Vienna University of Technology, Austria
KAUST, Saudi Arabia
I visited GMSV at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, for the 2011 and 2012 winter breaks.
The Joy of an Entrepreneurial Venture
MyTaxi (http://www.mytaxi.tw/, no longer available) , the startup company co-founded by my wife and me, have just officially launched in early January. The primary goal of our company is to offer an enjoyable and economic alternative for commuters in Taipei: taxi-sharing. Within just one month, our website have accumulated hundreds of registered users and tens of effective routes. We also plan to promote our services to companies, schools and organizations as monthly packages, similar to what Zimride did.
To my wife, this endeavor is her entrepreneurial dream came true, and it is critical in building the prerequisite of pursuing MBA in entrepreneurship: she have already got an offer from Babson (ranked #1 in entrepreneurship), with a scholarship. To me, it is an truly exciting challenge. As a software engineer with 10+ years of experience of C/C++/Java programming, mainly for Windows-based 3D, video navigation and cryptography applications, it is very interesting and rewarding to engage myself in something quite different: website developments.
Our website is developed in PHP with MySQL, Java Script (JQuery) and some CSS. It is deployed under the CodeIgniter framework, an open source, elegant, compact and well-documented web framework that I totally acclaims. In my opinion, PHP programming is quite different to the “traditional” C/C++ counterpart: no compiling, no type-castings, no memory managements, no crashes (at least I haven’t encountered…), no multi-threading, no printf/ostream/CString/OutputDebugStringW mess. The learning curve is almost non-existent. I love it! But it will be more beautiful if there exists an orthodox IDE for PHP (like VisualStudio to C/C++ and Ellipse to Java). I had experience in Java Script programming while developing the HDi scripting engine for HD DVD Advanced Content players, so developing user-side features for our website (ex: hovering text) by Java Script isn’t a challenge to me. In addition, I love the JQuery library! It makes programming Java Script like talking with an intelligent alien, instead of a stupid one.
In conclusion, I just feel lucky in choosing the career of a software engineer. The shinny new things never stop to show up (I am experiencing with Maya’s Pymel, and Blender’s Python scripting languages, and I will deploy our website into hand-held device friendly formats after the current one is stable enough).