I am a software developer by trade. My experience spans a range of modern technologies, something I started to build up at University by building a full-stack web application for data analysis as my final year project.
Final year projects have to be completed in a fixed time frame and with limited resources. Naturally, I wanted to spend my time working on the quality of my project's language processing and building an effective UI, not wasting time with tedious database and server setup.
For this reason, the project is based on Python and the Django web server, which provides a simple web setup with minimal configuration.
In order to limit the scope of the project and ensure timely delivery, the architecture was (loosely) specified ahead of time, as demonstrated in this graphic.
This screenshot shows an example of a results page on Moodscoop. While full lexical data and source tweets are shown in a data-intensive format lower down the page, the design aims to show primarily visual information above the fold.
Emojis - as an increasingly common decorator for text on social media - are given the top spot as a small selection of them can give the user a very good idea of sentiments expressed in the data found. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words".
Perfect for me, anyway. The choice of final year projects in Computer Science is vast, but the choices made tend to be constrained to chess engines, some mid-level software engineering and maybe a game or two. I wanted to do something totally different.
I wanted to take my interests in UX design, communication platforms, and to and extent current affairs, and found that a data analysis tool that could be connected to social media would help me explore all of those areas.
Pressing forward with the little I already knew, I began building a tool that would connect to Twitter and search for a phrase given by the user, returning insights about the data it found.
As a group focussed on technology, it was key that CompSoc had a smart and modern web presence. Working with Jan Faracik, a fellow student with a fantastic eye for design, we co-developed a brand new website for the society, and open-sourced the code that runs it.
Jan's design work provided us with a simple, slick and maintainable website, and the design patterns used went on to shape the society's brand guidelines in greater detail.
In order to boost the society's marketing efforts and its brand as a modern, well-managed society, I implemented TLS support and security headers, and set up redirect links to other tools and services we used to run the society throughout the year.
The website was a successful part of the society's rebrand and has been tweaked and maintained by the subsequent society committee.