Facts & Dots - Page 2

There is so much noise all around! And I do not mean just the sound of the car engine, the factory, the extremely loud music. I also think of the never-ending social media post, break-news and fake news, hundreds of events close-by, innovations, big shocking headlines, "important statements", new regulations and so on. Well, in a way they are all facts of our daily life. Some may worth looking at not because they are good or bad, but because of what they mean on the long-run. The implications. Question is "what do you do?" You cannot hide, that's for sure! Not if you want to have a saying in what happens to you and those people who will follow you — your children and grandkids; your best friend's family; the land your ancestors protected and died for; your cultural heritage and identity; your own nation's nation.

Observe. Evaluate. Filter. Ask questions. Think of the consequences. Decide. Take action!

R/GA Bucharest Welcomes Students For A Day of Programming & Robotics

Last week, R/GA Bucharest welcomed the Spectrum Constanta School to the office for a chance to meet a group of students who have expressed an interest and talent for informatics. This also served as a great opportunity for the Bucharest team to bond with students from this technology-focused school and connect with their university network, all while providing students with a fun and worthwhile experience.

R/GA Bucharest
Teams reunited

10 students, including three winners from the Romanian Informatics Olympics, were selected from the school to travel the 250km across Romania to Bucharest, and discover first-hand what being a programmer at R/GA is all about.

Knowledge sharing and teaching

“Being able to support an initiative like this is amazing. Each one of us was given a chance at some point in our life, so it only makes sense for us to create new meaningful ones for this younger generation. When you have the opportunity to teach somebody, you challenge yourself, you learn twice over, and you get to live through an exciting, satisfying experience. As the American poet Mark Van Doren so eloquently put it, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” It’s a temptation we should all fall for from time to time,”

said R/GA Bucharest’s Ana-Maria Bodgan (General Manager, R/GA Bucharest).

Open standards developers at R/GA Bucharest, Mihnea Belcin and Mircea Georgescu, were responsible for teaching the class how to assemble and connect the electronics, how to code two tank robots, all while explaining to them how the technology works. Each tank used a Raspberry Pi running a node.js server which allowed them to control the tank in real time using socket.io. They used the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi as outputs controlling a motor driver that powered the motors. In the end, they were able to use a web browser to control the tanks and battle against each other.

R/GA Bucharest
Mihnea sharing R/GA success stories. Obviously, R/GA Bucharest team was part of it. 

Mihnea sharing R/GA success stories. Obviously, R/GA Bucharest team was part of it.

Mihnea championed the idea of this event for the last few months, and worked hard to make it happen. He not only shared R/GA’s story, but also taught the students exactly what a programmer job entails and what it takes to be successful, offering them valued insight into the industry that many students in their position may never get to experience.

“I started my career in web development thanks to my informatics teacher from high school. As an accomplished programmer, I wanted to give back to those that had laid this path in front of me. That’s really how this idea came to life – organizing a workshop to show children what life as a coder is really like. Spending a day with some of the smartest guys from Spectrum School was an amazing experience. I got the opportunity to speak to them about the benefits of being a coder, showcased some cool projects we have built, and talked about the technology behind it. I hope this was just the first of a series of workshops, by the end of which more children will choose computer science as a career path,”

said Mihnea.

R/GA Bucharest
Mircea – leading by example! 🙂

Mircea also served as an incredibly inspiring teacher. He explained to the two teams of students how to build their machine prototypes, taking them through the details of the technology and design.

“This project involved using things like Raspberry Pi and Node.js to build tanks, which the kids could control and interact with via a browser. It was a great way for them to understand what kind of things they could build in a few years using their programming skills. Having the chance to show such smart kids how they can explore these possibilities has been a tremendous experience. It gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you rethink everything you know. It forces you to find simple explanations for complicated things. It’s the kind of experience I wish I had when I was kid! It was very challenging, fun and useful for all of us. I can’t wait to do it again,”

said Mircea.

Note: This article was originally published on R/GA’s Blog

R/GA Bucharest Partners with TechHub for the First Frontend Development Meetup

It all started in 2013 with 4 R/GA Bucharest guys – Adrian Olaru, Mihnea Belcin, Andrei Rosca and Gabi Totoliciu, who wanted to get in touch with frontend developers in Romania. That’s how the first Frontend Development Meetup in Bucharest was born. Today there are over 400 members, and the numbers keep growing. The mission, as defined by this group, is to get frontend developers under one community, so they can help each other to get better at writing code through knowledge sharing.

The First Frontend Development Meet Up

Frontend Development Meetup 3
Getting ready for the first Frontend Development Meetup in Bucharest

As you may already know, good things come to those who wait and work hard, so after all kinds and ups and downs, the First Frontend Development Meetup took place on August 6th, at TechHub (probably the best cradle in Romania for technology geeks and startups).

The event opened with a surprising and well-received introduction by Shrek (Adi Olaru) and Hell Boy (Mihnea Belcin) about the mission of the Frontend Development Community, followed by two hours of speakers and presentations. Barry Wacksman & Chris Stutzman’s book “Connected by Design,” was also mentioned during the Q&A.

One Happy, Engaged Audience

Frontend Development Meetup 2
Happy audience @ the first edition of Frontend Development Meetup

Around 100 people, mostly frontend developers, were present and it seemed the topics were so interesting that everyone remained throughout the whole event. The delicious snacks, free beer and Red Bull drinks given to all participants by some very good-looking girls played a part in loosening their tongues, yet if it wasn’t for Mihnea’s engaging math-driven CSS and the controversial SVG presentations, this event wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. There were at least 10 questions following each presentation, many engaging talks among the participants during the breaks, posts and pictures shared on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Relevant Content

Frontend Development Meetup
The first Frontend Development Meetup in Bucharest @ TechHub supported by R/GA 

Math-Driven CSS with Mihnea was an engaging presentation about the many ways of combining mathematics with CSS. He illustrated a number of problems developers currently have and how this can be solved with the help of mathematics. His final experiment which made use of “Leap” made the public ask for more. His presentation slides can be seen on Mihnea’s blog and an article about the same subject is already listed on R/GA’s Tech Blog

SVG with Armin was an introduction to vector graphics, and how to use them in the browser. Although his talk was introductory and he gave few practical examples, it sprung a fierce debate on performance, svg vs css and other practices.

What’s In It for R/GA Bucharest?

You may wonder why would our office would partner in such an event. Well, the answer is quite simple. Well, first of all here you’ll always meet the A-players. Those Romanian guys who do the frontend magic. Secondly, because it’s a great chance for all our frontend guys to gain more knowledge and stay updated with what Romanian tech guys are up to. Last, but not least important, it’s a chance for us to show the kind of work we do at R/GA Bucharest.

Life @ R/GA Bucharest

We have met great people here that share our passion for technology; people we would like to keep close to us, so we are definitely going to go back and talk about the cool stuff we do at R/GA. And if you would like to see how life at R/GA is, just have a look here: