Saturday, 27 September 2014

First Week of Final Year

After being a year out of university working 5 days a week, its back to the old routine of lectures and labs that university brings. After my first week I have had a small taster of stress and work needed to get me through the next 8 months, Juggling my modules and my final year project at the same time along with work on the side. It will be very stressful for sure, but I'm sure once I come out the other end there will be a lot of pride and relief that comes with it.

I have recently got a job at the university helping the 1st Year students with their first programming module and helping them to understand the module a bit easier for those that struggle. This will take some of my time during the year, but will be invaluable experience for me in developing my ability of what code does and ways to explain to others how it works.

My final year project will be officially decided in the coming weeks, and when it does, I will be sure to post on here about it. I also hope to do updates about progress as I go through my implementation stage, lets just hope the work doesn't get too much for me.

My work at Troll inc is not quite over yet either, I finished working full time on Monday but I'm sure I will be back in the office before I know it, making more games, apps and testing existing ones.

Now its time to get to work and get my final year started in a strong way, updates will follow soon about my project and the premise.

Frozen Fishy out.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Release: My Mind Western Trust

My Mind is an app designed by the Western Health and Social Trust that would aid people with mental illnesses and offer support to such people. The app features descriptions of illness, help, useful contacts, videos to support content and some advice for friends and family of those with mental illness to help them cope.

There was already an app for My Mind created by Tom Brewster, but it was not fully compatible for all major mobile devices, so it was decided that the best way to have a finished product that looks the same was to recreate the iOS version and create Android and Windows Phone as we go.

When it came to start on My Mind, I was given all the assets that I needed from the beginning, so I had to organise the previous app, figure out menus and find all the pages that were needed to be created. I was expecting development of the project to be smooth and relatively easy, but with most development projects there will be something that delays you. In this case, it delayed me in the beginning, but shortly became a worth-while investment of time.

About a week before development for the app started, Xamarin released Xamarin.Forms, which would allow for development on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices using the same base code, this would mean that you can "write once and run everywhere". This added some difficulty in the beginning of trying to learn some of the new references and libraries.

As with new software there will always be a lack of documentation and a few bugs, this added a few days to production time, but once I had figured out the base code that I needed, development started to pick up and the app was full of most of the content it needed within the first week. This left the rest of the week and the next week time to test on all devices and make sure that all was working correctly, was aligned correctly and we had all the features needed.

Two weeks after starting the project I was due to be on holiday for 2 weeks, so it was important as the only developer to get as much of the app working and in a good position to send it to another developer if it needed to. At the end of the two weeks, the app had not been finalised as some of the content and use of features was in dispute. This meant that I had to give the source code to the CTO of Troll Inc, so that he could finish off whilst I was away on Holiday.

The app is now finished and available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Check it out;
iOS Download Link.
Android Download Link.
Windows Phone Download Link.

Frozen Fishy out.