Farewell Semester 7

Agile wall

Smells like progress!

Today marks the end of my seventh semester of university, having finished my last exam. Hooray! What happened?

First of all, exams went very well! Not much more to say there.

‘Twas a good semester of subjects, with some fundamental theory but unfortunately very little coding. Linear Algebra was surprisingly engaging, and Software Requirements Analysis and IT Project Management were about what you’d expect: valuable but fairly dry. Looking forward to some dirtier hands next semester.

Our year-long software project has been pretty exciting! Working with the Nossal Institute, we’re developing an agent-oriented medical platform with applications for diagnosis, treatment and drug dosage calculations. After a lengthy requirements engineering period we’re now digging into the code, which is almost all Prolog (I know!). Watch out for us at Endeavour, and in future posts right here! I’ve been learning a lot about agent-oriented software engineering, and it’s more than a little fascinating. I look forward to exploring it further.

It was also my first semester of tutoring first/second year students which was an experience. It really provides a fascinating perspective on the education process. Kids these days… Actually it was fantastic, I had two great classes full of (mostly) enthusiastic students that I tried to encourage as much as possible. It’s very rewarding work. I probably won’t tackle it next semester however due to time constraints, due in large part to…

MUtopia! MUtopia is a university research program I’ve been working on as project manager and software engineer for the past few months, and it appears to have a very bright future lined up. In a sentence, it’s a sustainable urban design, simulation and 3D visualisation web application. It can be used to model planned urban developments, run cutting-edge research simulations and analyse the outputs under custom scenarios to perform cost-benefit analyses. Check out the brochure in the link for some more details.

This is most exciting because come the end of July, we’ll have doubled our development team from two to four, and I’m going to be running it as an Agile project. Yes, that means we’ll have our own Agile wall! I’m looking forward to the challenge of managing a real project with the freedom to experiment. We’ll be having retrospectives every week, so hopefully I’ll have some reflection to post up here.


So now I have about a month of holidays, but I won’t be getting a moment’s rest. Not only is MUtopia being kicked up to roughly full-time work over the break, but I’ve got a bundle of side projects lined up to attack in any time I have left over. How people manage to be bored in this day and age is beyond me. I’ll try to keep this blog updated with what I’m up to as I go. I know I keep promising that, but hey, n’th time lucky?


Photo courtesy of http://www.gerrykirk.net/options-for-team-task-board-when-one-team-member-remote/

Ski Free or Die Hard

Ski Free screenshot

That's going to be me! Hopefully sans enormous rocks. And yetis

So today I decided, what with it being winter and all, that… no, sorry, I’m not remaking Ski Free. Yet. I’m not legendary enough to tackle such mind-bogglingly superior game design.

However I will be away skiing freely myself up Mount Buller for the next week, so there’s unlikely to be any updates until after I get back.

When I do get back, hopefully I’ll have some details to reveal of a couple of projects I’m working on alongside Jario. Jario has served its proof of technology purpose excellently, and I’ve been having a stab at converting that codebase into something different without any initial planning to see how easy it is to do. At present it’s hard to say, since most of my effort is going into integrating the JBox2D physics library via Fizzy (re-maintained), which poses some conceptual challenges of its own, but is starting to work very nicely. I’ve always wanted to work with a physics engine, but never have, so it should be fun.

Anyway, thank you to anyone reading this, and I’ll see you bright and early when I get back!