Sunday, July 27, 2014

How To Survive and Excel in uniSIM?

uniSIM? Never heard that?

Well.. It stands for SIM University. It is known as a university for working adults.

So, perhaps you might be saying that it must be though to study while working full time? Yes you are right. And I must say many people retake their modules. So, if you are not prepared enough, you may need to resit for your failed module.

But hey, guess what? Here, I am gonna list a couple of tips that you may want to use in order to survive this journey. So, make sure you read carefully!

uniSIM cookbook exposed:

1. Identify your potentials partners.

On your first class for each subject, look around and identify your potentials. Nah no, I am not referring to life partner potential. Just look around and try to identify those who seems smart and/or has the potential to exceed in that subject.

2. Make friends
On your subsequent class, try to approach him/her and make friends.

3. Stay back a little longer

At the end of each class, stay back a little while before you go back home, to study. Prepare some objectives that you have to accomplish before you can go back. Do this consistently and make it a habit. Trust me, you are not gonna study at home most likely.

4. Research

Whatever terms or concepts that you are still not so clear during the lecture, go and research about it. Don't depend on your study guides. Do what 80% of the students do not do. Research more till you understand the concept(s) clearly. 

5. Start your TMAs early

Start your TMAs as early as possible. Ideally, after each class, do your TMA a little bit. The reason for this is that, for each class, it should cover some portion of the TMA. So, while you are still fresh, work on it! If you do 1 question every week for each subject, you won't have problem finishing it by the deadline. Oh and submit your TMA one day before the deadline!

6. Do past year papers

In regards to para 2, for each friends that you make, eventually, try to get each of them to do different past year papers in a soft copy. Then, you can share it among yourselves, OR, you can also share it at ExamAnswers. I have not gotten the time to touch on it properly by the way. So imagine this, if you make let say 3 friends, you are gonna have at least 3 past year papers done in theory, which you can use it as your study notes.

7. Study smart!

Study smart. Don't study hard. You are not gonna have the time to read everything for exams. So, by doing more past year papers, its gonna be a great help. Of course I am not asking you to depends solely on that.

8. Do your TMAs yourself

TMA, do yourself. Don't copy others. Don't do with others. When you do with other people, there is a tendency to take a look at your peers work. As such, its gonna kill your creativity. If you copy from others, you are no different than most students in gahmen Unis. You are not competent, and the degree that you are gonna get, is just a piece of paper. No value. Have some faith in yourself man!

9. Avoid study group

Study group is a bullshit. I am not saying that it is not good. It is good if every member play his role properly. If anyone asked you to join for a study group, ask them to do a past year paper first. If they cannot even finish one past year paper or at least attempt it, what makes you think that they are gonna give you their commitments in your study group? Its clearly means that most likely they will come unprepared, and don't know what to study for exams.
I can't think of anything else for now. I hope you enjoyed reading this! :D

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Working Journey Year 1

Well, don't mind the title. I ran out of ideas on how to put a naming scheme on this kind of thing. But I think this would be a good naming scheme that would be easily scalable.

Back to the topic. I started working full-time since July 2013 with a local StartUp. Now, it is June 2014. It is close to 1 year indeed. I thought of writing something while I still have some free time.

It has been 1 crazy year. Prior to that, I took a month break after my National Service. Well, it was pretty difficult to rewire my brain cells at first. I guess it has been somewhat rewired to a certain extent and still getting rewired every now and then.

Nevertheless, I do not know how to express how crazy the journey was and still is. The first working language that I was required to work with was Objective-C for iOS development. I think it was like 6 months using Objective-C. I was involved in 3 apps that I don't think you can find it in AppStore because it is a custom app that are not for public/individuals use.

The next language were HTML/CSS & PHP. I was working with these for about a month. I had some basic knowledges on HTML a couple of years back then. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to start HTML/CSS from scratch and it is pretty fun. This time around however, instead of just basic knowledges, I rather call it, actual implementation. Oh and there is this cool stuff that I touched, called media query. In a nutshell, you use media query if you want to use different styles for let say different screen sizes.

PHP was and still a nightmare though. No matter how hard I try to master it, I just can't. It is too difficult to master it!! Learning it easy, but to actually implement it, it is not easy for me. I just can't do PHP!! The same goes for JavaScript! I am just not good at these 2! It drives me crazy!! But it keeps on coming to me in a way or another. I recall telling people to love things that you hate because the things that you hate will always haunt you. Well, now it seems these two languages are haunting me down and there is no way I can love them!! Hel*, I hate them!

Next was AppleScript. It is not really hard to learn but it is pretty troublesome. I kept on getting the syntax wrong. There is not much documentation or tutorial on the net. But at least, this is slightly better than PHP/JavaScript. I used this in one of my iOS project.

Moving on, I never thought that I would be creating a Facebook game one day. Oh don't get me wrong, I did not do it alone. I got the chance to do that in early May 2014 if I remember correctly. That is not so bad you know but.. the deadline was like 1 WEEK!! On top of that, I never used FLASH neither have I worked with ActionScript before. But the good thing is, I don't have to do FLASH but I've got to program the game's logics in ActionScript. Well, at least I rather do that than messing around with PHP and JacaScript! ActionScript was not as difficult as I thought either but it is pretty tricky. The naming convention of the variables and functions differs from other languages. Oh and for this project, we were building a game for Air Asia Singapore prior to Taylor Swift's concert. Well, it is over now and you can't find the game any more.

There was a buzz a couple of months or years back then about Arduino and Raspberry Pi. I've always wanted to explore these 2 things one day but then the cost was the main factor of me procrastinating it. Well,  I am not sure whether it is a coincidence or a destiny, but I was required to prototype a product for a client recently using Arduino. Oh and as usual, I've never worked with Arduino and I just started playing around with it like 2 months back then, and still playing with it right now. It is pretty fun ya know and pretty nostalgic too! Everything that I have learnt in SP started coming back to me slowly, especially the electrical components parts. Not to mention that I always fall asleep during microcontroller lectures. Haha!

At first, my company got me 2 custom Arduinos to play with which cost about $200 in total in addition to whatever electrical components that I needed. That was 2 months ago. Then now, I was given a collection of Arduinos and a couple of shields worth more than $1000 to play with!! I pretty enjoyed playing with Arduinos but..when I checked one of the board that was bought for me (Or to be exact, I wanted to play with it) which was called 'BLE Mini', I think I am having a bad dream perhaps. It was purely C and programming it is 100% more difficult than playing with Arduinos.

Just so that we are on the same channel, Arduino is not difficult. 'BLE Mini' is a nightmare!! It is like I might even become a firmware engineer if I play with 'BLE Mini' too long. Wait a second.. It is not that I am scared of being a firmware engineer, I am just afraid of programming the Mini!

To get the matter even more exciting, I started my part-time degree in January 2014. Only god knows how crazy it is to juggle between work and studies. Trust me, it is something that you cannot understand neither can you comprehend the challenges unless if you have been in the same shoe before. :)

Well, I guess that's all for today. I was writing this while waiting to download all the SDKs and tools required for Android development. Now, back to Android! :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Journey to be The Ultimate Programmer - Part 2

Before I start, in case you are wondering where on earth is part 1, its here.

As you can see, it was written in 2009. At that point of time, I was just writing it for the sake of writing. Well, perhaps I had "some" interests in programming. But not that much. Just looking at part 1, made me realize how pathetic I am. To date, I have not even touched Perl nor Ruby.

It was just recently that I decided to become a programmer when I applied for job in early 2013. At that point of time, I was still serving NS, and was preparing for my CCNA. Or to be exact, I had finished studying CCNA. I was about to take the exam. But then, if you know me in real life, you should know that  I am not the type who makes decision without thinking twice, thrice, and maybe more?

I was in dilemma. There were too many things in my mind, and so many things that I could not decide. One of them is to decide whether to take CCNA, or be a programmer. Well, if you ask me why, its because I don't really have interest in networking areas, neither do I have interests in programming. But I know I can perform if and only if I want to. Its just a matter of interest, and interest is something that you can develop over time with an open mind and an open heart.

After thinking for days, weeks, I decided not to take my CCNA exam. Instead I submitted online job applications first. I told myself that I will only specialize and move accordingly depending on the job that I am getting. I started applying for jobs in late December. It was 6 months before ORD.

As you guess, no one contacted me as I still have 6 more months. It was 3 months before I ORD that I managed to lend an interview with a start up company. During the interview I honestly told them that I have forgotten everything. To may surprise, they do not mind that as they understands it completely. A week later, I was offered a position with them, and I accepted the offer straight away. I signed my contract in early April. Oh and before I forget, I was their first employee. But not the first who started working.

July 1st - I walked into the office. I was totally clueless and helpless as I could not recall whatever things that I have learnt in SP. Prior to that, I only managed to learn some basic Javascript, HTML, and CSS on my own. Its just basics, really.

The next 2 days, we went out for some PlayStation seminar. It was quite a honeymoon for me I guess? Nevertheless, during lunch time, I indirectly told my boss that I wanted to be a good programmer like him, or maybe better, and I even expressed my interest to be posted overseas if there are some vacations. Laugh! I can't believe how bold I am sometimes!

On my first week, I somehow managed to recall back most of LINUX basic commands. It was quite an accomplishment to me as I think it was quite fast. On the second and third week, it was a little too fast. I was like forcing myself to learn and practice PHP & MySQL as much I can, even though it does not make some sense in the beginning. It was in the 4th week that I started to feel comfortable with PHP & MySQL, and I started to be able to understand other people scripts. Oh just to remind myself, I had no background in PHP at all previously. As for SQL, I only knew the basic SELECT all command. That's all.

Ok back to the story. As I was getting comfortable more and more with both PHP & MySQL, here come the shift. My colleague and I were asked to specialize. Both of us were like undecided as we wanted to try out everything as much as we could. To cut the story short, I was asked to start programming in using Objective-C, and that is when the nightmare started.

I looked at Objective-C, Objective-C looked at me. It was horrible. I felt like as if a mountain fell on me. The first 2 days looking and reading about Objective-C, I felt so helpless and useless. I could not understand a single explanation presented. It was like a totally different languages. At that point of time, I felt that I am so stupid. A mere 3.75 CGPA does not mean a thing any more. Now, its just between life and death.

Objective-C to me, is nothing like C/C++, JAVA, PHP, MySQL, Javascript, etc. The learning curve was so steep! I cannot even tell what simple example is doing initially. But then of course, I can't just give up. Running away does not solve a thing either. So, I was like really forcing myself to make some sense. I am glad I did.

Its been 3 weeks now, I guess I am slowly getting used to Objective-C, though there are still many things I still need to learn. Now now now now now, reading at the title, I do not know whether will I ever be an ultimate programmer? I don't know. But maybe, just maybe, I would be able to be a good programmer someday.

Doing Objective-C makes me appreciates the simplicity of C, PHP, etc. Thinking about it, make me laugh at myself back then. I don't understand why was I so afraid of C during my poly days. Its much simpler than Objective-C. I do not know, but I feel that once I master or maybe be good in Objective-C, I could do anything! Just maybe.

Well, that's about it for now. Till we meet again, dear bloggy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chocolate Lasagna


1 package regular Oreo cookies (Not Double Stuff) – about 36 cookies
6 Tablespoon butter, melted
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cold milk
1- 12 ounce tub Cool Whip, divided
2 – 3.9 ounce packages Chocolate Instant Pudding.
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips


1. Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. I used my food processor for this, but you could also place them in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreos have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.
2. Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
3. Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.
4. In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.
5. Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

Common Mistakes During Job Interviews

I Love You Mum

Rabbit Cat

I wonder why cats does not eat rabbits? I don't understand.