Hi all:

Here’s the list of videos from Orbital’s Liftoff Day 2.  Once you’re assigned to peer teams for grading and feedback in Orbital, please take note of the time offset in the Ignition video so that your peer teams can be reminded of your idea.  If your idea changes from your Ignition presentation, no worries; make another 1-minute video response to the Ignition video and post it in YouTube.

Git (Laurence, BillPin):

Getting Fired Up (James and Jeffrey, Silicon Straits and Golden Gate):

eCommerce (Alvin, Paypal):

<deleted by request\>

Presentation Skills (Davidson, Google):

Orbital Programme Structure (Wee Sun, SoC):

Ignition (Orbital students, SoC):

Students should maintain

  • A project journal where you record the work periods and work done weekly. It is okay to do more on some weeks and less on others, but to get course credit for CS3108B, the total number of work hours must be at least 130.
  • A project wiki where the project documentation is kept.
  • Both of these are available on IVLE project.

We will follow a simplified agile methodology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development) for Orbital. The main part of the methodology we will use is as follows:

  • We use iterative development where each iteration (sprint) is done over around 4 weeks (2 iterations over the entire Orbital project).
  • For each sprint, a small subset of features is specified using user stories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_story) and accepted (http://www.extremeprogramming.org/rules/functionaltests.html) by the peer evaluator at the end of the iteration.
    • For Orbital, we will not use any formal specification method. User stories should be done in natural language, but your peer evaluators must be able to understand the stories clearly. We will also not use any automated testing. The peer evaluators do acceptance testing manually until they are satisfied that it meets the requirements based on their understanding of the user stories. You will learn more about specifying requirements and testing (including unit and regression tests) in your software engineering courses.

Each group will act as peer evaluators for three other groups. If you are traveling or have other activities that do not allow you to meet the peer evaluation schedule, you need to discuss alternative dates with your peer evaluation groups. If your evaluation dates are after the scheduled dates, you need to get permission of the instructors for the alternative dates.
Passing requirements are described at http://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/?p=45, but will be moderated by the instructors.


Week 1 (13 – 19 May): 

Monday & Tuesday: Liftoff Workshop

  • Work on mockup and requirements.
  • Update journal.

Week 2 (20 May – 26 May):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Work on mockup and requirements.
  • Update journal.

Week 3 (27 May – 02 Jun):

Submission Week

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Update journal.

Monday: Submit

  • Mockup. This can be a powerpoint mockup with simple interaction, or more sophisticated mockup on other platforms if you wish.
  • A 3 minute video describing the aims of the project with the help of the mockup.
  • At least 3 user stories describing at least 3 features to be implemented in the sprint over the next 4 weeks.

Tuesday to Friday:

  • If necessary, clarify the aim of your project and the features to be implemented with your peer evaluators.
  • Act as a peer evaluator. If necessary, clarify the projects you are evaluating with the groups you are evaluating.

Week 4 (03 Jun – 09 Jun):

Monday: Submit the updated version of the user stories after feedback from the peer evaluators. This forms the requirements that you are implementing in the sprint over the next 4 weeks.

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 5 (10 Jun – 16 Jun):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 6 (17 Jun – 23 Jun):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 7 (24 Jun – 30 Jun):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 8 (01 Jul – 07 Jul):

Submission Week

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Update journal.

Monday: Submit

  • Prototype (url) with the features specified in Week 4 completed.
  • A 3 minute video describing the work done with the help of the prototype.
  • User stories for the remaining features that you wish to implement.

Tuesday to Friday:

  • Act as beta tester to see if the features of the projects you are evaluating can be accepted. Give feedback on any bugs found, or if the requirement is not met. This can be done through the evaluation form, or if necessary through face-to-face meeting or through videoconferencing.
  • If necessary, clarify the features to be implemented in the next sprint with your peer evaluators.
  • Act as a peer evaluator and give feedback on the features that are implementing in the next sprint by the groups you are evaluating.

Week 9 (08 Jul – 14 Jul):

Monday: Submit the updated version of the user stories after feedback from the peer evaluators. This forms the requirements that you are implementing in the sprint over the next weeks.

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 10 (15 Jul – 21 Jul):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 11 (22 Jul – 28 Jul):

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Implement features.
  • Update journal.

Week 12 (29 Jul – 04 Aug):

Submission Week

  • Mission control (optional).
  • Update journal.

Monday: Submit

  • Prototype (url) with all features specified completed.
  • A 5 minute video describing the entire project with the help of the prototype.

Tuesday to Friday:

  • Act as beta tester to see if the feature of the projects you are evaluating can be accepted. Give feedback on any bugs found, or if the requirement is not met.
  • If necessary, discuss your project with your peer evaluators.

Friday:

  • Submit final feedback on the project you are evaluating.
  • Submit your reflection on your project after receiving the final feedback from your peer evaluators.

Week 13 (Sem I Week 0: 05 Aug – 11 Aug):

<No activities; Work for Orbital should be complete>

Week 14 (Sem I Week 1: 12 Aug – 18 Aug):

<No activities; Work for Orbital should be complete>

Week 15 (Sem I Week 2: 19 Aug – 25 Aug):

Splashdown (tentatively Wed 21 August, evening)

 

The schedule for the two-day Liftoff workshop is given below. This schedule is still tentative and subject to change. The workshop is compulsory for those doing the program unless you have prior permission to be excused. We will try to put as much of the material online as possible for your reference.

The aims of the workshop are
– To introduce you to the platform, tools and methods that you can use for the program. This is mostly familiarization and is enough only to get you started. You should expect to self-learn more as you do your project.
– To allow you to find a partner if you have not already done so. You may use http://orbitalpartner.appspot.com/ to help you find a partner.
– To allow you to find a mentor if you wish to be mentored.

Please bring your own laptop (or at least have a shared laptop with your partner). Let us know if you are unable to do that.

Location: SR1

Day 1 (13 May)

  • 9:00-9:15 Opening
  • 9:15-10:45 Design Thinking (LeeWS)
  • 10:45-12:30 Python (Google)
  • 12:30-13:00 Lunch / Partner finding (on your own)
  • 13:00-15:00 CSS/HTML/Javascript (Google)
  • 15:00-16:30 Google App Engine (LeeWS)
  • 16:30-18:00 Templates (KanMY)

Day 2 (14 May)

  • 9:00-10:00 Git and collaboration tools (TBD)
  • 10:00-11:00 Talks by Silicon Straits and GoldenGate (TBD)
  • 11:00-11.30 ECommerce (PayPal)
  • 11:30-12:00 How to present your ideas (Google)
  • 12-13 Lunch (On your own. You should complete your partner finding after this.)
  • 13-16:30 Launch Window (Hackathon). Ideally you work on the idea that you’d like to do in the program, but you are not required to continue on the same idea.
  • 16:30-17:00 Briefing on Orbital schedule and peer grading (LeeWS/KanMY)
  • 17:00-18:30 Ignition (1 minute madness). Present what you did in Launch Window, elevator pitch style.
  • 18.30-19:00 Speed mentor matching (Only for those looking to be mentored)

Did you watch the video teaser from Code.org that was posted in Orbital’s blog a few days back?  Well, now you can get started on learning what you need for the Vostok beginners programme by learning Python on your own.

Simply create an account with CodeAcademy and start learning Python.  We think you find Python an elegant and straightforward language for many tasks (including other advanced classes within SoC).  [Disclaimer: NUS SoC has no interest nor is it affiliated with CodeAcademy]

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 2.43.38 AM

CodeAcademy and its ilk (websites for learning hacking by doing) are becoming a leading way to learn programming for the masses (we’re in the mass too :-).  You may find many of the fundamental tracks useful for your Orbital projects (we’re excited about the Web Fundamentals and the Javascript tracks.  Anyone up for API lessons?).

There will be a short briefing about Orbital on Thursday 21st Feb (this Thursday) from 6:10-7:00pm in Seminar Room 1. Please come with your questions, or if you can’t make it in person, attend the Google+ Hangout (named “NUS Orbital” at the same time.)

If you cannot be there physically or virtually, please fill out this form to register your interest and ask other questions: http://goo.gl/hLDVC

A key foundation of Orbital is intense involvement of student groups to help mentor prospective student teams.

Any student group helping to train on students on skills related to the program will be entitled to the workshop incentive scheme as communicated to your groups. If you feel that you can hold a training event that would be allied to the Orbital programme cause, please get in touch with the Orbital staff or nine undergraduate office for details.

Such training events can include using external websites, videos or exercises to train students.

STS-133_Discovery_Lift_Off_Launch_Pad_39A_KSCOrbital will also feature a kickoff event to start the summer semester. The kickoff event – named “Liftoff” – will feature a two-day series of workshops, a programming contest, and a pitch session.

Liftoff will happen during the first week after final exams in Sem 2. This is the week of 13 May.  Currently, we are planning to have Liftoff on that Monday and Tuesday, which will be the 13th and 14th of May.

The first day will feature workshops, run by student groups and industry professionals. The second day will feature a half day of workshops, external speakers, a programming contest, and the final pitching session.

The programming contest, Launch Window, will be a three-hour programming contest with student teams hack-it-out to build and simple application for a given theme.   Launch Window’s theme will be announced during the contest itself.  Teams must use the technology stack that has been taught during the first day of the workshops. The top teams decided by public votes for Launch Window will be the only teams eligible to participate in the Apollo 11 (advanced) scheme with mentors, but have no obligation to take up this role.

Liftoff will end with a project pitching session, Ignition. This pitching section is for both student teams as well as industry and school mentors to pitch their ideas. Both student teams and prospective mentors can give feedback on each other’s pitches; and in the case of Launch Window winners, can use the session to match with prospective mentors for the duration of the orbital program.  Ignition will follow a 1-minute madness format, in which teams will come on stage to present their pitch using at most two slides that they have prepared. Each pitch should last for no more than two minutes.

Note that Ignition is part of the assessment for Orbital, and accounts for 20% of the final S/U grade  The slides and the text of the pitch will need to be uploaded for grading and assessment.

There will be an optional mingling session for students, industry professionals and student mentors to converse about project ideas to close out Liftoff.

ISS_Flight_Control_Room_2006Orbital will also feature weekly hacking sessions during the summer semester. These sessions (named “Mission Control”) will be held in the evening hours on weekdays so that launchees can come together to work on their projects together.

Teaching assistants will be available during Mission Control sessions to answer questions and give feedback on projects.

TAs will also be present during Mission Control sessions on virtual collaboration software such as Google+ and Skype, as well as have dedicated time to answer questions on the askbot forum.

Details about the mission control sessions will be posted in the askbot forum when they become available.  Note that certain levels of achievement in Orbital require student teams to participate in mission control sessions.

Orbital will feature three levels of achievement that student teams self-select.  Prospective teams need to indicate their preferred level of achievement when they express their interest in the programme. The level for each team will be finalized shortly after the workshop/hackathon session, and students will be notified of the outcome.

gagarin50_insignia_vostokВосто́к (Vostok) (Easy/Beginner) – Attend at least 12 hours of workshops, complete a basic web application (following the Python + Google App Engine, or Javascript + Express, as outlined by our programme). Complete the weekly check-ins and monthly peer-grading exercises.  Participate in the end of summer showcase.  Must score a minimum of 2 stars on feedback given to other teams and on own peer-graded project.  Must show evidence of development progress in all three months of the programme.

(Восто́к was name of the series of spaceflight program started by the Soviet Union which was the first to successfully launch a human, Yuri Gagarin, into space, and return him safely to Earth).

200px-GeminiPatchProject Gemini (Intermediate) – Completes the milestones for Vostok, and extends it further, completing at least 4 additional extension milestones.  Possible extensions include but are not limited to: social integration, mobile client, iterative usability testing, application-specific feature extensions, multiple / administrative frontends, downloading of user data.  Must be active on either Slack or the Mission Control sessions.  Must score a minimum of 2 stars on feedback given to other teams. Must score a minimum of 3 stars on own peer-graded project.

(Gemini was the second manned spacecraft programme by the USA.  It launched ten missions between 1965-1966.  Neil Armstrong cut his chops in Project Gemini before returning in the USA’s Project Apollo series of missions.)

201px-Apollo_11_insigniaApollo 11 (Difficult/Advanced) – Custom project defined by either the student team or the mentoring staff.  Must fulfill requirements of Project Gemini while extending further.  Strong evidence of project management, data security, user testing and/or source code control.  Must render assistance to other teams, by participating on Slack and in the Mission Control (Where possible) sessions.  Must score a minimum of 3 stars on feedback given to other teams  Must score a minimum of 4 stars on own peer-graded project.

(Apollo 11 was the first mission by the US NASA agency to land a human on the moon, and safely return him to Earth.  The distinction of being the first men on the moon belongs to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.)

The selection of the difficulty level is binding in the case of teams opting to do Apollo 11 or Project Gemini with external mentorship; i.e., student teams that elect to do A11 or PG and but do not complete the necessary achievements as judged by the mentoring staff may be deemed to have failed the course.  This because mentorship involves industry professionals and/or student mentors (i.e., costs manpower to run).  Both A11 and PG level passes allow the team to bypass Round 1 interviews for the NUS Overseas Programme, as a recognition of the skills achieved by the team.

We do encourage inspired students to try for this highest level of achievement, as this will enhance their programming capabilities and inspire a higher level of confidence.  Students who complete Apollo 11 or Project Gemini may opt to continue this line of development in future coursework in the School’s set of Entrepreneurship modules.

Important Revisions

2016 – Added PG as eligible for mentorship.  2015 – Added NOC credits for PG and above.

(Insignia: courtesy Wikipedia)