Advent-ure Time

It’s crazy how quickly time always flies – it feels like just yesterday that I was pressing “Submit” on my business school applications (approximately 5 minutes before the deadlines, of course), and now I’m almost finished with my first semester at Columbia Business School.

There is one thing that has remained constant over the past several holiday seasons – advent calendars! Behold:

  1. 24 Ways –
    24 Ways

    24 ways is the advent calendar for web geeks. For twenty-four days each December we publish a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring you all a little Christmas cheer.

    24 Ways was the first advent calendar I found back in 2008, when “Web 2.0” was the buzzword of the day instead of “IoT”. Always has great articles on design and development – though I don’t keep up as well as I’d like each year, the topics are still relevant for months after.

  2. UXmas –

    An advent calendar for UX folk.

    Newer calendar (began in 2012) focused more on design and UX with gems like Santa, the Child, and the Magic of UX.

  3. Performance Calendar –
    Performance Calendar 2014

    The speed geek’s favorite time of the year

    Started in 2009,a more technical look at sites through the holidays.

  4. Responsive Advent –
    Responsive Advent

    A responsive advent calendar featuring a selection of funny, heart-warming, and nostalgic festive videos. For extra fun, we have a competition giving you the chance to win a vaguely festive prize!

    Contains gems like “How to wrap your Christmas cat” and N64 nostalgia.

Let the festivities begin!

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2012: The Year of the Dragon, Coding and Tests

When I was in Bakersfield for the last week of December, I began thinking about the goals I (kind of) set for 2011 and about the upcoming year. Of course, I started typing out one of those reflection-type posts to recap the previous year and new goals for 2012. And then somehow, we were already halfway through January. Huh, fancy that.

Exactly one year ago, I stumbled across WordPress’ neat blogging initiative – The Daily Post – which provided daily inspiration and topics that aimed to get bloggers to post at least once a day. Thankfully, there was a less intense once-a-week version, to which I pledged in an effort to really establish some momentum on my blog. Was I successful? I didn’t end up posting once a week, but participating in The Daily Post definitely helped spur my writing of more substantial posts.

Luckily, it’s the new lunar year, so let’s just call these Chinese New Year resolutions :) And now, the goals for 2012:

  1. Learn to Code
    This is actually a continuation from last summer’s goal. However, I’ve decided to go in the direction of Java rather than C#, since I stumbled upon Stanford’s CS106A Programming Methodology course online. I’ve gone through three lectures and so far this seems like a really course (with all the materials for free online, hooray).
  2. Complete a Web Project
    There are actually two projects in queue for this – my Antarctica website and possibly a website for my father that will play with a much wider variety of HTML5/CSS3 specs.
  3. Take More Photographs
    I tend to take a ridiculous amount of photographs whenever I’m travelling, but the same can’t be said when I’m home in SF. While a picture a day is a bit ambitious, I do want to try and snap a few photos at least once a week, whether they’re food photos, event captures or even simple shots of the view outside my apartment.
  4. Become Less Awkward at Hip Hop
    Definitely a work in progress. Hopefully, taking more of Allan Frias’ classes at Dance Mission will help, hah.

Here’s to the Year of the Dragon!

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Two Goals for the Summer

Yes, I’m a slackuh. I haven’t been posting weekly like before, but let’s be honest – I was really cheating with those pre-edited pre-posted photos that just happened to fit in with the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge ;)

Throughout the month of May, I finished editing and posting up all of my Antarctica photos on my flickr account, with very basic titles & tags. I managed to fulfill my earlier goal of hitting the 300MB/month upload cap and subsequently upgraded to a pro account. I’m now in the process of re-uploading some of the photos, since I was a silly noob and originally saved the first batch to Adobe RGB mode rather than sRGB, which resulted in dull colors, doh!

Which leads to Goal Numero Uno: Finish Since Antarctica. Currently, a few informational pages have been published, like what I packed & wore, general expedition information, and a map of our route. Next up are the logs of what we did/saw each day, accompanied by photos – some days will be split into multiple parts, so they don’t become too image heavy.

On a related note, working with the Antarctica site has to lots of WordPress theme tweaking, since I scrapped the old layout and redid it from scratch, or more accurately, from starkers. While I’m vaguely familiar with php, I’d like to become more proficient in the language for ease of adjusting functions and possibly creating custom ones. I know there are a lot of limitations, but it’s definitely the language I work alongside most frequently (at least, for now).

From what I’ve heard, learning php is easier and more intuitive with a background in a object oriented language, which leads to Goal Numero Dos: Learn an object-oriented programming language. I’ll start with Berkeley’s CS10 course, and go from there. I haven’t yet decided on a specific language, but I’m leaning towards C#. Why C#? I’m not nearly hardcore enough to dive into a language like C++, and I want to stick to a C language that shares common syntax with others. If anyone has a suggestion or tips, I would love to hear them!

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