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.

Offline Webapps with HTML5 – slides from GDG Brunei DevFest W

GDG Brunei DevFestW - Offline Webapps with HTML5.png

2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to present a 15 minute technical talk to the GDG Brunei DevFest W organised by GDG Women Brunei.

I pre-recorded a video just in case that the Internet was not cooperative but thankfully the Internet was good.

Slides:

Demos:

Source code:

GDG Brunei

Standard Chartered Bank has not been good to me

Over the past few years Standard Chartered has left me with a very bad taste in my mouth and I’m not even directly a customer of theirs…

Here are their ‘crimes’ that they have committed against me

  1. Sent me unsolicited SMS messages
  2. Not giving me direct answers regarding a loan
  3. Not following up on a loan prepayment
  4. Not processing a loan prepayment request (~3 months and counting)
  5. Hanging up while trying to get a temporary Internet banking password over the phone

Sent me unsolicited SMS messages

Every so often I get an SMS from Standard Chartered with them offering some of their new service or their next big event. Not even having a bank account with them, I find this intrusive and unwanted. Contacted them vai the “Contact Us” link on the Brunei Standard Charted website. Let’s see what becomes of it.

Not giving me direct answers regarding a loan

Wife has a loan and she was overseas, so I tried to get some information about prepayment and some extra details. They said they couldn’t give it out the details of the loan payment scheduled or even how the amounts were calculated. Took several visits to finally get a print out of it payment schedule from which I had to manually figure out how they did the calculations in order to gauge different prepayment options.

Not following up on a loan prepayment

After doing the calculations, we asked regarding a loan prepayment and never got a response back. While I may never know the real answer, the skeptic in me thinks of a straight forward answer that they are told to delay things like this so they can make more money out of us.

Not processing a loan prepayment request (~3 months and counting)

Back in December, finally sent a prepayment request which is still pending approval. What kind of approval is needed? Followed up with the loan office and was told that ‘it was sent for approval’. Comes back to the notion of delays to get more money out of us.

Hanging up while trying to get a temporary Internet banking password over the phone

While it is not a person physically doing the hanging up, after making the appropriate selection on the automated phone system, it rings once or twice and then just hangs up. Who are we supposed to contact, if the number provided doesn’t even enable us to get in contact with a live person.

Does it matter?

Perhaps its been one of those weeks that are physically short but mentally long and draining, but Standard Chartered has not been good to me and somebody needs to know.

Is this a rant? Probably.

Are the scenarios made up? I wish they were.

Is Standard Charted a good bank? Not in my experience thus far.

What do I hope to achieve with this? Some venting. Also a weird wish that Standard Charted will in get contact with me to sort it all out, but more importantly, to improve their service. But whatever happens, for the time being I’ll have to live with the annoyances of SCB in my life. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t have to be a long term thing.

 

Update: Seems that we have go actually physically visit Standard Chartered in order to get it sorted out. Not exactly an easy option to just fly in to sort it out, but I guess there isn’t really much of an option….

Standard Charted Email