tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:/posts JP Mugizi 2022-01-31T17:38:27Z Jean-Paul Mugizi tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:Post/1789757 2022-01-31T17:38:27Z 2022-01-31T17:38:27Z Through the Archives : Hackathons and Startup Weekends 2011-2014

In 2013, just a year before I graduate from college,  hackathons were all the rage. Naturally, I participated in a lot of them and ended up not only making new friends but also learning a lot in the process. There are trails of artifacts(youtube videos, blogs, etc.) of me participating in these events. Unfortunately, some of the links were taken down but here is what I found.

Earlham College 2013: Intel Hackathon Code For Good

I spent a weekend at Earlham College working on a project with other students from across ohio colleges and universities. The representative of Intel asked me to write about my experience. It was published on the Intel Blog. I couldn't find the exact entry, but I did find an archive of it online

Here is what it said:

My name is Jean Paul Mugizi. I am a junior at Miami University of Ohio majoring in Software Engineering. Attending the Intel Hackathon 2013 has been a unique experience for me as I chance to network with students from Erlham College, Indiana University, and Miami University working together to write a data visualization board for climate trends.

The beauty of computer science is the variety of tools available to tackle problems. There is no one set way of solving problems. We have decided to  Combine individual knowledges and divide into teams that are going to tackle pieces of the problem(back-end, front-end, and communication between the two) and fit them together at the end to produce a robust data vizualization web application. One thing that is unique about the experience is how much fun we are having doing it. During our breaks, we played ultimate frisbee, streaks 'N tips, and listened to music.

So far, my team is working on a  back-end set up using  an SQL database holding weather data containing things such as temperature, longitude, latitude, altitude, city, state, and date/time of occurence. An another team is working on a front-end using Twitter Bootstrap, Google Maps API, and  jqplot to take the data from the database and display it visualy to show climate trends and weather patterns.

This is definitely a fun-filled 24 hours and I have enjoyed spend time with not only  motivated and  brilliant  classmates to do something meaningful that can be used in the long-term to tackle climate change problems, but also learn from industry experts and professors about creative and innovative  ways of solving such problems. It is still a work in progress and I am hoping to get as much out of the remaining time as I have in the past 7 hours.

Update 03:00am:

- PostGresSQL(our relational database) is up and running! Also, PHP 5.3 and LittleFe Server have been set-up and ready to go.We are also now able to parse data from different weather websites using a Perl script to write them in XML data representation so that they can be plotted in a database using Insert statements  We have also parsed SQL queries into JSON representations that the front-end developers are going to call in order to access that data

- As far as front-end goes, a separate team has been able to make a visual climate trend using JqPlot and add three weather data components(temperature,precipitation, and Carbon Dioxide). They are now trying to find a creative way to represent those three components distinctively. For instance, they are thinking of using different colors for temperatures(red for high, yellow for medium, and blue for low) and colored triangles or square for other datas. We have still thinking various ideas of doing such representation in a manner that the user understand the best. Keep in mind that Twitter Boostrap also allows for responsive design, so this takes care of automatic resizing when moving from a computer to a tablet or tablet to smartphone and vice-versa.

Stay in touch for more updates soon!

StartUp Kirkland Sameday Global Pitch (2013)

In my second internship in the Seattle-Bellevue area, I went to a weekend startup pitch competition where a couple folks and I presented about Sameday Global: you can think of it as Uber for small international shipments. Essentially, instead of you paying exorbitant amounts to ship a package to another country via DHL/FedEx, you could give the package to a person traveling to that destination so they can take it for you. It could be a small fracture of the price that you pay today, but carries a few logistical and security concerns that couldn't be addressed during the 48hours of the pitch competition.

We won 3rd Place.

You can check out the full presentation on youtube at this link 

HackGT Fall 2014 - Georgia Tech

Now, this was a LOT of fun! I flew in from Dayton, Ohio to Atlanta, GA after I was offered a hackathon scholarship by the awesome folks who organize HackGT. I met Nohtal(leftmost), Manav, and Tejas that night at the Klaus Advanced Computing Building where the hackathon was being held. We were awake for 48 hours laughing, hacking on data viz projects, pivoting,and generally just having this sense of camaderie and enthusiam on what's possible in computer science. 

After the hackathon, I've kept in touch periodically with my hacker bros through Facebook and wow, what an impressive brilliant group of folks. Nohtal and Manav went on to start successful world changing companies : Rise Robotics and Memora Health respectively. It was one of the most memorable moments of my computer science education and I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with them.

JP Mugizi
tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:Post/1593803 2020-09-13T16:22:47Z 2021-07-22T05:16:35Z On Context Switching And Distractions

Distractions are all around us. In this day and age, it is almost impossible to carve out an uninterrupted good chunk time to work on complex projects that require deep focus. Can you relate to this calendar: one-on-one with your manager on Monday at 1pm, company all hands on Wednesday at 11am, a tech talk on Thursday at 3pm, compliance training at 2pm on Friday.Between  large meetings and other smaller ones scattered through the day, you have 1-hour slots to focus on project work. After each meeting,  your mind continues to wander; you feel distracted and not sure where you left off. By the time you come back to the present,  you realize that it is Friday at 5pm and you have not made any progress on your work. Context switching  is a productivity issue that affects almost everyone in a creative or analytical role. It is also personal and people deal with it differently.  

JP Mugizi
tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:Post/1535311 2020-04-25T04:29:45Z 2022-01-26T04:56:10Z My Experience with COVID-19 in New York City

Two weeks into  march 2020, I got sick with the novel coronavirus(COVID-19). I live in Brooklyn and New York City is considered  the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.The scene of ambulances and eerily quiet from otherwise bustling streets has been hallowing. Fortunately, I fully recovered and felt that it was my obligation as a young person who was shaken by the experience, especially while navigating the strained New York hospital system during this tragic time, to share my experience.

JP Mugizi
tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:Post/1532665 2020-04-18T03:04:33Z 2022-01-26T04:58:37Z I returned Home After a Decade

It was mid-July in 2017. The exact dates are still blurry as I have spent most of my time in the clouds, both literally and figuratively. I flew with Ethiopian Airlines which is the Toyota of airlines: very reliable and gets you where you need to go on time, but don’t expect to stretch your legs too far or catch a good night’s sleep. I wouldn’t be complaining either if it wasn’t for the long layovers in Addis-Ababa at Bore International Airport. You can already tell that this is an airport that was going through extensive transformation. One reviewer online( mentioned that “it has the appearance of an overcrowded train station where no one really knows what is happening” and that is as close to how my impression as you can get.

JP Mugizi
tag:blog.mugizi.com,2013:Post/1532664 2020-04-18T02:56:02Z 2022-01-26T04:59:26Z Lessons From Troubleshooting High-Throughput Cloud Data Systems Collaboratively

This is a professional writing sample that  I submitted for a graduate school application. I am choosing to put it in the World.

JP Mugizi