Posted on June 9, 2015 by orbital

Ever wondered how Google is like? Is the food that awesome? Is the work-life balance really there? Are people nice there?

In this talk, our Engineer, Yuling, will talk about her experience since joining Google last year. In addition, she will share some interesting parts of Google that she found fascinating. For example, the process of doing code reviews, the usage of protocol buffers and the release cycles. Lastly, Yuling will share some advice, which would have been very useful for her if she had known 4 years ago.

Yuling was a computer science graduate from NUS in 2014, and is currently working as a software engineer in Maps iOS team in Google Tokyo.

You must have pre-registered to attend this talk.  If you did not pre-register, you might still be able to get to attend by emailing Google’s Claire Yue (address posted on Slack after the announcement).


Posted on May 18, 2015 by orbital

Yeah, so you missed part of Liftoff.  You’re partner had to cover for you (we heard a lot of partner trashing during Ignition…).  Or you wanted to be in both the T1 and T2 tracks at the same time.  Or perhaps you really really liked it (thanks!)

In any case, we have the solution for you.  We have recorded some of the Orbital sessions on to YouTube for your ease of reference and need for webcast.

Just follow the link to, or go to the Liftoff webpage to find it.  Videos are in reverse chronological order on the playlist.

Other sessions may have notes posted to our Slack team.

Posted on April 30, 2015 by orbital

As you will have noticed, Orbital 2015 is using Slack for communications.  Slack is like a chat client and organized into channels (something like old style IRC, if you are from that era).

We have seeded a few channels in our team for groups who want to meet like-minded groups to share ideas.  Join as many or as few as you like.  Advisors, Mentors and Tutors will be joining in channels that also meet their expertise or interests. Feel free to start your own channel using the #sig- prefix convention.

  • Sig-NUS – For teams working on NUS related projects (IVLE, NUSmods).
  • Sig-Cloud – For teams interested or using cloud computing components inclusive of IDEs, PaaS, SaaS (e.g., Cloud9,, Heroku, Amazon EC2, EngineYard)
  • Sig-Game – For teams interested in developing games (Unity, PyGame, HTML5 Canvas, PhaserIO)
  • Sig-HW – For teams (and other interested parties) whose projects might include a hardware component (e.g., quadcopters, smartwatch, arduino, raspberry pi, Lego Mindstorms)
  • Sig-Mobile – For teams interested in mobile app development (on iOS, Droid, etc.)
  • Sig-Web – For teams doing web development of sorts (any stack and any language; Py/GAE, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Py/Flask. PHP/CodeIgniter).

P.S. Finally, if you find Slack useful, you might want to use Slack to create your own team (n.b., not channel) for your own Orbital project, and invite your advisor to be a part.  Some of your seniors have found this platform useful for syncing up with project mates and it seems not to be blocked by certain authorities, specially helpful for teammates that are geographically spread out.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by orbital

Dear all, we’re excited to share with you that Amazon has awarded our course with credits for trying and using Amazon’s famous Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2).  Teams angling for a taste of EC2 will be assigned an account for US$100 for their work on their Orbital summer project.

Stay tuned for more details around the Liftoff workshop.  Looking forward to the exciting summer again!  We’re very excited to be supported by AWS in Education Grant award.

Posted on March 23, 2015 by orbital

NUS Overseas Colleges

Breaking News!  Gean shared with us at the briefing that NOC is prepared to let all Orbital students who achieve Project Gemini and above a straight exemption to Round 2 (final) selection interviews for the NOC programme.  Get your leg up on your application for this flagship NUS programme by participating in Orbital this summer!

This just in: NUS Overseas Colleges, the hallmark NUS programme that supercharges exchange programmes and local industrial experiences is in cahoots with SoC’s Orbital programme.  This means a big break for those of you angling for NOC.

NOC is a year-long overseas attachment at a global city that pairs you with a paid internship at start-up to learn firsthand the wide range of responsibilities needed, as well as giving you academic and entrepreneurial acumen as a student attached to a prestigious university.  In the two cities where Orbital students are often attached, that is NYU Poly for New York City and Stanford for Silicon Valley.  Such an experience will set you apart from many peers at other institutions but also from other peers within NUS and even SoC.

NOC Head of Marketing and Selection Processes Gean Chu will be coming to the Orbital briefing on the 11th to describe the pathways forward after Orbital.  She will give you the lowdown on NOC and describe why your Orbital summer gives you the leg-up on the application process for NOC.

Posted on March 10, 2015 by orbital

Image Credits: Taiwanese American . Org

Orbital registrations today put us over 100 students interested in the programme.  We are well on our way to another record-breaking year of student participation in Orbital.

Why not you too?  Drag your friends, buddies and peers to get your summer supercharged?  Register now!

P.S. – Don’t forget that for Orbital, there will be a mandatory 2-day workshop, Liftoff, that you must attend on the 11-12th of May at SoC, as communicated to you in the roadshows.  This is the Monday and Tuesday directly after final exams for Sem 2.  You are advised to extend your stay in your hall/hostel for a few days after exams are over to accommodate this requirement.

Posted on August 5, 2014 by orbital

Hi all,

Another opportunity to participate in a hackathon has just been announced. I’m relaying this message on behalf of NUS Interactive and Digital Media Institute (IDMI).  If you have any questions, please contact Kelvin Tan at


NUS Enterprise and SMRT present the first ever commuter experience Hackathon in Singapore and we invite you to hop on board.

Here’s your chance to realise your ideas and win attractive prizes at the same time:

  • Selected winners may receive up to S$120,000 for implementation of their ideas
  • Winners may enjoy NUS Enterprise’s exclusive Start-up support  for 3 months
  • Winners will also walk away with over $500 worth of prizes

We also welcome you to sign up for the exclusive pre-Commuthon event, Insider Tour, on 22 August 2014.

Discover what happens behind the scenes at SMRT, dialogue with SMRT representatives and go on an exclusive insider tour of the train, bus and taxi depots.

To register your interest and for more details, please log on to

For further enquiries, please email us at


NUS-SMRT Commuthon 2014
Organising Committee

Posted on July 23, 2014 by orbital

Introduction to Ruby on Rails

In the last set of Mission Control sessions, we’ll be bringing you up to date with alternative (web and mobile stack) technologies that you can consider for future projects.  

Muneer, one of our famed advisers, is going to be putting on his other cap as tutor and teaching you about the basics of Ruby on Rails (which happens to be Min’s favorite web stack).

Ruby on Rails features yet another language (Ruby) and yet another framework (Rails).  David Heinemeier Hansson of the famed Basecamp productivity software created Rails from code that he worked on.  Rails has been applied in famous projects — such as Twitter and Github — as part of their initial base code.  Learn how the mantra of “convention over configuration” gets a web framework’s initial magic done very very quickly.

While we’ll try to make the session webcasted, do try to come down for the session.  You’ll then be able to say you’re exposed to yet another language (coders should be multilingual ^_^, not just on their resume / CV).  Also, if you think others would be interested in seeing the tutorial, feel free to circulate the announcement.

See you soon!

Post-Session Edit:

– Document:
– Slides:
– Video:

Posted on July 18, 2014 by orbital

This coming week there are two optional events happening both at Blk 71, please check them out!

1. Introduction to Node.js
2. Friday Feeds at Blk 71

Hope to see some of you at the events!

Mission Control #10 – Introduction to Node.js

In the last set of Mission Control sessions, we’ll be bringing you up to date with alternative (web and mobile stack) technologies that you can consider for future projects.  

This week your fellow SoCian, Ng Zhi An from NUS Hackers, will be presenting a tutorial on Node.js.  Please come down and give him your support for this penultimate Mission Control session!

Node.js is a software platform for scalable server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript.

Node.js applications are designed to maximize throughput and efficiency, using non-blocking I/O and asynchronous events. Node.js is commonly used for real time applications due to its asynchronous nature, allowing applications to display information faster for users without the need for refreshing. One typical real time application of Node.js  is to use it as a chat server.

Node.js combined with a browser, a document DB (such as MongoDB or CouchDB) and JSON offers a unified JavaScript development stack.

This workshop is part of the NUS SoC Orbital Summer Programme.  Presenter: Mr Zhi An Ng, NUS Hackers.

Invitation to Friday Feeds

From Blk71.  They would like to invite all Orbitees down to Blk 71 for a free event.  Laksa is served!  Register here: