OSMI's twitter feed has had a little bit of activity around the subject of burnout in the tech community this week. I did some of my own reading, and found a fascinating article titled "Mining Valence, Arousal, and Dominance -- Possibilities for Detecting Burnout and Productivity?" by Mika Mäntylä et. al.
I had the pleasure of working with some really bright and motivated new Android programmers at the Android Study Jam, hosted by Android Alliance Philly this week. The Jam goes through a beginning Udacity course, and since I've been programming Android for going on 3 years now, and had recently finished the Udacity Nanodegree, I decided to volunteer. It ran for 5 weeks.
The use case for this education app was to build a visual connection between terms like "American Modern" and "Rococo", and representative work from those periods. With hundreds of amazing drawings, paintings, and blueprints from each era presented in an experience that maintains the native look and feel of Android Material Design, the app builds a solid intuition for the work.
The challenge here is that we want to re-use our ContentProvider across free and paid flavors of an app, but Android requires CP's to have unique 'authorities' (more on that later). In this article we will solve that problem. If you are curious about the context for these snippets, see the Philly Crime Map project on github here.
The Nanodegree is set up for a 12 month timeline, but it would be hard to imagine being able to maintain any kind of continuity between development sessions if you spent the entire 12 months on it. I had the summer off, and even though I had quite a bit of Android experience already, I still believe that the best way for someone (even a beginner) to do this program is to hit it as hard as possible for as short a period of time as possible.
This discussion covers research on recent computer graphics pedagogy, with a particular eye towards major themes and implementation level technologies. For example, one theme that recurs throughout the research is the need to strike a balance between engaging beginning students to continue studying computer science, and the need to provide a foundation rooted in rigorous data structures and algorithms. A second theme that recurs is the need to abstract away the complexity of systems intended for engineering (Android SDK, OpenGL), in order to use them for teaching purposes. Presented as well, are case studies from the literature that implement these and other themes.
In a speech to game developers in 2014, Palmer Luckey, the inventor of the Oculus Rift, asserted that content creation for the new devices is not merely a matter of porting existing content, but creating entirely new game elements . Perhaps this is due to what Steptoe et. al. refer to as the defining characteristic of these devices, the psychophysical non-mediation, or the sensation that the participant is experiencing a reality unmediated by the technology . This is historically referred to as "Presence". Perhaps because these devices uniquely create a sense of presence, experiences must be designed specifically for them.
I discovered the Over The Wire hacking war game pretty recently. It's a ton of fun, and the first level, which I did get all the way through, isn't that bad. I'm sure it get's way harder and more frustrating as you progress though. Next time I have some free time (like in 2018 maybe :|) I'm going to see how much farther I can get.