We would like to congratulate our colleague Liviu Barsan on succesfully passing his ISTQB (International Software Qualifications Board) examination. Liviu is now a Certified Tester and we are proud to have him in our team, as these newly aquired skills will ensure a higher quality of service provided to our customers.
Life after 3 months at F5 IT:
“The most valuable lesson was the importance of cooperation in solution development”
It’s been three months since F5 IT’s two interns Andrei Nicoara and Adrian Mocanu joined the team of developers located in Constanta. This was part of the company’s initiative to offer an opportunity to those who are still studying, or have just finished an IT related university to get more acquainted with the day to day work of a software programmer. At the same time Mihai Lita has joined the team as a new developer, covering the need for an experienced professional to help with the high number of on-going projects. Now that internship program is over, we wanted to find out from all three of them how the whole experience went. In short, they seem to all agree that Miruna Chivu, Oana Cristian, Mihaela Coman and Radu Cojocaru have done a great job in mentoring them, but emphasizes that the other team members were equally helpful and friendly.
Let’s find out more from them in the interview below:
Q: Mihai, how did the first months at F5 IT go?
Mihai: The first months went smoothly, and I’d like to think it’s because of everyone here, in F5 IT Constanta, as they’ve helped us integrate so easily.
Andrei and Adrian, this was your first job. How to you feel about the whole experience at F5 IT?
Andrei: It was a constructive experience from which I learnt new skills and how to work in a team.
Adrian: The experience at F5 IT was a wonderful opportunity for me to put into practice what I have learnt in college, to learn new things and to share knowledge with experienced programmers. Overall, I enjoyed the time spent here and most certainly it will prove to have been worthwhile.
Q: How do you see yourselves now as compared to your first day at F5?
Mihai: I, for one, feel much more confident in myself and my skills.
Andrei: I feel like I am more developed intellectually and socially.
Adrian: In my first day at F5 IT I was a fresh college graduate with no prior experience in solution development. Even though I had theoretical and technical knowledge of the matter, during the time spent at F5 IT, I have learnt how these things are put into practice and also, more important, or at least as important is the fact that I have learnt how to work in a team and share ideas with other people.
Q: What was it like to work on a new application, Smart Vacation Planner?
Mihai: It was an interesting project, and apart from the experience gained working with involved technologies, we learned to work as a team and to overcome any challenge that arise.
Andrei: It was pleasant, as I did not have any experience in the field and I had to start from ground level, developing my learning capacity and problem solving abilities.
Adrian: Working on the Smart Vacation Planner application has proven to be challenging for both my problem solving skills and my co-operative skills as I had to develop a solution together with my other two teammates. Working on this solution, I have also grasped the entire process through which an application goes from a mere idea to a real life solution.
Q: How was the interaction with your mentors, the F5 IT developers?
Mihai: Everyone we interacted with, not just the mentors, they were very nice to us and willing to help.
Andrei: Both the mentors and the colleagues were open to communicate and help every time I asked.
Adrian: The developers at F5 IT, not just our mentors, were always eager to answer our questions and also to share knowledge so I believe that the interaction has proven to be beneficial for both sides.
Q: What was the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt from your mentors or from the other members of the F5 IT team?
Mihai: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned was about respecting and valuing your team members, projects come and go but you’re still working with the same people every day, so accepting them is, in my opinion, one of the most important things. As a second lesson and of the same importance is the willingness to admit when you’re wrong or when you need help.
Andrei: The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt was how to adapt to a new working environment in the field of software development.
Adrian: I have learnt many things from the members of F5 IT. However I do consider that the most valuable thing I have learnt from them is the importance of cooperation in solution development, nothing is impossible as long as the minds of several people are set towards the same purpose.
New members at F5 IT
– Mihai, Andrei & Adrian have finished the first week of training –
Since the beginning of last week, F5 IT Constanta has expanded its team of experts with 3 new members. While Mihai Lita has joined F5 IT as a programmer, Adrian Mocanu and Andrei Nicoara are part of the Summer Internship Program which our company has developed in partnership with Ovidius University. For more information on the successful projects, the department of Mathematics and Informatics has helped us achieve, visit our previous blog entries. In order for them to get a proper training, the induction period was taken over by four F5 IT senior programmers: Razvan Mandache, Oana Cristian, Daniel Corsei and Mihaela Coman.
The overall experience seems to have been highly enjoyable by both the trainers and the trainees. In short, Adrian, Andrei and Mihai proved that they are not only fast learners, but also eager to assimilate as much information as possible. The first week of training was divided into daily session, each dedicated to a different technology. Given the success of the program, on Monday this week, the three new members have already started on an F5 IT project – a revolutionary App that is meant to help companies organise employees’ vacation periods more efficiently.
Let’s see what the mentors had to say about the training, followed by a short interview with the new members.
“I had a day of teaching them SQL. Regarding this technology, they seem to handle it great. We didn’t encounter any problems, as they all had some knowledge from University and they seem to easily understand the new knowledge I transmitted them. I think they will all do well in the new project from the SQL perspective. On Friday we had a brief overview of everything the interns had learned in the previous days of the week. They started to work on a small project in order to review all the technologies implied in the new project they will start working on this week.”- Oana Cristian
Razvan Mandache shares Oana’s confident opinion and the three trainees will be a great addition to the team, due to the positive way the reacted to training.
„I was in charge of their training on Tuesday, when I gave them an introduction into AngularJS. In addition to this, I offered my support to the other mentors whenever it was needed and participated in the review on Friday. All three of the interns performed a great job. They seem very willing to learn and eager to start working on the Smart Vacation Planner project”- Razvan
F5 IT’s programmers get to improve their mentoring abilities
Mihaela Coman mentioned that the experience was highly useful for the programmers involved. In her view, the fact that the three interns had different levels of experience has given those in charge of the learning sessions the chance to improve their training abilities.
„This internship is useful not only for our interns but also for us, the programmers. We learned to have different approaches depending on the knowledge each intern/new employee has. After this first week, I can say that they are eager to learn new things and even if almost everything is new for them, they seem to like the way we handle things. I was their trainer on their first day in F5 IT and I had to explain to them several basic ideas about the company, as well offer some details on how we operate internally. During the first part of the day, we had to do some configurations (connected to VSO, installed the IIS, SQL Management Studio and all the tools we need to start coding) and after that I showed them some code, how we handle tasks in visual studio online and started a discussion based on a project I’m working at this moment. The next 3 days covered the technologies we use in F5 IT and the last day, the interns and our new colleague had to create a simple app from scratch. This was meant to make them familiarize with the technologies and also to make them a bit more confident and open toward asking our help when needed.”- Mihaela Coman
In the interview below, we took into consideration the fact that Mihai has over 5 years of experience in the field of Oracle Development and challenged him to offer some tips to his training colleagues. We were also interested to know what motivated Adrian and Andrei to join the F5 IT team as interns and all three’s general view on their first week with our team.
What kind of software development do you like the most? (web, mobile, gaming, security)
Mihai Lita: For me, I must say that web development is the most appealing, but I’m always trying to keep an open mind and try new technologies.
Adrian Mocanu: I don’t really have a preference for a particular kind of software applications, but I do enjoy any application that turns out to be a challenge for my problem-solving capabilities.
Andrei Nicoara: I think all software development is interesting, but my favourites would be gaming and web.
What made you decide to join the Internship program?
Adrian: The main reason behind my decision to join the internship program was to start applying what I have learned during college in real life applications. Besides that, I also wanted to start learning from and share knowledge with experienced programmers.
Andrei: I was motivated by my curiosity for working in the field and the fact that I want to develop my abilities as a developer.
What did you learn during your first week?
Mihai: I’ve learned about F5 internal procedures and standards, but also found out something new in AngularJS.
Andrei: We learned the basics of web applications development, as well as the technologies used within F5 IT.
Which programming language are you most eager to start working with?
Given your experience as a developer, what advice can you give Andrei and Adrian for a successful career in the field of IT?
Mihai: My advice for Andrei and Adrian is to never stop learning because IT industry is constantly changing, you must adapt in order to stay up to date and you should never stop to challenge yourself in order to succeed in any organization.
The winning projects at the Technology of Information Competition – ESTIC
The ESTIC competition took place in Constanta, on the 21st of May and was organized by Ovidius University’s Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. This event was dedicated to high school and college students from Constanta county. Given our long and close collaboration with Ovidius University, F5 IT was a second time sponsor of the Estic contest. The day started with a introductory speech by Associate Professor Dr. – Elena Pelican. She highlighted the importance of organizing events for students with the help of companies that are active locally in the field of IT. This aspect is highly relevant to us as well and so far we have carefully planed together Ovidius events such as: Open Day in 2014, Technologies presentation, Career days in 2015 and Live coding session in 2016.
Getting back to the ESTIC events, we are pleased to inform that all of those who participated received diplomas and the most ambitious projects were rewarded with interesting prizes. The winners were eager to share their ideas with us. Let’s have a look at the best projects, as described by their developers.
BusyTrack Discography Manager
By Radu Salagean
“BusyTrack Discography Manager is a product designed for music collectors and is built around the idea of offering a simple, easy to use tracking tool for the releases they own or want to purchase. Unlike the service that it uses to fetch data, Discogs provides the following stand-out features:
– OFFLINE support for releases saved in your Library / Wishlist
– A simpler, faster and more intuitive way of searching and viewing data about releases
– An auto-generated Artist Pie Chart for releases saved in your Library
– An auto-generated Timeline Bar Chart for releases saved in your Library
– Offers a greater sense of achievement for music collectors thanks to the personalized charts
– The ability to keep track of your record collection without the need to create a user account
BusyTrack Discography Manager’s main features:
– Search for your favorite artist and quickly display their discography or search directly for a release. Data is being fetched from the world’s largest crowdsourced database of information about audio recordings, Discogs
– If a release has multiple versions associated, you can select the desired version
– Open any release/ version and view more information about it, including Country, Genre, Styles, Tracklist, Identifiers and Cover Scans
– Save any release/ version to your Library or Wishlist
– Move a recently-purchased release from your Wishlist to your Library
– Watch YouTube videos associated with that release (Online Mode only) and open them in a separate browser window
– Open Hi-Res pictures in separate windows (Online Mode only)
– View Statistics related to Discogs’ database, your Library and your Wishlist. There is also an auto-generated Pie Chart for your Library that displays the percentage and number of releases from each artist present in your Library and a Bar Chart that displays the number of releases stored in your library for each year
– Offline support for releases already saved in your Library / Wishlist
Technologies used in BDM:
SQLite Database (Local Data Storage)
Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)
ControlsFX 8.40.10 (Notifications)
Google Gson (JSON serialization/ deserialization library)
Javassist (Java bytecode manipulation)
ea-agent-loader (Java agent dynamic loader)
By Bogdan Mangri
The Island is a Multiplayer First Person Shooter game developed by me for educational purposes. The goal was to learn how to develop a game using the Unity game engine and C#. The models and materials used are either provided by them or obtained from their asset store for free. The idea behind the game is a man who wakes up on an island by himself with nothing more than a couple of guns and has to survive. Up until now I have implemented three game modes: death match, last man standing and control point. In the death match mode, you don’t have any rules. Anybody can connect and start shooting at each other, scoring kills. In case you die, you just simply increase your death counter and respawn. Your position on the scoreboard is reflected by kills/death ratio. The last man standing mode requires at least two players that to connected in a room in 90 seconds. After that, the room is locked and the only way to win the game is by being the last man alive. Note that once you die, you automatically lose and get disconnected from the room. For the control point mode, you have two rooms that increase your score over time making them very high impact points and also two different kinds of AI controlled monsters that hunt you. Note that the mode is free for all, meaning that anyone can shoot anyone. The game concludes after 10 minutes and the person with the most points wins the game. These points are obtained by either killing AI monsters, other players or controlling a point. Each player has 100 health points and dies when they reach 0 health points. Right now I have a couple of guns available for each player: a Thompson and a M1A1. Each one of them has a different fire rate, bullet caliber and magazine.
At this moment the game is on its Alpha state, but after further polishing I intend to release it on Steam Greenlight, hoping it will receive a positive review from the gaming community.
Implementing the DFS algorithm to detect cycles in ERD and handling reflexivity for composed functions in MatBase – Access version
By Sabina Maria Motoc
This project ensures the plausibility of data in a database. In designing a database Entity Relationship Diagrams are used. Many non-relational constraints are associated to these diagrams. For example, if the reflexive function Country ° Capital is not enforced users can save New York as the capital of Canada, Budapest as capital of Romania, and so on. With the use of the DFS (Depth First Search) algorithm composed functions are selected and reflexivity is enforced where needed. To enforce reflexivity MatBase is used, which is a prototype data and knowledge management system. The used version is Access.
In the standard data update forms which correspond to the tables representing collections of nodes of their respective circular cycle a call to a method from the constraint library which denies any attempt to violate the reflexivity of the corresponding compound function is automatically generated. Thus, the user can solve the problem of reflexivity for any reflexive function of any length with a single click without the need to manually write code in every form.
by Sburlan Andrei-Florin from “Mircea cel Bătrân” National College
FaceTracker is set to accomplish a task that may seem simple to us humans, but is rather tricky for computers: recognizing faces. While detecting faces is somewhat a simple task using the “popular” cascade classifiers and OpenCV, in live video feed the detection is made frame by frame and the computer does not track the movement of the faces detected previously. Cascade classifiers have a big flaw: while they are efficient, training them to detect a specific object or face can take up to days. In my application, I used some preloaded cascades to detect the faces in the live video feed my phone camera was providing. The user could select a face of choice, whose important characteristics were obtained by the ORB feature detector and extractor. After the extraction, for each face detected I compared their characteristics to the ones previously computed. Of course, this process returned a lot of bad matches which I had to filter. For the purpose of my app, I only had to implement the ratio test and the RANSAC homography test. The efficiency of the program comes from the combination of the 2 methods: cascade classifiers and feature detectors. The slow feature detector is used only for small parts of the source image, which the cascade classifier makes sure contain faces, this way reducing the searching space.
By Ilicea Anca-Stefania & Ciobanu Maria from Theoretic Highschool “Callatis” in Mangalia
Technology represents an interesting and entertaining alternative to studying. To sum up, “Funny physics” invites its users to experience and learn together in an attractive and funny way.