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Beyond IUEE Phoenix 2013

IUEE (Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience) Phoenix 2013

IUEE Phoenix 2013 has now come to its inevitable close… And despite strong wishes that it would continue, many students went into the program hoping to continue evolving from this experience long after the official six weeks had came and went.

Such resources included having great mentors, sharpening hands-on problem solving, dabbling in HTML5/CSS, JavaScript, and database storage, hard-ware interfacing with arduino boards, in addition to self-marketing and opportunity thinking to name a few. IUEE provided both a platform and a catalyst to continue pursuing our passion. Principally, it offered a stepping-stone for students, bridging the gap between academia and real-world experience and interaction within our chosen career paths.

Enter Rule-Zero

With the backing and motivation of great people from IUEE, a group was formed to continue coding our application for the Tizen App Challenge competition. The name, Rule-Zero, was derived from a key mentor and program overseer, Mr. Luu (and to his students, Coach).  We were encouraged to go beyond the IUEE program and continue working together by Paul Steinberg, and further advised to enter the Tizen Challenge by Stewart Christie. Present members of Rule-Zero include both 2013 and 2012 IUEE graduates whose participation has gone beyond mutual interest to shared passion.

(See: About Tizen and The Tizen App Challenge)

Rule Zero has held meetings in between IUEE for the past four weeks. Ashish Datta, a volunteer mentor for 2013 who participated directly in the program during its launch in 2012, has been the primary organizer, facilitator, and overall leader of the group. Within those meetings, we have planned and structured our work-flow, and further brainstormed by way of PowerPoint presentations as well as open, back-and-forth dialogue.

The app idea we’ve wanted to pursue has now been locked in and the team is now committed to learning the necessary skills and tools required to take the app from concept to completion. The application itself, introduced and partly coded by IUEE and CGCC student Habib Matar, is already functional as a prototype, thanks to the Code for Good Hackathon weeks of the IUEE program. Further details about the app will come later.

In the spirit of the Tizen Challenge, current focus is on learning namely HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL, with the team tentatively being broken into “client-side” and “server-side” groups. Upon more comfortable understanding, the focus will be on the Tizen SDK and porting the app to mobile devices.

The Big Picture

In our previous meeting, we’ve delved into what was termed, “The Big Picture.” We wanted to take that stepping-stone between academia and “the real-world” and figure out how we could further improve our education and experience. Borrowing knowledge taken away from great teachers at IUEE, we’ve developed the following key yields of our club:

Leadership/Management Experience

Rule-Zero will not end with the Tizen App Challenge, but will instead be centered on elected projects put forth in group meetings. The idea is that those with a project-idea to put forth will present its highlights while the rest of the group votes on which project to pursue next. Furthermore, the person who pitches the idea and gets the most votes will be the manager of that project, garnering further leadership skills. This method allows for equal-contribution and experience.

STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result

From large projects stems inevitable obstacles—from technical to organizational. These offer valid, out-of-the-classroom problem solving opportunities one can utilize for experience and self-marketing. My previous blog post mentioned hands-on experience and project/problem-oriented learning, and this group will be utilizing many of those aspects.

Directly Applicable Hard/Soft Skills

Soft skills include organization, communication, planning, time-management, prioritization, and delegation to name a few.

Hard skills being fostered encompass programming, web-development, database management, marketing/networking, and project-management.

The beauty of our project is that this is all voluntary and driven by passion for what we’re doing. The skills we learn compliment what is being taught in our classes by essentially giving us the tools to reach our own goals and solve larger problems. At the moment, our club is largely encapsulated in software/app development, but is willing to diversify itself depending on the current project.

To recap, group members will obtain a myriad of complementary skills and experiences to help better prepare for their future careers:

  • Leadership roles and experience.
  • S.T.A.R. examples to pool from.
  • Communication skills: collaborative, presentation, composition, and dead-lines.
  • Utilize group resources on projects too big to head alone.
  • Learn applicable skills as a means to reach an objective or solve a problem.
  • Help market ourselves after our education. Diversify résumé.

The reality of our present education is to stand out and take away the necessary knowledge to pursue our interests. Being involved in clubs and groups like this will be a key factor to success. Our hope is to foster this group into something we can relate to as we enter our areas of interest. IUEE gave us the platform to begin this; it’s our responsibility to continue its growth.

Please keep an eye out for updates from our group down the road and wish us luck.

—Jacob Leonard

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