework assignments. With work, clubs, and social relationships keeping track of the assignments, reading, papers due dates, exam and quiz days... Not to mention when professors have so many different places to put their schedules, ie. Blackboard, Pipeline, edxEdge, keeping track of everything can be difficult and time consuming. I propose an application that send the use reminders to update a list of scheduled assignments, keep track of which assignments are completed, and possibly facilitate study sessions between classmates.

System capabilities:
  1. Send reminders to update class assignments
  2. Order assignments by priority
  3. Store links or documents to find assignments more quickly
  4. Find others who are taking the same classes
  5. Store potential times for study
Business Benefits:
This idea was actually born a couple of days ago when I looked at the Blackboard page for my biology class and realized that I had missed an assignment right after I was reminded I needed to start on a paper for my history class. I'm hoping that centralizing my tasks in a place like this will help me organize my classes and give me less stress in the long run.
Hopefully I'd at least get really strong back muscles.

Supporting my (Boy Scout) troops

Problem Description:
In the Boy Scout Troop I was in, we had many members who would stay at the same rank for a long time. This was for a variety of reasons, the most prominent being a lack of a centralized database that held what requirements the members needed to achieve their next rank. If there was single place a scout leader could look to find who was close to getting the next rank and who was falling behind, the troop could then be more organized in planning meetings, classes, and camps.

System capabilities:
  1. Show a timeline of the scouts achievements in his rank.
  2. Show a timeline of the scout's rank while a member of the troop
  3. List all requirements to achieve the next rank
  4. Show a list of possible ideas for their Eagle Service project
  5. Keep track of all events they have attended
  6. Show what leadership positions they have held and at what date
Business Benefits:
My dad is still involved with the troop and I'll be seeing him this weekend. I'll bring this idea up to him and see if he thinks it would be a good idea. It has been a while since I was in the troop so there are probably a lot of other things that would increase the app's usability.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Time on the Rails

Learning to program at HPU has never really inspired me to go out and learn a language besides Java. Everything that we did, all the data structures we learned, all the conventions that were drilled into us: it never seemed necessary to put work into learning another language when we had invested so much into the first. I mean sure, I COULD learn another language. I would just have to remember the concepts I learned in my Java classes and I would be fine. Then last year happened. I watched one of my friends build a website in PHP and create a game for class in C. I listened to him talk about the problems he was having with each language, the useful things he found, and the problems he would have if he used Java.

So I've resigned myself to learning another language. The work I've done on the Code Academy website gives me some hope though. I always thought that the hardest part of learning a new language would be learning the new syntax. Assembly was a painful and SQL had so many commands to learn. Ruby had a few key words that are similar to Java and seems to have an even easier syntax. Maybe this new language will teach me not to be afraid to go out and something totally new. And if I end up hating Ruby, maybe I'll just print out this picture, throw a dart at it and learn what ever language it landed on.

Hmm...well, learning Fortran can't be too bad can it?...Wikipedia says there will be a new revision out in 2015 so maybe I'll just wait for that.