Some things I've worked on
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Web Developer - Staffs Union
May 2014 - May 2017
VR Social Media Viewer and Analytics
Final dissertation and Project for my degree
Staffs University Tablr
Web Scraper, API, with an android app and web app utilising it
Centre for Computing History
Volunteer, January 2013 - September 2016
Staffordshire University Students Union - Web Developer
From May 2014 to May 2017, I worked as the web developer for the Staffs Union website.
My roles in the organisation included:
- Updating the sites content and design, using multiple different brandings and departments, and creating unique styles for each.
- Create new pages, to either fit in with an existing branding, or working from materials given to me by a graphic designer. This can range from leaflets being given out to students, or a complete site redesign.
- Create email templates, to be sent to over 17000 students
- Working with deadlines, to make sure I deliver on time to people within the organisation
In my time there, we did two redesigns of the website, which I implemented alone as the sole web developer. One of these redesigns was based on a design from an external company, and the other created from scratch by me for Union's needs. For this, I created a comprehensive style and component guide for myself, other works and future web developers at the organisation to follow. This helped keep the design on track from the original ideas, and helped me to expand on it in meaningful ways for the user. The latest redesign styling was also built from scratch using Sass.
Staffordshire Universities current timetable system has a difficult to use front-end for students, which looks ugly and has a bad user experience if you do a course with module options.
In an attempt to rectify this, I wanted to create my own timetable serving API. To do this, I made a simple web scraper to get the timetable data for every module into a file which I can serve. Once I made the scraper and server, I put it all on a Digital Ocean server openly.
After this, I wanted to make an android app for ease of use of the students and a web front end which students could link each other to show their lessons. I followed the material design ideas strictly for the android app, and then attempted to mirror is use flow on the web version to keep consistency and branding across the board.
Note: Due to a request from Staffordshire University, the application no longer functions, but the code can still be found on github and application on the play store
Android and Web version: Staffs Tablr
Github for scraper and API server: staffs-timetable
Volunteer at the Centre for Computing History
Between sixth form and University, I took a gap year. And instead of sitting around doing nothing, I decided to volunteer for this charity. With a focus on old computers, they also teach kids about programming, and show a younger generation what computers used to be like.
During my time volunteering there, I helped out on exhibits through either the machine maintenance or putting things together to make them interesting, and putting exhibits together for going to an event such as The Gadget Show Live or Revival. I also helped create some education material in the form of booklets, and at a few events led a small programming workshop with Python and the Raspberry Pi.
Throughout this experience, I learnt that I love teaching computing and its concepts to people, and is an area I would like to return to for a future project.
VR Social Media Viewer and Analytics
As part of my degree, I had to undertake a final research project, which I chose to do in the area of social media data in virtual reality, and creating an analytics framework alongside that.
To do this, the clientside front-end for viewing the social media timeline was created using three.js, and hooking onto the instagram API to download a users image. These images were then displayed inside of an art gallery environment created by myself, and the user could teleport around and view their photos.
Whilst this is happening, a back-end system created in Ruby on Rails is receiving data through a plugin on the client-side sending the positional data of the headset and controllers once a second, with data collected at half the frame-rate (e.g. for 90fps, 45 frames worth of data is captured per second). This data is then stored into a PostgreSQL database, and served via the API to a analytics front-end, where developers or advertisers could rewatch a users session to investigate the usefulness of adverts in the scene, and how users ultimately interacted with their environment.