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Microsoft Technology Associate Status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals Achieved!

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At 10:00am On 3/22/18 I attended the Certiport certification lab presented by Certiport at the 2018 NCCIA Conference located at Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Tyler Dockery Achieves MTA status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals

MTA status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals Achieved!

I chose to attempt this exam because of my knowledge of core HTML5 client application development skills that will run on today’s touch-enabled devices (PCs, tablets, and phones). Although HTML is often thought of as a web technology that is rendered in a browser to produce a UI, this exam seemed to focus on using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to develop client applications. I felt confident to take this exam, because I had a solid foundation of knowledge of HTML5 & CSS3, but expected some issues with JavaScript. Since I teach and have hands-on experience with these technologies and since I’ve been working in the field of web design since 2000, I felt I’d have a fair handle on this. While I did not have a ton of experience with Microsoft Visual Studio, I felt I could do well.

The Official Breakdown of Subject Matter

Microsoft’s official exam page for this test: MTA EXAM 98-375 outlines the following fundamentals will possibly be covered:

Manage the application life cycle (20–25%)

  • Understand the platform fundamentals
    • Packaging and the runtime environment: app package, app container, credentials/permission sets, host process, leverage existing HTML5 skills and content for slate/tablet applications
  • Manage the state of an application
    • Manage session state, app state, and persist state information; understand states of an application; understand the differences between local and session storage
  • Debug and test an HTML5-based, touch-enabled application
    • Touch gestures; understand which gestures you test on a device

Preparation resources

Build the user interface (UI) by using HTML5 (25–30%)

  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to display text content
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to display graphics
    • When, why, and how to use Canvas; when, why, and how to use scalable vector graphics (SVG)
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to play media
    • Video and audio tags
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to organize content and forms
    • Tables, lists, sections; semantic HTML
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags for input and validation

Preparation resources

Format the user interface by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) (20–25%)

  • Understand the core CSS concepts
    • Separate presentation from content (create content with HTML and style content with CSS); manage content flow (inline versus block flow); manage positioning of individual elements( float versus absolute positioning); manage content overflow (scrolling, visible, and hidden); basic CSS styling
  • Arrange UI content by using CSS
    • Use flexible box and grid layouts to establish content alignment, direction, and orientation; proportional scaling and use of “free scale” for elements within a flexible box or grid; order and arrange content; concepts for using flex box for simple layouts and grid for complex layouts; grid content properties for rows and columns; use application templates
  • Manage the flow of text content by using CSS
    • Regions and using regions to flow text content between multiple sections (content source, content container, dynamic flow, flow-into, flow-from, msRegionUpdate, msRegionOverflow, msGetRegionContent); columns and hyphenation and using these CSS settings to optimize the readability of text; use “positioned floats” to create text flow around a floating object
  • Manage the graphical interface by using CSS
    • Graphics effects (rounded corners, shadows, transparency, background gradients, typography, and Web Open Font Format); two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) transformations (translate, scale, rotate, skew, and 3-D perspective transitions and animations); SVG filter effects; Canvas

Preparation resources

Code by using JavaScript (30–35%)

  • Manage and maintain JavaScript
    • Create and use functions; jQuery and other third-party libraries
  • Update the UI by using JavaScript
    • Locate/access elements; listen and respond to events; show and hide elements; update the content of elements; add elements
  • Code animations by using JavaScript
    • Use animation; manipulate the canvas; work with images, shapes, and other graphics
  • Access data access by using JavaScript
    • Send and receive data; transmit complex objects and parsing; load and save files; App Cache; datatypes; forms; cookies; localStorage
  • Respond to the touch interface
    • Gestures, how to capture and respond to gestures
  • Code additional HTML5 APIs
    • GeoLocation, Web Workers, WebSocket; File API
  • Access device and operating system resources
    • In- memory resources, such as contact lists and calendar; hardware capabilities, such as GPS, accelerometer, and camera

Conclusion

All in all, this test was not bad, but perhaps a little more vigorous than expected. The materials covered had a good amount of in-depth knowledge requirement, and while I suffered a bit with the knowledge of JavaScript and managing session states of the application, I was able to break through with a score in the mid 900s. It was a good challenge, and I felt it will be helpful to me in the long run.

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Creating APPS with Apple’s Swift Programming Language

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At 10:30am on 3/21/2018, I attended ACreating APPS with Apple’s Swift Programming Language, presented by Rafi Guroian and assisted by David Sandersen, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Rafi Guroian and Dave Sandersen of Apple presented at today’s event.

This two-part workshop was geared toward chairs and faculty. You can do anything you want on your last day at work- especially talking about new products. 🙂 In modern environments you no longer have to have lab time, scheduled time and duplicated students on a single machine. Block- based coding still exists, and this is the challenge.

So what does coding mean? coding is the buzzword for programming. A better questions might be how does this affect your everyday life. Average American uses 8-12 apps between the time they get up and the. time they hit their cars. Coding has taken over and its important not to think about today, but where will our students be 20 years from today? how can we prepare our students for that day?

-how can we prepare the graphic design student of today for the future? Where were we 20 years ago or more? Its difficult.

we taught ourselves out of manuals, learning based on reading and mimicry. Now we watch videos to learn and have numerous internet resources.

in 2007 the iPhone came out. In 2008, the App Store opened. So, the first year was what you see is what you get. With the App Store, you could learn to code, screen scrape, etc. in the background, it was clicking the web buttons for you, but the front end made the iPhone and blackberry very usable without having to squeeze and pinch on a standard screen just to get around.

Rafi told us about how he built a small app to see Amtrak status. He was eventually handing it out and considering selling it. He showed it to the CIO of Amtrak and was hired to develop a full Amtrak app, the job which changed the trajectory of his life.

One point Apple would like to see is that everyone should have the opportunity to change the world. In the beginning, the problem tended to be access to computers. The results of the programming are like magic and excitement for many- either the first time or throughout their time. While many times people start because they want something and it doesn’t exist, so why not make it? 

The initiative is called “Everyone Can Code”. Elementary is based on iPad. Middle school uses Swift Playgrounds app. This is a fine program for middle, high school, and some college. In High School and college, Xcode has Playgrounds as well. Swift Playground is Xcode under the hood, and you can put out executables  which move to Xcode.

Intro to App Developement with Swift. it is a 1-semester course and it has a teacher guide. Its a great way to get the feet wet. APP Development with SWIFT is a second course (with teacher guide) is available for the people who’ve used Swift playgrounds before. These work well as flipped classroom texts, with students doing the work and coming to the lab time with questions.

We built questionbot as a warm-up. If you’re looking to do work in the workforce with apple products, you’ll need to know Xcode. like a mechanic works on a real machine, the curriculum allows students to work with the real deal.

Using Xcode compiling a program it can be pushed to your iPhone or iPad where it can live for a week. Then it disappears. It sideloads foundation. If side loading permanently was allowed, it would make lotsa of virii. By having these self-destruct, it stops a series of problems. You can purchase a license for paid apps, and build your own certificates for enterprise-only applications.

The questionbot was not very bright in its initial version. So we split into the code to make adjustments. We began by making some cosmetic adjustments, and now we’re getting ready to assist the questionbot in some ways to answer questions. 

First though, we moved through the Swift Playgrounds APP and talked about how it can be used in the classroom, and how it can be used by students as well as professionals. Many professionals will use this for Augmented reality items and compile it.

Swift can be compiled in unix, windows, raspberry pi, and a few others but the programming UI for Xcode doesn’t exist outside of Apple. You can compile the runtime in windows machines, but you may need to compile those as Java code to be useful. Microsoft and other fortune 1000 companies use Swift code to compile APPS for enterprise and in-company apps and user interfaces for iPhone and other apps.

With a few questions, this section ended with a confident crowd, and some questions about how students might be able to move into lab spaces, or possibly using materials in their home.

Design Blitz Raleigh: Group Leader

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On March 5th, Tyler Dockery was invited to attend Design Blitz in the Red Hat complex in Downtown Raleigh as a representative of Wake Tech Community College.

Design Blitz Raleigh: Group Leader

Challenge: The challenge will be a step by step process of students working with me to develop their definition of a creative person, their ideas of what a ‘workplace’ is and then prototyping and creating an example of their ‘ideal creative workplace.’ Creative packets will be presented for you that walks you through the 5 step design process we are going to promote at this event. One or two lead teachers in each area that will help you with any students and/or situation you might run into. Ideally, we want to focus on fantastical thinking, out of the box thinking, the more creative the solution the better… we aren’t as focused on a perfect model or brand with this event, we want the concepts and thoughts to shine through and the focus to be on the process of what they are doing rather than the end product. Each group will have 5 students and 1 or 2 industry volunteers. You’ll document each group’s process through an app developed by Betaversity.

https://betaversity.com/flemingsfauna/projects/flemings-fauna/

Aftermath: I wanted to share with all of you the Betaversity site that has the images from the Design Blitz event on it. Sorry for the delay in posting it out, we were waiting for a site update to go through first before emailing it out. When you go to the site you’ll find a list of all the teams. In order to see one of the projects you’ll have to login as a team, any team. I listed a login below that you can use. After you login you’ll have access to click on any of the teams and go through their design process. Because of the technology issues we had at the event you’ll find that some groups have more developed images and processes than others, but hopefully in future years we’ll have this better worked out. Thanks to Betaversity for setting up the site and the step-by-step design process embedded within the projects. I hope you find this site a good artifact of what happened on that rainy March day.

Again, I appreciate all the support and help from each of you (teachers and volunteers). Feel free to share the site information with whoever you think might be interested.

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