Are you excited by solving a challenge designed by a Google engineer? Are you interested in potentially becoming a Google engineer, too? If the answer is yes, then please join us… for Kickstart 2017!

Kickstart 2017, a Code Jam competition, is a series of six online rounds of algorithmic quizzes — all designed by Google engineers. From your own home, you’ll have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the programming skills needed for a technical career at Google, while at the same time showing off your own talents. The top participants from each round may be invited to interview for a role at Google.

Sound familiar? This was formerly known as the APAC University Test. But this year’s competition is bringing you more than a new name. We’re excited that Kickstart has even more rounds of online quizzes and is open to any student across the Asia-Pacific region.


Here’s how to join us

Register today

Round A will be held on Sunday, March 5.

View the preferred dates / times for each quiz.

Register

Learn more about the competition… and start preparing:

Check out our website for Terms and Conditions, FAQs, and more.

Review the “Getting Started” Guide and take a look at past problems.

For any additional questions please contact the Code Jam Kickstart Team at codejamkickstart@google.com

For students in Singapore, the school that has the most registrants by Round 1 (Mar 5) will get to receive prizes! We’ll send a prize for every student registered from that school, so help spread the word to your peers and classmates!

Happy holidays!

Are you free this Saturday (4 Feb) morning for a workshop about Git? It is the most popular tool for project collaborations.

You will need it not only for Orbital, but also many other modules and projects in future. It is really “One stone, Many birds”!

For more details, please refer to the poster below.

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Happy holidays!

We have received a few questions about the programme so we would like to answer them here for your information:

Q1. When does the registration start?

Registration starts in early March. We will make an announcement here once the system is ready.

Q2. I am not an SoC student, may I still register for Orbital?

Yes. Although this program mainly caters for year one SoC student, we do have quota for any NUS students. Please go ahead to register when registration starts.

Q3. Are there any fees for taking part in the programme?

No. Although you are to work on your project during summer, the module credits will be given to you next semester, as if you are taking the module then. Therefore, you do not need to pay any fees for the summer.

Q4. Can the module credits be counted towards something other than unrestricted electives (UE)?

No, unfortunately. However, in the past, many students took Orbital for the experience even though they did not need the module credit.

We will be coming to your lecture next week (Week 2) to give you a brief introduction of what Orbital is about and answer your questions about the programme!

The current schedule of the roadshows is as follows:

Jan 17:
CS1020, CS2010, CS1010, CS1020E and CS1010E

Jan 18:
CS1231 and CS1010S

Jan 20:
CS2020

Look forward to meeting you at the roadshows!

– Jin (Orbital Coordinator)

[Summary: Go to http://doodle.com/poll/gttk42i2iedrfmh3 to fill in your slot availability if you want to interview for 2017 Orbital staff]

There will be another round of interviews for Orbital staff at the beginning of the new semester.

If you are interested in helping out in Orbital 2017 as an advisor and/or a tutor, please use the Doodle poll above to sign up for an interview.

For the details of the positions, please refer to the previous post.

[Summary: Go to http://doodle.com/poll/gttk42i2iedrfmh3 to fill in your slot availability if you want to interview for 2017 Orbital staff]
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Congratulations again to all of the Orbital 2016 graduates.  It’s now your turn to go beyond Earth orbit and be a part of the team to help the next 2017 Orbital cohort accomplish their project goals.

We are currently starting our recruitment drive for Advisers and Tutors, the two roles that you as Orbital alumni are eminently qualified for:

Advisers act as peer assessors and cheerleaders for teams taking Orbital — you all had the experience of being under their wing this past summer.  Here’s your chance to shine and contribute back to your juniors.

Tutors act as the primary instructor for a mission control session or a Liftoff session.  This means you are in control of teaching a particular subject for about an hour.  If you wanted to level up on public speaking and technical tutorials, this is your opportunity. You don’t have to be an expert to teach — anyone can do it if they’re committed, and you can always answer the tough questions offline.

We are going to be holding interviews primarily at the beginning of the vacation and the new semester. If you wish to be interviewed for either / both positions, please visit the Doodle form and sign up for an interview slot. If you are interested but unable to make it for the slots given in the Doodle form, please contact me directly via email (zhaojin@nus.edu.sg) to arrange for an interview.

Look forward to hearing from you!

– Jin (Orbital Coordinator)

FAQ

– I’m going on NOC, can I participate?

– I’m planning to take a full-time internship, can I participate?

– I’m not going to be around SG this coming summer, can I participate?

The answer to these three questions is all the same: Yes for advisers, please apply.  You may know that some advisers were not local during your cohort as well.  The job can be done entirely remotely from NUS.  That said, applicants who are local and who do physically participate in the activities will generally bond better with their teams (unsurprisingly).

– How much money can I expect to earn as a staff member?

The monetary remuneration for doing either job is small, but the bragging rights and the additional job you can list on your CV/resume will hopefully make it worthwhile (aside from the intrinsic goodness of helping your fellow SoCian!).

Image courtesy Bernard Oh @ Flickr

You’re almost there!  Congrats on making it all the way here.  Pat yourself on the back for learning how to make good videos, do better documentation, take cut-n-paste coding to a new level and oh yes, did we mention, do a project?  This is computing in the real-world, right here, right now.  Oh yeah!

Yes, we know you still have so many features and refinements to do (and we hope you will do them), but it’s now time to set things aside and make sure you have all of your current work documented for your peers to review this coming week.  Yes, we also know you are doing so many other projects as the summer is coming to an end soon.

After the scramble to make all of your documentation by the 25th, in the week ahead, you will be judging the final outcome of your peers’ projects too.  Importantly, we need you to turn in your peer evaluations on time.  We need these evaluations on time, as we need to wrap up the Orbital grading, so as to meet the deadlines for assigning the 4 S/U credits for the course (CP3108B).

Look to the “Preview Forms” section in Skylab for the Evaluation 3 milestone criteria for which your project will be graded by.  In the week following your peer review, do keep in mind you will have to do one final evaluation of your peers’ reviews on your project, so that you can give credit and thanks to all of those reviews that were helpful (including your own advisors and mentors).

Good luck!  Stay strong — you’ve come all this way.  Give each other the encouragement to stay the course!  There’s only Splashdown to go!

P/S – speaking of Splashdown, Splashdown’s date is likely changing to the 24th of Aug (1 week later) due to conflicts with other School events.  That’s one more week to polish your marketing drive, video and demos (While your project is graded by the state it is in at Milestone 3, you can tell the staff through your advisor that you have made significant progress since Milestone 3, and that we should re-evaluate your project during Splashdown.

P/P/S – Thinking of withdrawing from Orbital?  For 80% of teams that dropped in previous cohorts, this is the time where you are severely tested for time.  We advise that you try your best to stay the course and finish — you get loads of self-confidence and Orbital chops for completing.  However, if you cannot manage it, please inform us — both via your advisor and directly to Orbital in Slack.  We need all members of your group to write in, so that we’re sure that all members assent to the withdrawal.

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This year’s valedictorian Yap Zi Xuan from our School of Computing mentioned Orbital as a pivotal moment in her SoC tenure.

“When I first matriculated, I had the intention of joining a financial or consulting firm upon graduation as the pay tends to be lucrative in these companies,” said Ms Yap, 23.

“That held true until our first summer vacation, when the Orbital Programme was introduced for freshmen.”

The Orbital Programme requires students to initiate their own projects and work independently. Ms Yap said it fuelled her interest in user experience design and web development.

“As I made a drastic change in my career choices from then on, I became thankful for the abundance of career opportunities offered by a computing degree,” she added.

Read the full story here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/nus-president-urges-computing-graduates-to-embrace-lifelong-learning-for-future-success

Skylab_illustration Dear all:

After a short hiatus, Skylab is back and ready to take your evaluations of your peer teams.  Due to the downtime, you now have until 8 Jun 23:55 to complete your peer evaluations.

Save often and keep a back up of your work!  Please report all bugs to the #skylab channel or in the Git issue tracker (on the right part of the footer at the bottom of every Skylab page), and we’ll attend to it as soon as we can.