iSTEP Webpage is finally UP!!
Thanks to detailed insights from everyone in the team, including our advisors, as well as TechBridgeWorld staff members Erin and Sarah, we have our own iSTEP 2009 – Tanzania website up and running. It was amazing to see how our web presence evolved, starting out as a blog with some static information and changing into a multi-featured website.
The idea of having a blog as the main feature with static information about the team and the projects(as pages) stemmed from work I have been implementing for some small organizations here in Doha. For iSTEP, we started by creating a blog hosted on the WordPress(WP) site, but soon after launching our blog, we realized plug-ins could not be installed on blogs hosted by WordPress (Shakir made a boo-boo). That’s when the idea of having our own iSTEP website, with blog and Twitter feeds as components came into play. Thanks to quick thinking and scripting by Anthony, we had a skeleton up very soon after the decision. From there, it was just making design and language edits.
It was amazing how we made use of the different time zones – changes made by me in the day in Doha (so at night in Pittsburgh) would be reviewed by Pittsburgh during their day, and then more suggestions would be made while I slept at night. Those changes would then be implemented by me the next morning (after I woke up to multiple “Website changes” emails). All in all, it was a very good web development experience (and I thought I understood CSS before this… )
Aside from the website, real development on our projects is coming our way now. All three projects are entering or have entered the development phase and now our real technical skills will be tested. I strongly believe the team can handle whatever we decide to develop.
I plan on meeting with Anthony, Brad, and Freddie in a couple hours to get started on the Braille Tutor Project. We’ve already developed a HelloWorld for the Literacy Project that works on Hatem’s phone (I’m still hard at work on it though—Nokia E71 should be able to handle a HelloWorld). For the Social Workers Applications the back-end development is already underway, and a simple prototype should be out soon.
In other news, the Doha campus is decently busy now that the Summer College Preview Program is underway. The students stay here for 4 weeks, so my lunch breaks get more interesting. Also, my Ping Pong skills are going up with the new table in the Rec Room.
PS: Haaaaaaatemmmmmmm (how could I forget?)
Haaaaaatemmmmmmm, I realized I should start my blog post the same way I start my conversations the team meetings, my way of expressing how much I miss Hatem 🙂
It’s another summer in Doha, one of the hottest in the recent past this time, and the only answer I have to the question “What’s new?” is “Our new building!”. Although the number of students I see on a daily basis has gone down to about 20, there is a decent amount of activity thanks to Northwestern moving in. One can also see some new faces, the incoming freshmen, coming to campus to complete their placement tests. Surprisingly, the food court is still decently populated, thamks to the lack of good vendors in the other buildings 😉 GO CMU!
Outside the CMU building, the Student Center and Georgetown University buildings are coming up faster than ever (its Qatar and construction, remember), and the number of roads under-construction has gone up considerably. There is a new 4-way interchange coming up right outside Education City and the Convention Center construction is at its fastest as well. It feels like Education City is not out of graduation fever yet. The posters of graduating students are still up and bright in the night light and the humungus billboard right outside the campus shines brighter than ever.
That’s all from Doha for the time being, an update coming your way as soon as something interesting happens 🙂 That’s a word!