Steampunk Machine

Another cool project I have worked on was a steampunk map overlays machine, which we made in three weeks for the Produce Row event.  What is interesting about this project was that I was a project manager for this particular project instead of a developer and this was my first time being a project manager outside of school.  I have risen as a project manager in group projects back at school naturally to organize meetings, split up work, and ensure that our team is on schedule.  However, this project was more chaotic than any school project especially since it had a physical and digital component.  I had to organize meetings at least couple of times per week, check up on multiple components of the projects daily to ensure we were on schedule, hone in on the datasets and interactive physical components correspond with each of these datasets, keep the communication line open with the PDC committee and the PDC Refuge owner in order to have all of the necessary information for including in the steampunk machine and setting up for this event, and purchase resources to make sure that our developer and constructors for the steampunk machine were not blocked in any way.  I did some things that are out of traditional project manager role such as helping out the developer with how to collect data related information from websites, wiring up the steampunk machine, and sauntering all of the wires to help out during crunch time.  It was all worth it!  We were a hit at the Produce Row event!  Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland, was astonished of our steampunk machine and showed Sam Royston, the developer on this project, where his house was on the map.  A lot of Produce Row members were so delighted and amazed by our machine.  Their faces brighten up as soon as they started interacting with it.

Which datasets did we use you ask?  We used five property related datasets collected from Sam’s python webcrawler.

  • Property tax
  • Property market value by square footage
  • Property market value
  • Building type
  • Building age

We also used zoning shapefiles from the Portland civics website as the sixth property related dataset.  All of these datasets each corresponded to a button on one of the small boxes of the steampunk machine.  We were also going to include transportation, but those shapefiles were corrupted preprocessing files that had lines disappearing the more the user zoomed into the map.

The other datasets we used were business type categories that were found in the Produce Row district.  These included:

  • Creative
  • Digital
  • Industry
  • Food & Drink
  • Retail
  • Services

All of these were represented as markers on the map and a switch corresponded to each of these categories acting as toggling them on and off on the large box of the steampunk machine.  Since they were makers, they stayed persistant throughout all of the other map overlays.

The final dataset we used was aerial photos of Produce Row district from 2000 to 2011.  We used one dial to transition through these photos and another dial to change the opacity of these photos so the user could see all of the street and building names on the map.  There was also a joystick and a dial close to it to pan and zoom respectively.  All of these components were on the other small box of the steampunk machine.

I will not forget the hard work of Shawn Bernard and Abby, one of our producers, who stepped up to the plate out of their own free time and built the steampunk machine and gathered some resources for it.  Shawn also made the iPad app for collecting data from incoming Produce Row members that the PDC committee needed.

Without this great team, this steampunk machine would not have been brought to life and be the hit of the event.  Thank you guys for everything you do!  You guys rock!


My Internship Experience at Uncorked Studios

When I got an offer from Uncorked Studios to join on as a development intern, I was the happiest person in the world!  I still feel this way.  Why you may ask?  I get to work on some of the most epic projects and learn new things everyday on the job.  I have contributed to LEGO Superhero Movie Maker iOS app by making a delete movie from movie gallery feature, creating xibs for the YouTube feature, and made the progress bar animation for uploading video to YouTube.  The LEGO Movie Maker app was one of the first iOS apps I have worked on when I first started learning Objective-C.  In addition, I have learned a lot of iOS libraries especially libraries within the AVFoundation framework and some Ruby syntax for adding and removing columns and making API calls by working on one of Uncorked iOS projects in its early stages with my mentor, Shawn Bernard, one of the lead software engineers at my workplace.  It’s still under NDA, but I can’t wait for it to come out on the app store, as it was one of my main projects I worked on during my internship.

Everyone here at Uncorked Studios is like a family to me.  They truly support me in my career choices and help me out when I need help on the projects I have been working on.

We even have small parties for people joining onto the team, for people joining full-time on the team, for people leaving, and for successful launch of apps.  So much delicious food and drinks have been consumed at those parties.  Oh and I have discovered yellow pickled cauliflower at one of the parties, which I have never seen before in my life.  I have been to at least four parties since I have started my internship back in early June.  Even though we party for a lot of reasons, we also work our butts off for all of the products we produce.

I couldn’t ask for a more awesome internship experience.  I am lucky to be here at Uncorked Studios.  I will definitely miss everyone here when I go back to school.