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What I will be up to this fall

September 6, 2016 · 4 min

School has finally kicked off again, and I am now starting my third year at Software Engineering at Chalmers. After a rainy summer of working at Ericsson, I must say that it feels great to be back! This fall will be packed with activities for me, and this blog post will tell you everything about what I will be up to for the following months.

Courses this study period

I have two courses this study period (as is customary): Algorithms and Technology for a sustainable global community. The first one is actually a master's course, but I have opted for taking it during my bachelor's instead, while the second one is mandatory for all students of my programme. I am anticipating the algorithms course to be the more interesting one (by far), but I hope that both courses turn out to be useful in the end!

Surview

I never wrote a blog post about this, but before summer me and a few friends from school won the Jury's Choice award at Gothenburg Startup Hack with our product Surview. I won't go into detail about the product itself, but our vision is to make customer surveys more like conversation-like, by combining the technology of chatbots with modern channels of communication, starting with regular text messaging.

The main prize at the hack (aside from $10,000 in AWS credits) was a guaranteed spot at Chalmers Ventures' Startup Camp this fall. Unfortunately the camp has been since been cancelled, but we will continue working with Surview nonetheless!

CETAC

Right before summer I joined this organization at Chalmers called CETAC. The organization aims to help students at Chalmers get internships in the US. As a member I will get help with finding an internship and applying for a visa, and I will also receive a scholarship, provided that I pull in enough money to the organization by selling ads and events to companies that want to market themselves towards students at Chalmers.

After visiting San Francisco this spring and seeing how much of a Mecca for Software Engineering it really is, I am super excited for an opportunity to get to work there (even if only for a limited period of time). Working for a year in The Valley is exactly what I want right now, and I think that it would refill my now partly depleted vial of study motivation.

Mailbase

Mailbase is a side project that I am working on with my good friend Jonathan, and it is a web service for sending bulk emails. It aims to be a simpler and cheaper alternative to MailChimp.

Jonathan takes care of everything frontend while I wrestle with the backend stuff. The backend is powered by Node.js, and I'm taking this as an opportunity to fiddle with all the tools and technologies that are involved in modern JavaScript development, like transpiling, linting, ES6/ES7 features, and possibly even some static type checking.

Both me and Jonathan are busy most of the time, but I am hoping to get at least some development done on Mailbase during the fall, so that we can try out the service sharply with our first customer!

blk

blk is small terminal application that I have written that makes it a breeze to block distracting websites. Features include, but are not limited to, being able to block websites for a set period of time and to block a list of websites from a file.

I have probably put way more time and effort into this small script than I should have, considering its current features, but it has been a fun process and I have learnt a lot about bash scripting in general when working on it. I have some plans for how I would like blk to work, and when I feel done I am planning to publish it to Show HN.

mats.hgbrg.se, Haskell, and writing a functional static site generator

Earlier this year I started developing my personal website and the script that I use to generate this blog. When I started developing this Python script I really only had a blurry vision of what I wanted to accomplish, and I have since then hatched a plan for how to make this build tool a bit more sophisticated. This plan involves building the website in a pure functional manner by chaining together function calls. While Python can still definitely be used for this, I see it as an excellent opportunity to learn more about Haskell, which just happens to be the language that we are going to use in the Functional programming course that I'm taking the next study period. I have skimmed through the tutorial over at learnyouahaskell.com, and I feel like I am starting to get a grip of how the language works. Next up is trying to get a working prototype of my build script up using Haskell instead of Python!


So, now you know of all the things that will occupy me during this fall. I have some more ideas for projects that I want to hack on, but these are the main ones that I have going on right now. One more thing: I will try to write at least one blog post each week documenting my progress both in school and on my various projects, so stay tuned!