What have I learned from CS3216?

First of all, I would like to say this “Unless you’re willing to sacrifice your FYP, please do not take CS3216 (or any Prof. Ben’s module) during your last semester (FYP due semester). Although it’s quite fun to take Prof. Ben’s words literally “Grades are not important”, I think the more appropriate phrase should be “Grades are not that important”. After all, if you are already getting a third class honours and above, the worst thing that can happen if you flunk all the other modules is to get a third class honours. But if you don’t even have a third class honours, maybe grades became slightly more important. As much as we are inspired by Steve Jobs and people who’ve dropped out of school to start their business (and be very successful and rich).

The fact remains that we are NOT in the United States of America. The society over here is just not that forgiving. Besides, I doubt the infrastructure here is ready to support such brave endeavours. But .. but… granted maybe what we need is just a jolt, maybe what all of us need is to have the first mover, maybe everything will change when a Eastern Steve Jobs or Eastern Bill Gates began hitting the newspapers headlines. I guess that’s what Prof. Ben is advocating throughout the whole semester.

So what have I learned after one semester crazy CS3216?

  1. Social Passion – It’s through the many researches that I’ve done for the final project that I’ve discovered the book “Creating a World without Poverty – Muhammad Yunus“. Before this, I’ve always considered money as the source of all evil. Thus if it’s not because I need to eat to survive and to eat I need to use money, I will rather not use money at all. Ask me to venture into business where the end goal is to maximize profit? Nah… not in a ten thousand years. But It’s through CS3216 that I’ve began to see an alternative way of using money as the means for an end. The idea of Social Business is very compelling. The idea of it adopting a non-dividend and non-loss model is something that my conscience gladly accepts.  It’s like I’ve opened another door where it’s full of opportunities.
  2. Video Editing Skill – After Effects
  3. Click here to see my production (using After Effects)
  4. If you know what you are doing, it’s not too daunting to step out of your own comfort zone. Most often than not, people like me just need a slight nudge to start the motivation engine.
    1. Joined many competitions
      1. Microsoft Photo360 – PhotoSynth
      2. Imagine Cup Digital Media – Currently @ Round 2 “Prevention is better than Protection
      3. Imagine Cup Software Design – Regional Semi-Finals “argora
      4. Various Photography Competitions
  5. Team Vision is crucial! Add-on to my previous teamwork principle of “It’s more enjoyable to work with a not-so-talented person who is equally passionate than a damn-talented person who is not as passionate”.
    1. Feelings aside, a real talented person can really mesmerize you with his/her ability, no joke.
  6. Communications is crucial in a team project, especially when the project time frame is so short. Somehow, meeting up and talk in person can be more efficient at times.
  7. Rediscover my own passion – media as memory captor
    1. It’s truly fulfilling to be able to drive a stake in the writing of a part of history
  8. How little I know about Software Engineering & Progamming (Yes, I’m a noob [but I was the Tech Guru back then… oh well, I guess all these are relative]
  9. key lesson in leadership– putting a team together and making things happen
    1. The best person to be a leader is the person who brought the team together
  10. Reaffirm my drive to challenge the norm – it helps when there’s a whole class of crazy people that tries to challenge the norm together with you. Oh ya, not forgetting the class mentor who constantly psycho all of us to step out of our comfort zone.
  11. Reaffirm what I really like– to camp @ a place with a group of people all striving towards a common goal. I don’t mind living my whole life doing something like that! (That’s why I think work-life balance is irrelevant if work=life)
    1. Workoholic? Ha. maybe.
  12. The prospect of Argora is incredible and I fully believe in its potential to revolutionise the world, finally breaking the language barrier.

    A community-driven online meeting-place with integrated translation support that facilitate people to seek and share social causes. A universal translation solution that combine the essence of Wiki, Blog, Digg and Forum. We strive to break the language barrier.
  13. More? Many more… Some of it quite hard to put into words. Suffices to say, CS3216 has changed my goal bearings significantly. Ahoy adventure ahead!

Thank you Prof. Ben for such a wonderful experience this semester. Thank you TAs (KokWee, SuYuen, YanJie, YuenHoe, and Jason) for all the hard work, heartfelt thanks, I know it’s tough to be doing all the behind-the-scenes work. Thank you ZiHan and Chris Henry for the workshop session. Thank you all CS3216 classmates, I think I’ve found the perfect group of people for my mental acrobatics exercise. Stay tune.

After reading some of blogs post by fellow classmates. I think it’ll be good to cross-compare what I have learned to my first post for CS3216 “What I hope to learn in CS3216

    1. Programming
      1. Comparing myself with my fellow classmates, I guess I’ve learned much less about programming. I guess it’s a side effect of my own doing as well. Every assignment I am so privileged to work with programmers that are a million times more ZAI than myself.  But having said that, I did gain a lot of invaluable knowledge about software development. At least I am able to understand much more jargon than before. I’m so proud of myself as I am able to understand the API manuals etc.
      2. Although I’m still lightyears behind in terms of being a real programmer, I am not ready to give up just yet. I’m considering taking CS1101S next semester, possible?
    2. Learn more about how to learn from learned people
      1. This hope of mine has been fulfilled 10 times over, with all the precious talks with REAL entrepreneurs and industry experts. Suffices to say, I’m now more equipped with tools that’ll help me learn better in my future endeavours.
    3. build networks
      1. Sandbox-network (thanks ZhiHan)
      2. Thanks to my video skills, I’ve managed to cast my net far and wide
        1. CS3216 classmates (that’s 40+ nodes to many more opportunities)
        2. Prof. Ben (major node)
        3. The many TAs (important nodes)
        4. *REAL* Entrepreneurs (crucial nodes)
    4. collaborative social media platform
      1. sadly I didn’t manage to realize this idea of mine, but like what Prof. Ben have said, “Ideas are cheap, it’s the execution that matters“. So, probably after Imagine Cup, I should start executing my idea already!

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Digital Preservation #digipres. IT guy at @AFA_Archive Asian Film Archive. Malaysian news. PC games.

7 thoughts on “What have I learned from CS3216?”

  1. It’s ironic that everyone is striving to ace this module when more importantly, as advocated by Ben, the crux is what we take away from this journey. (I hope I am not putting words in anyone’s mouth.) As long as everything is under your game plan, proving to others all the time is not a priority. This may sound cliché, but honestly, it’s just the beginning.

  2. Hey josh, that’s for sharing what you have learned. It’s amazing.

    More importantly knowing you as a person, I find that you are a person with a spirit that is larger than Life itself and you are also very passionate and committed in what you do. Also, you are talented in visual communications and have a good sense of right and wrong. Use that to the fullest!

    Keep blazing trails!

    Love and cheers,

  3. “Unless you’re willing to sacrifice your FYP, please do not take CS3216 (or any Prof. Ben’s module) during your last semester (FYP due semester)”

    Yeah, tell me about it!
    But it worked out fine for me – I chose the wrong FYP, but I chose the right breadth…

  4. I think a lot of us can relate to classes. There are a few professors who I especially hated. I actually hated how time consuming the projects were and how I was pushed to the edge over them. I now look back and think to myself that it really wasn’t that hard and the classes I took were easy compared to some of the things I do professionally now. If it weren’t for my hard headed professors, I wouldn’t be doing what I do today. Good luck with the rest of your classes, I hope that things continue to go well.

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