Author Archives: seankell2000

Got a job

After a hard slog working at Retronix for 6 months in shift work, with any spare time I had spent improving my knowledge of programming, even spending breaks watching videos and coding.  Applying to one job after the other, getting rejections from places I even forgot I had applied to, going through the application process for one company after another, even taking time off work to attend interviews and assessments, going to interviews during times when I was sleep deprived due to being on nights, I eventually landed a job in software development, with GM. 

They are one of the biggest companies on the planet and I’ll be joining at a time when some exciting innovations are taking place not just with wireless technology, but with vehicles as a whole.  It’s a great opportunity and I hope it is the beginning of good things to come when it starts in a few months time.

Weather App

First Angular Core App after many months learning the framework in depth. This is a weather app, powered by two APIs, for the sunrise and sunset data, https://lnkd.in/dFNDGK3 and for the rest of the weather information, https://openweathermap.org .

While it lacks the need for tokens, routes and guards, I still got to learn how to deal about asynchronous code and in the future plan to learn more about RXJS. I learned how to use services, inheritance, directives, some more experience dealing with CSS/SCSS, JS/TypeScript and HTML. It is the first piece of software I’ve written where I mixed Bootstrap, SVGs, SCSS, plain CSS, flexbox and CSS Grid together. Once you get the hang of Angular, it is a powerful framework and if you have knowledge of Vanilla JavaScript and better still an OOP oriented language like Java it becomes easy.

In the screenshot, it may not be obvious, but in the top right corner there are toggle buttons that flip between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and kilometers and miles.

I’m calling it done for now, but there is still a few more features I wish to include, those being the background image and colour scheme changing to suit it based on a timer, using cookings to store timestamps.  The code can be viewed and pulled from https://github.com/SeanKelly369/Angular_Weather_App .  Feel free to fork and enhance it if you wish.

 

 

Bootstrap Udemy Course

Here’s an incentive to fully go through Udemy courses from end to end in the future.  With my website, I wrote it mostly in plain old JavaScript and a lot of CSS.  After learning Bootstrap in some depth, I now know there is a better approach to creating such features as modals, responsive layouts to suit different screen sizes and how to implement SCSS with Bootstrap, to name but a few as they say.  The goal is to get through the following three night shifts that are 12 hours without any errors and then focus on reworking the portfolio website before finally returning to Angular and focusing on learning it inside out on the four days off.

Update on personal situation

As of this week I’m back in full time employment as a manufacturing technician.  With any spare time available I’m spending it wisely learning Angular in more depth, getting ready for future coding interviews with the ultimate aim of landing a position in software development.  I have the chance to show in this new job I’m someone who is reliable and can work in team.  It’s a good feeling knowing I’m contributing towards the nation rather than depending on welfare to survive.

Over the past month or so,  I’ve gotten 3 interviews and 2 other tests, it has felt like preparing for final exams and to ace the coding interviews takes some time.  I’m getting better with practice, uploading code regularly to github, watching video tutorials, predominantly on Youtube and Udemy, practising coding questions on Leetcode and freecodecamp, and finally, reading up to date programming books in physical form and on Kindle.  Working 12 hour shifts for 3 to 4 days will eat up much  time, but there is enough hours in the week to spend upskilling for that first software developer position.

New Website

For the past couple of weeks I have reworked my new website from scratch into a responsive SPA.  A few years back when I made the old website I didn’t have any coding skills, since then I now have a better grasp of html and css, along with some knowledge of javascript.  I think the new design makes it easier to search through all the work on display.  If you have feedback or thoughts let me know at sean@kelly3d.com

The url is http://www.kelly3d.com

Progress Update

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had two interviews and although I didn’t get either jobs, it is encouraging when one considers I had no programming experience prior to this time last year.  Even with first class honours, the knowledge gained from the HDip in Computer Science course have given a solid foundation to progressive from and it is clear, employers want people with more skills than I have on display on github.

Some time has been put into reworking the website, however after following an advanced CSS and SASS I’m putting it on hold until I know how to create CSS code that is of a modern professional standard.

As for frontend frameworks, it has been recommended to me to learn at least one.  Before attending the Angular MeetUp in Dublin, I was unsure whether to focus my time and energy on learning React, because of React Native and the virtual DOM or to focus on Angular.  With Angular being a full framework, with support from Microsoft and Google, I have chosen the latter.  From what I’m told by professions, anyone with 2 years professional experience with Angular are high in demand.

Angular Meetup Dublin

I bought two books on Angular, Angular in Action by Jeremy Wilkins and Angular, From Theory to Practice by Asim Hussain.  Along with that, I bought four different video tutorials on MEAN stack and Angular.  Right now, I think I’m close to being able to write simple applications using Angular and getting to grips with SASS.  The next application I write has to written with modern code.

On one interview, a part of the feedback given was to practice algorithms.  There is no avoiding it, even though I prefer learning how to make great products.  White board interviews also need to be practiced and some friends from the Maynooth HDip course have expressed interest in practicing with me, replicating interview conditions as closely as possible.

Udemy courses

There is no shortage of material online to learn from and with the course no including internships, I have the gap between intern level to graduate, or at least what potential employers perceive that to be.  The fantastic thing about this industry is the lack of barriers to creating a product and marketing it to the world for anyone with the skills and work ethic.

Employment Prospects

After putting the time into applying to dozens of job openings and not even getting an interview, it’s obvious because of my lack of employment in the past employers are choosing to overlook me.  Why was I unemployed for such a long time?  Do I have a criminal record?  No!  Was I bad at the jobs I worked in?  No, not according to the employers.  The economy was terrible for a decade and I tried my hardest to get into AAA game development in a futile effort, then I made the further mistake of completing a Product Design Degree, another area there are little or no jobs in Ireland.

However, all is not doom and gloom.  In the past year, I’ve dedicated the majority of my waking hours to learning how to code and intend to continue to keep learning.  The area of concentration right now is preparing for the Java Oracle Exam, with not only passing it, but get a high score in it.  It’s possible with the right amount of time and effort.  Once it is out of the way, time can be spent learning the JS based frameworks in more depth.  So there is plenty to look forward to, I  no longer have the thought in the back of my head that my time and hard work is futile, the industry is growing rapidly and there is not reason why one cannot develop their own app and bringing it to market themselves.  I’ve plenty of Udemy tutorials bought to watch and follow over the summer.

UI/UX Meetup

 

 

Dublin UX May Meetup/Service Design Network Ireland Meetup #8

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 6:00 PM

Indeed Ireland
124-127 Saint Stephen’s Green Dublin, IE

152 UXers Went

Dublin UX, along with our friends from the Service Design Network Ireland, are going to bring you something a little different this May! To mark the upcoming Service Design Global Conference that is coming to Dublin this October (https://www.service-design-network.org/sdgc/2018) and join the conversation around design in product/service ecosystems,…

Check out this Meetup →

Tuesday evening I attended a UI/IX meeting. This is something I intend to do more of in the future, get to network with people in the industry and gain an insight into the thinking of experts in the field.  There was three speakers and the emphasis was on service design.  The first speaker, John Lynch covered service design for cities.  The second, Gerry Scallion was back in Ireland after spending some time in Australia to give a talk about “the come down after the Design Thinking sugar high” and the final talk was by business coach Michel Cloosterman who’s talk focused on Lego design thinking and serious play.

One thing that stood out to me was the need for name value pairs the majority of service design and in order to create anything, it cannot be done without programmers.  So, it makes me wonder if in the near future merely being a designer is enough and I’ve come to the conclusion it is not.  In an increasingly competitive world, a one with more opportunities, but harder to make a basic living in, one has to have engineering know how, artistic ability, as well as design skills.  No longer can someone BS their way in this maturing industry.  So for someone in my situation, will skills in digital graphics, art, product design and now programming knowledge there is nothing to stop me making a product, or shall I say a service that people would wish to consume.

For me, the most memorable part of the three talks was the social experiment involving each member of the audience being given six Lego pieces and tasked with assembling their interpretation from those pieces to make a duck.  To my surprise, with only six pieces there was a far greater variety of shapes constructed than anticipated.  Some were a bit wacky, but the majority of them looked like abstractions of ducks and there wasn’t any clear right answer.  It was quite subjective.

Cozmet team project

I completed a full-on one year course in Computer Science, Software Development HDip yesterday.  It was a very busy time and learnt a great deal.  One of the modules was a team project that simulated an Agile team development process.  To show my contribution to the team, a video can be viewed by clicking on Cozmet_Sean

A couple of screenshots of the design can be viewed below.  It was made entirely using open source software, without the use of Angular or React.  Although, the plan is to learn both frameworks over the coming months and I already know the basics of Angular, it’s really nice.  The backend is powered with firebase, all the data comes from it for each object and the graphics were created using InkScape and Krita.  The layout is made using CSS Grid and I discovered during development CSS and ECMAScript 6 have gotten enough features that jQuery is no longer needed, but it is still a powerful framework.