Girls Who Code Resume Review

Girls Who Code is an organization that is near and dear to my heart, since I facilitated a GWC club when I was a classroom teacher. In fact, it was something I kept up during remote teaching since my students wanted to keep it up to have some semblance of community when we couldn’t be in the same space.

So, I was pretty excited when my company gave us an opportunity to volunteer with GWC to review the resumes of some of their members. I saw resumes from students who just graduated high school and were entering college to students who were just graduating college and were seeking their first full-time position.

We gave feedback on areas for growth, specificity, and clarity, but I also provided feedback on what was already done super well!

I was so impressed that the recent high school graduate not only had a resume, but a portfolio website as well! It’s a fantastic idea to start building your resume AND portfolio early and to maintain it often when new experiences and projects are still fresh in your mind.

Artificial Intelligence at OMSCS

I successfully completed this course in the Spring 2022 term. This is probably one of the more challenging courses you can take in the OMSCS program, and unfortunately, it is not a course that affords its students to produce a novel project that I can share here.

I was extremely excited to take this class, and by its own metrics, I performed well. However, I just didn’t enjoy this class as the teaching staff’s preoccupation with plagiarism and sink-or-swim mindset detracted from their ability to build an inclusive and welcoming learning environment.

The saving grace for this class was the Discord study group I formed, where we were allowed to have whiteboard-level conversations about our independent assignments. It was extremely helpful to bounce ideas off of one another and not feel so isolated in the distance learning program.

Triton Hacks 2022

Triton Hacks is a hackathon for San Diego high schoolers, with special attention to gaining participation from students in the underserved South Bay area. It’s organized by a student organization at UCSD called CS foreach. This was the second year for Triton Hacks, but the first year it was in person at UCSD!

CS foreach banner that says: "educate / empower / engage"

I had such a great time volunteering my time to help students with a variety of projects spanning from block-based Alice programming to Unity game development.

Last year, I was a bit more involved and even hosted a workshop on Postman and REST APIs, but I am learning to set boundaries and not overcommit since I am both working full time and attending graduate school. I was able to enjoy the volunteer experience while not burning myself out, and there were plenty of amazing workshop opportunities for students, including one on Computer Vision!

Students watching a presentation on the Applications of Computer Vision

I was excited to see some of my former CS students present and involved at Triton Hacks this year!

First semester at Georgia Tech OMSCS

Since graduating from CSUMB, I found an amazing job at Okta and started grad school to get my MS in CS!

Human-Computer Interaction (CS 6570)

This course was intensive on reading and writing and really exercised my prior knowledge in psychology and cognition. We focused heavily on user-centered designs in evaluating and improving user interfaces. For my final project, I tackled the Nintendo Switch’s User Data Transfer Interface. My final paper and findings are summarized in the presentation below!

Video Game Design (CS 6457)

I intended to only take one course for my first semester since I also work full-time, but I have been wanting to learn about game design and Unity for quite some time. In this course, we had to complete a few milestone assignments to learn the basics about elements like physics and AI. The bulk of the class was then spent collaborating in teams to create a 3D platform game. My team created Overeaten, a game about a Chef who has come to an island in search of mystical ingredients that grant you super powers. These special abilities help Chef evade the island’s hungry creatures, the Monches, so he can reach the final area.

Triton Hacks 2021

Triton Hacks is a high school hackathon organized by the UCSD student group CSforeach. One of the head organizers for this initiative is Jose Guaro, a graduate of the high school where I taught computer science. In fact, when I first started volunteering to help with Triton Hacks, I was still teaching and managing the school’s website and social media — this gave me the unique ability to advertise the hackathon and recruit our students!

By the time it was time for the hackathon, I had changed roles to work as a junior software engineer at Achieve Internet. I leveraged my position there to help sponsor the hackathon and to lead a workshop on REST APIs and Postman. It was a ton of fun, and completely virtual!

Being able to tutor/mentor and to present a technical workshop on APIs as a SWE in a high school hackathon where I’m seeing many of the students I formerly taught as a CS high school teacher is everything. I love that I’m still able to stay connected to CS education & empowering teenagers to learn about tech while improving my own technical skills in the industry!

CS Education Week 2020

Computer Science Education Week took place during the week of December 7th this year. Since we were still doing remote instruction, my Girls Who Code students and I planned and put on a series of virtual events and extended an invitation to all students in the district to attend!

These events included:

In addition to these events, we published a website showcasing the work of our current AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A students.

Android Final Project: Book Exchange

I am now working on a final group project for the Android class. Since the final project for iOS was optional, I opted out so I could focus on the Android project with my team!

Our app is a bit like GoodReads in that it enables you to search for books. However, the added feature is that users can post books they’d like to sell, buy, or trade! Hence the name “Book Exchange”.

We are working in 4 weekly sprints in order to meet our December 3rd deadline.

So far we have completed 2/4 sprints!

During Sprint 1, we addressed the following user stories:

  • User should be able to register an account
  • User should be able to login
  • Login should be persistent
  • User should be able to logout

During this sprint, I was responsible for user registration. I used the Parse library to accomplish this. We also had to set up the backend in order to store our users and our book posts.

Here’s what our app looked like at the end of Sprint 1:

Book Exchange demo Sprint 1

Sprint 2 was a bit more involved and I was assigned both user stories for this one:

  • User should see top sellers on search screen by default before query is sent via the search bar
  • Allow user to search by ISBN

To display best sellers on the search screen, I used the NYT Book API and displayed the information in a TableView within our default fragment. Within that fragment’s onActivity method, I put an event handler for a search field. This way, I was able to avoid using Android’s default search view and just use an EditText and Button for our search.

Once the user submits a query, the query String is put into a Bundle and passed to the SearchResults fragment where our Back4App backend is queried for results. I used the Parse library to get the results back as Post objects that can be added to a TableView within that fragment.

Book Exchange demo

Parstagram Version 2

This is the final week of the CodePath classes before we begin final projects to showcase what we have learned! I worked on Parstagram version 2 in both Android and iOS.

For the Android version, I used Fragments for the first time. Instead of cramming a bunch of code into the MainActivity, I was able to separate the code into three fragments–one to display a user’s timeline of posts, one to show the user’s profile, and another to compose a new post. The corresponding views for each of these fragments are displayed depending on which menu item in a Bottom Navigation View is clicked on:

In the iOS version, implemented persistent login, the ability to logout, and the ever-so important ability to add and view comments on a post:

Back4App and Parstagram

This week was exciting because, instead of using an external API, we were able to create our own backend for an Instagram-like app in both Android and iOS. We used Back4App to get and post user and post data. This required use of the Parse library in both projects.

In the Android version of the application, I used Parse to enable a user to sign up for an account and to login. I also implemented persistent login and the ability for the user’s to pull up the system’s camera to take a picture, add a caption, and post it to the backend.

Parstagram application on Android demonstrating persistent login.

In the iOS version, I did the same thing, but also implemented the ability to view the last 20 posts (something that I will get to in the Android version next week).

Twitter Client Version 2

I improved both the Android and iOS versions of my simple Twitter client this week.

In the Android version, users can now compose and post a new Tweet through a compose button added to the ActionBar. After a user posts a tweet, the timeline is automatically refreshed! I used a library called Parcelable in order to pass information from one Android activity to another. Using Parcelable is more time/memory efficient than the Serializable interface.

Twitter Client demo Version 2

On the iOS side, I also implemented the ability for a user to compose and post a Tweet. However, what differed from the Android implementation this week was that I also added the ability to favorite and retweet tweets!