Posts tagged "Sonar Team Spotlight"
Sonar Team Spotlight: Mark
It’s been a busy week on Sonar’s blog! But guess what? We’ve got one another Sonar Spotlight for you, this time featuring Mark Ha, one of our awesome engineering interns. Mark was born in Canada, raised in Massachusetts, and is one year away from graduating from Princeton University.
You’ll be a college senior in the Fall - exciting! What do you study?
I’m a Computer Science major and have also taken a lot of East Asian Studies classes. I’m learning Chinese and Korean.
As a Computer Science major, what kinds of projects have you worked on?
This past year, I did two Junior Papers (JPs) - research projects or papers that Princeton students have to complete during their junior year on a topic in their major. For my first JP, I made a two-player Tetris game for Android, where you are shown your opponent’s game alongside your own. My second JP was a mini-library that helps other new Android developers establish a peer-to-peer connection between two phones more easily - in other words, a shortcut to hook two phones up over wireless.
That’s pretty cool. What do you work on here at Sonar?
Since Sonar is primarily an iPhone app, I’m working on the getting the Android beta up to speed. In terms of the work I do, it’s all client side, so that’s everything that goes on on your phone when you download our app. Client side takes all of the information from our server, processes it, and then displays it to the user in a pretty and hopefully meaningful way. It also takes the user’s interactions and decides what to do with them - if you swipe your finger across the screen, where should I take you? If you go to the Places page in Sonar, what should I display to you and how? Pretty much anything the user does, I have to take into account and act accordingly.
Now our Android users know who to thank :) So what do you like to do for fun?
As for hobbies, I mostly just play videogames in my free time - PC, console, whatever’s convenient and whatever I’m feeling at the time. I’m a big fan of Blizzard games, in particular Starcraft.
Have you ever been to a Starcraft tournament?
I used to compete for Princeton’s team in the Collegiate Starleague, a college Starcraft league for the US and Canada that I also helped run for 3 years. Last year, there were over 300 schools in the league, and there will probably be 400 or 500 this year. The Princeton team has done pretty decently in the past, especially considering there are only 15-20 regular members on the team, and only about half of them are serious about competing. Other than that, I’ve also been to a bunch of Starcraft tournaments to spectate. I played in a League of Legends college team as well for a bit, but just play for fun now.
Tomorrow is the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. Which events are you looking forward to the most?
I’m a big tennis fan, so I’m probably most excited for that. Other than that, I’m looking forward to basketball, gymnastics, and swimming.
Sweet - who are you rooting for in tennis?
Federer’s the man.
Thanks for chatting with us, Mark!
Sonar Team Spotlight: Wynne
Happy Friday, friends!
We’re capping off the week with a Sonar Team Spotlight on Wynne (pronounced “Winnie”) Chan, Sonar’s product designer. Wynne was born in New York City but grew up in upstate New York. She moved back to the City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and has lived here since. Outside of work, Wynne likes to make pottery and knit. Read on to learn more!
That’s cool that you went to FIT! What did you study there?
I started off in Fine Arts, then switched to Communication Design, which is what they called Graphic Design back then. At my first few jobs, I learned HTML and front-end development - that’s where I got my web design skills.
Neat. What do you do here at Sonar?
I do product design. I design Sonar’s features, interface, interactions - basically, what you see and how you use the App. It’s like graphic design mixed with user experience. I also made the website. My main tools are Illustrator and Photoshop, and I also code HTML and CSS.
When it comes to designing, are you influenced at all by your background in art or inspired by any things in particular?
I’m usually inspired by fashion or architecture. They’re the oldest forms of design. I like to look at architecture and fashion and break down what makes a building or piece of clothing successful and important. Then I try to see what the equivalent of that is in interaction or product design. With clothes, the most important thing isn’t the pattern or color, it’s the cut. That’s how I like to think about design. If you compare fashion to interaction design, in fashion, the cut is the most important part, because it’s the form, and in interaction design, the user experience is the most important part, and you build on top of that.
That’s really interesting, I’ve never thought about design that way. Do you have any fashion advice for us?
I like buying clothes that I could wear in 10 years and still get compliments on because that means they’re timeless. I also like very basic pieces so I don’t have to think about how to put my outfit together in the morning. I’m not a morning person.
What’s your interaction with Sonar like outside of work?
When I see my friends on Sonar, I like to say hi and see how they’re doing. My favorite part is when I’m meeting up with people and waiting for them, I’ll know if they’re far away or close by and whether I should text them. Sometimes they’re only a couple blocks away, so I don’t text them. Or if I see them near a store and coming my way, I may ask them to pick something up for me. I like not having to ask people where they are.
That does sound really useful! Also, when people say they’re “on their way,” you can check to see whether they’ve actually left their house or not.
Yeah. When you’re waiting for someone, if they’re a minute away, you can wait, but if they’re 5 minutes away, you can go do something.
Thanks for chatting, Wynne! Before we go, what’s your current pottery or knitting project?
I’m working on making sets in pottery - either a set of bowls, a tea set, or a set of plates. I’m learning how to be consistent and make things the way I want them and not letting them just form because I can’t control what I’m doing. One thing that interests me about pottery is the fact that it’s 3-D, versus the 2-D stuff I do on the computer. I can make a perfect circle on the computer, but not a perfect sphere in real life!