Brunei Geek Meet and RHoK (Random Hacks of Kindness) Brunei

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Today marks the first meetup of Brunei Geek Meet (http://www.meetup.com/BruneiGeekMeet/), a meetup where I hope to start fostering the meetup culture that I’ve been experiencing here in Melbourne. We aim to be run by the community for the community. I believe that everybody has something to share and I want Brunei Geek Meet to be a platform for people to contribute to the community as a whole: be it as a learner, as a presenter, as a mentor, as a discussion starter, etc. We are more technology oriented (but are open to geeks of any kind!) and we intend to have talks, code labs, hacknights/days and other events where people can attend, learn and contribute in their own ways.

I am also please to announce that we have a license to hold a RHoK event in Brunei. With the tagline “Hacking for Humanity” RHoK believes in providing a platform for people (particularly technologists) to do social good and make the world a better place.

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This is done by hackers working to solve a community problems which can be used in the region of the problem, and even to a bigger audience of the World. When I first attended RHoK, it brought me back to the days I was working on the SMARTER eCVS and I want RHoK Brunei to be of the same nature: for us to see a local need and for technologists to team up to work on a solution.

With that, I would like to extend an invitation to any individuals or organisations that are facing or know of problems that could use a technological solution to get in touch with me and so we can kick off some discussion on how the developer community of Brunei could help. My contact details are tim@thewheatfield.org / @thewheat. I truly hope that you can be a part of RHoK and help contribute to the betterment of the Brunei developer community by providing a real world problem that we, as a community, can get together and help solve.

Considering Android Development: A bit of basics and then some

Considering Android Development Slidedeck

This was the talk I gave at GDG Brunei DevFest 2013 and I aimed for the content to be basic and accessible with a workable app, so that the attendees could use it as a starting off point for the hackathon, should they want to learn how to build an Android app.

I should have published the APK on the Play Store before the talk so that people could have downloaded the app and see what I was building as part of the talk

Source code: https://github.com/CornerGeeks/GDGBruneiDevFest2013/

GDG Brunei DevFest 2013 – Hackathon

It was the 9th and 10th of November that GDG Brunei DevFest took place and I was lucky enough to be physically there to help run the event and Hackathon. It was a fun, and as with all things tech, there were technical difficulties but you live and you learn.

We split the hackathon into 2 sections: 1 for competing and 1 for learning. I tried to take the OpenTechSchool approach by giving them some resources and being around if they had any questions. I have to say that I really did enjoy going from table to table to see what people were working on and interact with them.

The hackathon document we shared is available at http://gdg.com.bn/hackathon_doc and is a work in progress. Below is some feedback I have for the teams that participated in the hackathon and I myself do welcome any feedback on the way we ran the event and the document shared.

RTB Connect

  • A good consolidation of links, but need to work on focus and polish (be more than just a collection of links to the website)

ITB+

  • Feature complete (minus the demo fail, given benefit of doubt that it works) and solves their problem at hand
  • Had good future expansion idea of using GCM for messaging
  • Suggestion to possibly use 3rd party logins (e.g. Facebook / Twitter / OpenID) as seemed like yet another login mechanism
  • Felt that the novelty and community aspects were lacking

Prograstinators : Foodish

Order Easy

  • A good use of WordPress as the CMS
  • Extra points from me for using the Raspberry Pi!
  • Seems like a good business solution but felt community aspect was lacking

Panda Codes

  • Would suggest trying to use some responsive web design frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap / Zurb Foundation to make it usable for mobile
  • I think I saw that if a user registered, they could see the entire user registration listing. Regular users shouldn’t see such information and that should only be shown to admins
  • -Presentation tip: prefill the form fields before hand. Took quite a while to fill in the form, and with a 2 minute presentation limit, it just wastes time

Find me Food

  • Good effort and hope you all learned how to build a web app. Keep at it and learn

MJL

  • A nice native Android app look
  • Liked the crowd sourcing nature to solve a problem which contributed to the novelty and community aspects
  • Obviously wasn’t fully complete but the finish and design did look nice and seems to be on the right track
  • Looking forward to seeing it on the Play Store

WTS

  • Nice use of GPS location and extracting data from Google maps
  • A good effort and the social good is there

If any of the participants would like to plug their own company / apps / on-goings, feel free to post a comment below. We also hope to have more events like this in the future, with a community aspect to it, so if you have ideas just throw them in and we’ll see what we can do! Hope to see you all at the next corner…

DES Interactive Energy Saver

Interactive Energy Saver

http://www.des.gov.bn/bdes/images/electric_usage.swf
(Note: requires Flash thus wont’ work on iOS and later Android devices)

Saw this on DES website as I was getting links for my previous post and thought it would be nice to share. It is nice that they are providing interactivity, however it needs to be more accessible and there should be an HTML 5 / Javascript / Canvas solution to this especially with Flash being gone on mobile devices.

Perhaps @mfirdaus will bring the HTML5 solution to reality (P.S. he’s also available at mfirdaus.net).

HSBC Brunei has been good to me

Brunei HSBC SMS

In contrast to my Standard Chartered Brunei experience, HSBC has been pretty good. I received an SMS informing that my ATM card would be deactivated and that I would have to visit my nearest HSBC branch to apply for a Visa Debit Card. Sounds straight forward for anybody in Brunei but sadly I am not in Brunei and thus I decided to give them a call. After some verification questions, they arranged to send my card to the closest HSBC branch in Melbourne. A stark contrast to the SCB experience.

While it was all good and I managed to get my card, I have yet to receive my PIN number and thus I called HSBC today and hopefully that’s sorted it out. I did get more verification questions which I feel could be improved on. Two of the several verification questions asked were

  1. Who is your employer?

    Now, I can easily tell them my current employer but I honestly don’t remember who was my employer when I answered this verification question. The question wasn’t who was my first employer, just who is my employer. This vague question is dependent on when I first answered this question, or whenever I updated the question. I asked the lady when could I have answered this question so that I could trace back which employer I was with at the time but she couldn’t specify more information and that I had to give a single answer, so I just randomly gave an answer.

  2. What is the branch that you opened your account at?

    While this is much less vague that the previous question, it still depends on whether I remember the answer. I know I’ve done some banking in the Gadong branch and Bandar branch. I’ve probably opened at least one account at each branch and perhaps I just have a bad memory but I don’t think this question is a good verification question (at least not for me)

But all in all, HSBC has been good and managed to give me service while I’m overseas so kudos to them! Now I wonder how other Brunei banks deal with overseas customers.