iOS Code Camp – Apples, Macs, and Swifties

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Remember your first months in the Computer Science course? The participants in the iOS Code Camp did! Brought to the past by basic console programming and jumped right back to the future with drag and drop UI programming, these new iOS programmers had a wild ride to start off their iPhone and iPad programming careers.

 

The iOS Code Camp, held in the humble office of the Mozilla Community, May 14, 2016, brought together the few but proud 25 young professionals that chose the Macbook life.

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The Macbook life.

 

To kick off the Code Camp, Ponciano Ezekiel starts off with introducing Devcon PH to the crowd, along with our generous sponsors.

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Robert “Bob” Reyes, Mozilla Philippines Representative, introduces Mozilla and Firefox for iOS.13244801_10153789836008585_2032121820133740075_n.jpg

 

Rodolfo “Dulds” Duldulao Jr. , Technology Evangelist for Chikka Philippines, shares the potential of Chikka API.

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First year college feels with Swift

Matt Quiros, a freelance iOS developer and founder of NSCoder Philippines, teaches a group of professionals who are young at heart. Because just like the topic for today, Swift is very young. It’s just almost 2 years old (Blows candles on the second of June) – no, this is not the pop singer of Shake It Off.

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Like a freshmen just starting in computer science, Matt taught the syntax, the if-else conditional statement, for/do-while loops, switch statements, and many other fundamental elements of Swift. For each lesson, he shows a slide of its basic concept. Then he’ll switch to XCode’s Playground console with a file of code snippets prepared to demonstrate the simple code, then it’s variation of do’s and don’ts, the ‘what if’’s, and the different implementations of a task, from an OK code stripped down to a shorter better code, highlighting Swift’s beauty.

 

How do you eat an elephant? One byte at a time.

I love how bite sized his teaching style is. Matt is careful not to cause an information overload to the participants. Unlike some lectures where there is a bombardment of introductions, concepts and theories, Matt cut the whole elephant to pieces, scooped it in a spoon, and slowly let the participants chew, savor, and digest it. Spoon by spoon until a whole leg was eaten.

 

Having a good foundation in the basics of Swift will be a great investment for their future career in iOS.

 

Also, in the middle of teaching one code snippet at a time, Matt asks questions to the participants! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a speaker challenged the participants to think. With him, you can clearly see the difference between a speaker and a teacher.

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“Sa tingin niyo magiging nil ba to?” Matt waits for everyone to have an answer in mind, then he’ll ask one participant, approves the answer and recalls the concept he taught early on.

 

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Besides asking questions, Matt challenged individual participants with independent hands on coding through lesson exercises, even before the mini-hackathon (where they usually start practicing on their own). There were 3 exercises in total, but the last would be a homework instead. The exercise includes 1.) Identifying if a person’s name is in the array and 2.) a Board game where the goal is to reach Tile 25 from Tile 1.

 

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A participant showing his solution for the second exercise.

In the small cramped space of the Mozilla office, the nonstop click’s and clack’s from the typing of the keys resounded the whole room. Even as the lunch bell rang, most of the participants did not touch their food at first, because most of them were busy solving exercise #2!

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Programming > KFC?! Feels like unfinished Thesis that is due in an hour, or just passion.

 

Bounce back to the present with GUI design

After the console based programming to only focus on the Swift language, the “freshmen” in Swift programmers graduated from the black and white programming to the actual iPhone/iPad development. John Andrew Arce, CTO & President of Direct Works Media, Inc, proceeded to teach the UI elements and the Libraries which the new born Swift programmers can play around with.

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Listening to his seminar, you can tell that John Arce, who prefers to be called Ja, is a versatile programmer, having touched numerous web and mobile languages. Once in a while, he’ll give a comparison between how you do it in iOS and with how you do it PHP, Java, or Android.

 

Mini-Hackathon: Racing with Code

The specs for this Saturday’s mini-hackathon are as follows: use the Alamo Fire library to fetch additional data from the given list of users, and optionally display their profile pictures.

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Tin Alcachupas’s app running in a iPhone simulator.

Aaaand congratulations to the following!

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1st placer – Tin Alcachupas

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2nd placer – Miho Puno

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3rd placer – Aldrin Bautista

Thanks for attending the iOS Code Camp! For more Devcon events, like our page!

 

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How Did Amy Die? (2nd Published Android Game!)

“I don’t care how she died.”

Me too! I mean, who in the world is Amy anyway?

Or maybe you’re like “I’m curious and I want to know!”, or “I LOVE DETECTIVE GAMES!!! I FEEL LIKE THE KILLER IS STILL INSIDE THIS ROOM!” And damn, you’re right!

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A little backstory before the game.

Yup, you, the player, are the killer.

*SPOILER ABOVE*

Just kidding, You don’t even have to play the game to find out how Amy died. All you need is to go to the Free Play Store page and you can already get the idea. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.matchastudios.howdidamydie.

Okay, have you guessed it?

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Okay, this is the third banner of this tall Pucca mascot in just a span of 2 mouse scrolls, I’ll stop now.

But before that…

Amy is a 20-something still lost in life.

Amy is an expectant mother.

Amy is a Summa Cum Laude graduate.

Amy is beggar.

Amy is a new born that struggled through her first 8 weeks in life in an incubator.

Strangers are faceless people we pass by every single day. Most of us fail to look beyond the unfamiliarity and understand that most of them have the same dreams, problems, memories, and loved ones all waiting for them at home. We forget that these sea of faces can smile back on the stars, cry tears at night, and laugh as if it’s the end of the world. Whoever these individuals might be, every single one of them all have a name, let’s humanize them and call everyone of them Amy.

Car Accidents killed Amy.

Oh no.

You didn’t mean to.

I mean, there are 1.3 million Amy’s dying each year because of car accidents. Statistics show it was going to happen anyway.

Plot twist: Car Accidents can be prevented!

Amy could have lived.

Distracted driving, or texting on your phone while driving, is the number one cause (Surprise! it’s not disobedience to the street rules) of the death of 1.3 million Amy’s. that’s 2.6 million++ mothers and fathers and children that’s has lost an Amy in their life.

Moral Lesson: Don’t text and drive.

Finally, the back story is done, phew!

For your prize of being patience, or scrolling all the way down here, you get to take a sexy view of the game screenshot.

We’ve been semi-busy developing this experimental game (which explains why the title, app icon, and the game art style itself doesn’t match) the last few months. We don’t want to listen to our own opinions as much as possible about game retention, difficulty, game art/style, and a lot more factors, because we feel like if we argued and took everything into consideration, nothing will progress and we’ll get stuck planning for the “perfect” game. We don’t have that much experience to base on too.

What we need is real player feedback, we need improvements. So try it out. Get critically constructive. Every word of your feedback is oxygen to small independent developers like us so that we can grow better! 🙂

Follow us in fb.com/matchastudios  for more experimental apps and games!

This is a meeeeessy article.

 

 

3 Mobile Applications that Stretched our Eyebags to Its Limits

These 3 apps took away our social life. Probably why we are all still single.

1. Teach your English-Speaking 6 to 8 yr old Filipino Children Their Mother Tongue

Salinlahi Four features Natural Language Generation, Adding new lessons dynamically easily (includes adding a story before the game starts, game tutorial, lesson items, and the game mechanics), and other features that are normal for applications but we are nevertheless proud of: Account Management, Responsive Design (9-patch and proper layouts), Animations, and Button States. Woo!

  • Developers: Aldrin Agbanlog, Joseph Edgar Andres, Raiza de Leon, Joyce Guiao
  • Designer: Raiza de Leon, Joyce Guiao

2. Encourage your 6 to 8 yr old English-Learning Children to Bring Their Own Stories to Life

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Funimals features Natural Language Generation, and Text-To-Speech.

  • Developers: Mark Anthony Castilo, Matthew Go, Oliver Brian Syson
  • Designer: Joyce Guiao (Animals not included)
  • Awards: Imagine Cup World Semifinalist – Innovation 2013

 

3. Learn to Cook Healthy Filipino Recipes

App was originally targeted for Diabetics, but every Filipino has the right to be healthy, too!

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Less Sugar is powered by Parse (which will stop working in 2017), and has its own local website to be able to add new recipes provided by the DOST.

  • Developers: Mark Anthony Castilo, Oliver Brian Syson
  • Designer: Joyce Guiao 
  • Awards: 1st Place in DOST-FNRI Less Sugar App Contest 2014

5 Mobile and Web Games To Rate 5 Stars On Your Free Time

I am aware that most of these are really horrible, and that I am virtually tightening a noose around my neck. But this is also an assurance that I have looked back on my sins of bad design and I am sorry for it, and that it probably  hopefully  shouldn’t happen again 🙂

1. Set Mania (Android)

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For smart people and late bloomers. Download here.

  • Developers:Matthew Go, Oliver Brian Syson
  • Designer: Joyce Guiao

 

2. Charge (Windows Phone)

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If you had a proper childhood, you’ll know this game by heart, based on the Filipino Kid Game called “Charge” or “Dragonball”.  Download here.

  • Developers: Alron Lam, Darren Sapalo
  • Designers: Joyce Guiao, Lordd Michael Lazaro
  • Sound and Music: Joyce Guiao
  • Awards: Top 3 in DLSU Windows Phone 8 Hackercup Challenge 2013

 

3. Breaking Fast (Web)

Play here.

  • Developers: Joyce Guiao
  • Designers: Raiza de Leon, Joyce Guiao

 

4. 90’s Kids Challenge  (Windows PC & Windows Phone)

Download here.

 

5. Zombie Garrison (Windows Phone)

Download here.

Bonus: Last Stand (Windows Phone)

Local Multiplayer Game (4 to 6 players) for the whole family. Download here.