Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Presentation Plan

Link to the presentation.


My presentation will be a brief overview of my project, communication with the customers, and what I've learned.

  • I'll start with a basic overview of the project.  
  • Then talk about my experience with the different nonprofits.  I'll go into detail about the surveys I sent out, and the responses I got back. 
  •  I'll go over the user stories and database design.  
  • Finally I'll show my HTTP prototype and link my project.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

HOK Use Cases


This is the Use Case for a proposed application that would provide a link between students and volunteer organizations.

HOK Activity Diagram


HOK responded to my questionnaire about how they get their scheduled events out to the public.  They use multiple national networks, as well as a local site.  They receive feedback through their site.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Interview: Honolulu Event Calendar

I'm going to use a similar strategy to Phone App for Non-Profits for the event calendar.  I'll send out a basic questionnaire after introducing myself. Then if they'd like to be more involved, I'll provide them with an area to fill out when they'll be available.

Questionnaire for a Honolulu Event Calendar:

Would an application that broadcasts current events and volunteer opportunities to locals and tourist be useful?  Why or Why Not?

How often would you use this application?

What are some key features that would need to be included?

Would you prefer this application work on a:   (Check all that apply)
     PC
     iPhone
     Android
     Other

 Does you organization already use an application to broadcast events?

Any other questions or comments?

If you'd like to discuss this idea further(or maybe have another technical problem I could help your organization with) please indicate below how you'd like me to contact your organization.


Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire!

Interview: Phone App for Non-Profits

There are tons of non-profits in the area, and I'd like to get as many opinions as possible.  After initial contact I'll send out a questionnaire to all the interested groups.  Then, if they'd like to be more involved, I'll provide them with an area to fill out when they'll be available.

Questionnaire for a Phone App for Non-Profits:

Would an application that broadcasts current openings and volunteer opportunities to local students be useful?  Why or Why Not?

How often would you use this application?

What are some key features that would need to be included?

Would you prefer this application work on a:   (Check all that apply)
     PC
     iPhone
     Android
     Other

 Does you organization already use an application to broadcast openings?

Any other questions or comments?

If you'd like to discuss this idea further(or maybe have another technical problem I could help your organization with) please indicate below how you'd like me to contact your organization.


Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire!

Interview: Computer Club Website

Unlike my other two ideas, I'll probably conduct this interview in person.  I'll probably bring it up at the next club meeting.

Interview guidelines for a Computer Club Website:

Would a website to display the club's projects be beneficial?

Would the website need to be "mobile friendly"?

What are some capabilities that this website should have?

Should the website be geared towards recruiting new members or displaying work for potential employers?

Who should have administrator privileges?

How should the website be financially supported?


This is just an outline of the important questions that should be asked.  Of course, other questions will be asked, but they'll generally depend on the answers to the questions listed.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Initial Contact Computer Club Website

Initial contact for the computer club website is much simpler than the other two ideas.  Since I already know Allison, I can just bring up the idea in person. Here is how I would pitch the idea:

"I was considering working on a computer club website for the software engineering class.  I'd think it would be great way to show off our projects and generate interest in the club.  I was wondering if you had any ideas and suggestions to help make this site great."


Phone App for Non-Profits Initial Contact


My plan for contacting organizations about the Phone App For Non-Profits is very similar to the Event Calendar.  I'll send this out to as many organizations as possible and use a similar template.


Hello _________,
I'm currently a Senior at Hawaii Pacific University, working towards my B.S. in Computer Science.  As a part of the software engineering curriculum, I get the opportunity to reach out to local non-profit organizations to see if I can help them by developing software to fit their need.

My current idea is to create a phone application that provides information on volunteering for local non-profits around Honolulu. This application would help volunteers and organizations meet.  However, this idea is still in its infancy, and I'm looking for suggestions to make this it better.  I'd like your organization's input If you have time, please contact me at (###)###-####.

Thank you,
Kevin Achenbach

Initial Contact Draft Event Calendar

Considering my idea of an Event Calendar for Honolulu is going to be helping a large amount of local organizations.  I'll send these emails out to as many organizations as I can find.  I'll simply use a template, so I can quickly change the contact's name and organization.  My plan is to keep it as succinct as possible.

Hello _________,
I'm currently a Senior at Hawaii Pacific University, working towards my B.S. in Computer Science.  As a part of the software engineering curriculum, I get the opportunity to reach out to local organizations to see if I can help them by developing software to fit their need.

My current idea is to create a phone application that provides an event calendar for Honolulu. This would help bring as many people as possible to these events.  This idea is still in its infancy, and I'm looking for suggestions to make this it better.  I'd like your organization's input If you have time, please contact me at (###)###-####.

Thank you,
Kevin Achenbach

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Revisiting the Honolulu Event Calendar

Upon revisiting the idea of a Honolulu Event Calendar, I've come up with this list of stakeholders:

  • Event Coordinators:
    • Inform the users when and where an event is taking place
  • Public:
    • Find upcoming and current events taking place
  • Event Employees
    • Find out when and where they will be working

Like the previous idea, I think I might consider making a mobile friendly website, instead of an app.  

Phone App for Non-Profits Revisted

Revisiting the phone app for non-profits, I've come up with this list of stakeholders:

  • Organizers: 
    • Request volunteer assistance
    • Keep track of current volunteers that are coming to an event
  •  Volunteers
    • Find places to volunteer
  • People in need of a non-profits help
    • easily find a specific non-profit


This idea hasn't changed too much, since I first came up with it.  The one thing I might change is the idea of making it a phone app.  Making the program work for only the Android or iPhone will leave a lot of people out.  Making a website that is useable for both devices and any computer might be more useful. 

Update: Computer Club Website

As I continue to develop my ideas for a Computer Club Website, I came up with a list of possible stakeholders for the project:

  • Current Computer Club members:
    • Displaying their projects
    • Viewing other member's projects
    • Keeping up-to-date with current events
  • Prospective Computer Club members:
    • Learn more about what activities the Computer Club is involved in
  • Potential Employers:
    • Have a way to view projects worked on by a potential new hire

A new idea that has recently come to mind, is setting up the site in a wiki format.  That way it can be edited by many different people, and it would be easy to add new members.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Honolulu Event Calendar

Problem Description:
Honolulu has tons of events going on everyday.  Most are hardly publicized.  Considering Honolulu is a very transient city, a lot of these events do not get nearly as many people as they should, simply because newcomers aren't aware of them.

It is recommended that a event calendar is made specifically for smart phones.  Using the built in GPS a map can be created to show current and upcoming events.  Each event can be rated and receive comments.  Users can use a search engine to filter out certain types of events.
System Capabilities:
  • GPS powered search engine
  • User log in and rating system
  • Users can create new events or flag events as spam
Business Benefits:
  •  Increased visitors for events

Phone App for non-profits

Problem Description:
Living by KCC, HPU, and UH, there are no shortage of students looking for volunteer work.  Searching for non-profits brought up a few sites that would search for organizations in the area.  These sites would display a massive amount of poorly filtered organizations.  Some just wanted money, others were looking for volunteers, and most provided very little information.  This makes it very hard for students to find a volunteer position. 

It is proposed that a phone app is created for the iPhone and Android.  It will provide a way for non-profit organizations and volunteers to be directly connected.  The non-profits can post openings with a detailed description of what the volunteer would be asked to do.  The students could apply for the opening by simply selecting the opening and confirming. 

System Capabilities:
The application will provide a:
  • Direct way for volunteer and organization to make contact
  • Search engine for volunteers to find work directly related to their interests
  • Profile support for both volunteers and organizations
  • Rating system for both volunteer and organizations
  • System to allow organizations to post volunteer openings
  • System for volunteers to apply for openings
Business Benefits:
 This application will benefit the non-profit by:
  • Increasing the amount of applications recieved

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Computer Club Website

Problem Description:
Attracting new students to participate in HPU's Computer Club can be difficult.  Trying to give a student incentive to join is hard, when they are already juggling homework, other clubs, and a job.  The two ways to give these students incentive is by motivating them and making it incredibly simple to be involved.

It is proposed that a website is developed to accomplish both of these obstacles.  The website will showcase current and finished projects.  Most projects will be embedded in the site for the user to try out the programs.  This will show what a student can accomplish and motivate them to join.  The website will also have a form that gathers contact information from the students.  This will be used to contact them when the next meet-up is occurring.

System Capabilities:
The website should be capable of:
  • Displaying multiple types of applications
  • Keeping track of statistics such as page views
  • Collecting contact information
Business Benefits:
This will benefit HPU's Computer club by:
  • Increasing interest in the club
  • Giving the members a site to display their projects

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thoughts on Codecademy

The hardest part of learning a new programming language, for me is applying a difficult new concept from a book into code.  My first programming teacher attempted to teach C straight from a massive textbook.  While everything seemed to make sense while reading, being able to translate that to working code can be tedious.  This is especially true when learning a syntax heavy language, such as C.  One bug can cause hours of pain when you're attempting something completely new.

Codecademy's Simple User Interface


I've started learning Ruby through the Codecademy website, and I couldn't be happier with it.  Every annoyance that I had while learning C seems to have been fixed.  Instead of learning a chapters worth of concepts, and then trying to apply that in code.  Codecademy offers small interactive steps to eventually teach a larger and more complicated concept.  Instead of hours of debugging, I can quickly scan the lesson to see where I've gone wrong.  If that wasn't foolproof enough, Codecademy has a forum for every question.  For the most part, the answers in the forum are good at not just giving the answer.  They generally give an answer that explains where the programmer went wrong.

Every time I start up Codecademy, I wish it was around when I first started programming.