AT Fridays by Hao Wan

Great opportunities and mentors


As a second year AT fellow, I cherish the great opportunity to learn from and work with smart and friendly mentors and colleagues. Academic Technology has a great potential to boost students’ productivity. By exploring and pitching new tools and applications, AT fellows develop over time a sense of what is good academic technology product, and how to design/program softwares that promote learning in a user-friendly way. The presentations and workshops also give me the opportunity to reach out to the community, sharing ideas with users and figure out which part of a certain technology is easy/hard to grasp.


Majoring in Math and Computer Science, I enjoy learning new programming tools through exciting projects. One project that I have been working on is a Java program that test trunk site’s usability. Started with Selenium, a Firefox web browser plugin which allows you to record your series of interaction with the website (Trunk in my case), I firstly build a Selenium test script in HTML, and then port it to Java. The interesting lies in the conversion. Having not used Java before, I learned from scratch how to build the Junit test program with Eclipse. While transforming the HTML to Java, there are quite a bit of syntax from Selenium library that is no longer supported by the new Firefox browser. It is challenging to figure out unconventional methods for testing. Thanks to my great mentors, I have a much smoother learning experience. The guidance always points me in the right direction and gives me plenty resources to learn. After building the Java program, the next step was to integrate it with Jenkins, a continuous integration server that allows periodic building/running/testing of programs. It is exciting to see how your program can run automatically, once the schedule is determined by you. Through this experience, I have a overview of software development flow. I’m truly grateful to the learning opportunity.


There are other exciting projects AT fellows are working on. Not restricted to programming, we have an exposure to a diverse set of learning opportunities and challenges. I’m looking forward to another year in the nurturing environment!

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