Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | August 2018

Hello readers,

Time flies! The month of August had a lot of sunshine literally and figuratively and since then everything goes with a quick flow.

Challenge

August started with a new accepted challenge: working as a junior software tester at an international company. And because it was my study summer holiday, I worked a lot, getting training, getting into a work rhythm, taking part in several company events and so on. It feels like I have found the right place. Meanwhile I still hadn’t been on holiday. And work wasn’t the only challenge. I was already a bit preparing for the minor ‘Crossmedia Journalism’ I am currently following in my studies. What does it have to with my software engineering studies? Well uhm, a more unique combination? Explaining IT to a non-IT’study’ing person? Help other people by explaining stuff? And this way I am creating a combination of my previous studies with my current study and when I graduate I have a creative and technical bunch of knowledge and experience.

Holiday

Summer holiday and due to the previous months, taking rest and move on with new life experiences was the highest priority. Halfway August I started looking for a nice destination for my summer holiday. Where would I go to? What would I like to visit? Many countries and their cities crossed my mind. So much on my travel list, so much on my to-do list and I still don’t call it a bucketlist. Last-minute I decided to visit London! A city way bigger than any in The Netherlands, a history that even goes back to the Roman times. The past couple of months I have watched most documentaries about Britain. ‘The Secrets of…’ series, all seasons of ‘Great British Castles’ narrated by Dan Jones, the great historian who has written wonderful detailed books about subjects such as Magna Carta and The Templars. Can’t wait for new historical series. And during my holiday and when I am travelling anyways, I am addicted to sunrises, sunsets or light-inspired photograph moments. How many airplanes are in this photo?

London

Last time I have been in London was over a decade ago, back in 2007 at an international music competition with the school orchestra. Three days of London and we won the Silver Award of the orchestra’s and the Spirit of London award. This time I would go for a week, the year of ‘Paddington Bear’. Who doesn’t know this lost bear from Peru with always a marmalade sandwich hidden under his hat? And of course London and the Royals and politics. There is so much culture in London, more then I expected or ever imagined. Amazing!  But I won’t tell too much about London in this blog post. Special blog posts with all my notes and experiences from this holiday will come up. A series about London, just like the series I have written about Edinburgh.

End of the month

The last preparations of the new study year were made, my house got a thorough summer clean and upgrade as I always call it. Buying some improvements for my furniture, some reorganization and some stuff to help to plan things through. Because this study year and next one combining with work, social life and some sports and keeping space for blogging and challenges. Will be a challenge to plan and to manage everything. Keeping enough rest in mind and moments to read because besides news and informational reading, I have a reading challenge ahead to finish before the end of the year. The Goodreads Reading Challenge and the Hebban Reading Challenge. Twenty-five books total and at the moment I am a bit too far behind.

How has been your month of August?

Have you been on holiday?

Greetings by Sophie

Films · Music · YouTube

YouTube | Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring – Official Trailer

This little video inspires me so much in the things you do in life!

Do you recognize the different music pieces of different films?

Enjoy this little trailer, I hope this will inspire you as well!

Have a story, try to tell something, and give your music thoughts a try.

The YouTube video:

YouTube Description:

Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring | Official Trailer

13.072.932 Views | 23K Likes | 205 Dislikes | 

MasterClass | Published on 18 November 2016 | 213K Subscriptions

Learn more at https://www.masterclass.com/hz

Category: Education

The choice of this video

Today I finished a piece of study and I decided afterwards to go to some tryouts of an orchestra to maybe play part in it as an alto or soprano saxophonist. Who knows…take chances when you cross them. Very much looking forward to it!

The last couple of weeks I listen so often to music from Hans Zimmer. I can enjoy it, concentrate on stuff when I have to, relax with it, and now and then even play the ‘Hans Zimmer – Live in Prague’ record on Netflix. It is so full of energy and lovely medleys of the best filmmusic.

Since around 2016 Hans Zimmer has a video series of a Masterclass named ‘Teaching Film Scoring’, if you really are into film music and composing and just learning as an artist from it… try it! An all access pass is only €200/year and I say this freely because I love ABBA music as well and Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are such great composers! Hans Zimmer is not one of the band but definitely the same level, the best composers of the world! Hans Zimmer is a music composer master!

Have a nice musicfully evening!

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Challenge · Computer Science

Life of an IT student | July 2018

Hello readers,

It’s been a little while since I have written about Life as an IT student. And this month has had two extremes.

Life goes on and a new challenge! Oh happy day …

The last two weeks of July

July was finally halfway. I challenged myself. Figuring out the different disciplines I came in touch with during the past three years of studying. Figuring out a bit what I like and probably will like even more. I crossed paths with a company and they challenged me! I had my first, real, IT-related interview and a short while after even an assessment. WOW! I feel thrilled again that this challenge crossed my path and that I have been given an opportunity to help with what I know so far and getting the opportunity to expand my knowledge and help then even more! That’s what motivates me every single day. Helping others a little bit as a behind the curtains person and being proud of the product and the work you do and the people you work with. And I finally think…I started walking more precisely in the right direction on the right path. This feels so good!

The month of July in less happier days

The first two weeks

The month of July started with the leftover studyrubbish of June. And I am not looking fondly back to the first two weeks of this month. What an internship documenting for the university of applied sciences rollercoaster. So I am sorry for the disappointed tone of voice in the last part of this blog post which rarely happens, but so this event was unique. Life is hard now and then and life is as it is, so is my story. But it starts in the middle with something more happy and a thing I am proud of.

The internship document, a dreadful pain

The month of July started with finalizing my report/assignment of my internship and later on adjusted it, shortened it with a better guideline and thus I handed it in twice. Accepted? No… “too long”. I am sorry for that, I have written precisely about every process of learning during the internships that lasted together for ten months. Tried to prove everything.

I keep asking myself: why? Why feel I like if I am being punished for writing too long. Being punished for trying to do too good, trying to prove myself. Trying to learn and acquire every competence and subcompetence. I do not like to write a short brief story as if it is not real because where is the proof then? They would ask according to the guideline. “Kill your darlings” is a famous saying for writers. And I know I have to do that this weekend. My internships period lasted for 10 months, 5 more than usual. More than 1000 hours of work on location, more than 260 hours of traveling and another 80-100 hours of work in the documentation and gathering all the proof. I am sorry my internship document last around ~80 pages, but that’s my real story. That’s been me during this experience in study.

The summary, what I learned

We are all just human beings, we make good things and we make mistakes. And we are trying to be as truthfully as possible even in the most difficult conversations. But all parties should try their best. Covering things up is useless because it is no feedback so you can not learn from it.

And for students: no matter the company big or small, should fire you from your internship behind your backYour company manager should always at least try to speak to you and discuss your work before mailing behind your back your internship lecturer. And they should be honest in the final meeting or conversation. I learned that I should say honestly as well that I heard the previous conversation and that I felt like being lied too, right in my face. The trust was lost. Truth is the hardest thing but at least it’s the truth.

And the university should – as they mention in their regulations – always help you when you are in trouble. And if they don’t or a lecturer / coördinator neglects or has a lack of time – which is common now with a shortage of lecturers – fight for it! Never let you being pushed down by something you are not a cause of nor can help with it. 

In my case the university did not take their responsibility, it even costs me at least a full semester!! A full year right now even!! But I can understand it with a lack of teachers and a rare situation… I fixed the new internship myself and I am thankful – as mentioned in an earlier blog post – for the opportunity I got from my last internship company thanks to a study friend and the support of my family and closest people. It took me 4 days to organise it! And it took me three weeks to get a decent feedback and approval by the lecturer/coördinator of the university. Saying “Yes” on Monday and preventing a delay and saying “No” on Tuesday and that for three weeks in a row caused the delay of a full semester! My mentrix? She had sadly no voting right in this situation, I thought she had but it seemed only one person had and our trust in each other is gone for now.

It is what it is, but every person has its responsibility! 

Do I look back joyfully on the internship? In terms of looking back at working at and learning from that last company, yes. In terms of the university who says “It’s gonna be the most joyfully part of your study”? Well…obviously no. The worst middle and after-situation I ever experienced and still experiencing since I have to hand it in for the third time…. It’s the most saddest part of my life in study and where I have been fighting for and still am. And I am thankful for the strong support around me of close family and friends because I could not imagine to reach the finish line of this most dreadful experience in study life without their support.

How has been your month of July?

This has been the most sad blog post I have ever written. I am sorry if you had a lovely happy evening or day and made you a bit sad by writing a part of my lifestory. Never forget I am smiling again thanks to the challenges that crossed my path the second half of July. A day only lasts for 24 hours and a week only lasts for 7 days. Sleeping through it or being exhausted of the effort you have put in something, helps. And most of all: appreciating the small little things in life. I love animals and I love the way they appreciate every single day they are alive and live their lives.

So exactly halfway of July I went to the zoo. And a photo says more than a thousand words.

Greetings by Sophie

Series

Reign | Season One

My series review of “Reign | Season One ” created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie Sengupta

In my view…

Last year I have been on holiday to Edinburgh, Scotland. So I knew a bit of the history about Mary the Queen of Scots. And I was wondering if this series is based on real facts, is it historical true? Sadly it is not historical accurate. It is a costume drama of fiction and a bit of fantasy. So what is exactly true and what is not…I dare not say.

The first season is about Mary Queen of Scots fleeing to French court somewhere in Paris – no it is not Versailles – and preparing to marry Francis the Dauphin of France. This first season is about alliances, friendships, love, intrigues, the threat of war, power,  nobelty and of course how to reign. Everybody is trying to find out how to do that best in his / her own environment and in his / her own way.

The episodes differ a bit from one to another. There are many plot changes and unsuspected events or habits that appear. The middles episodes of the whole season are becoming cruel so it is not suited for underaged children to watch. Especially when you do not know if such scenes are historically correct. Or is it fantasized cruelty? Makes me shiver and I do not know if I will completely watch the second season.

And how about the Scottish accents? Mary Queen of Scots and her four ladies named lady Aylee, lady Greer, lady Kenna and lady Lola. Great actresses but who speaks really Scottish? It is not a Scottish production but a mixture of all kinds of English accents. I love the history of the ‘Great British Castles‘  which is also a series with lots of historical facts presented by Dan Jones. The castle chosen for this series is ‘Ashford Castle’ in Count Mayo, Ireland. So in short I am not sure if I really like the series Reign because of the historical facts and the quick turnarounds in the episodes. I love the costumes though and the choice of crew and the diversity of day and night scenes and festivities.

Trailer:

I hope you like the series. It is worth to try watch it! I am not telling too  much about the story – never do in my reviews – you have to see the series yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Series Facts:

Continue reading “Reign | Season One”

Books

Politieserie | Violence in Middelwatering – Ben de Raaf

href=”https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1506709936l/36325422.jpg”> Copyright image from Goodreads.com[/
My book review of “Violence in Middelwatering” written by Ben de Raaf

In my view…

This is already the 18th sequel of the Politieseries about police officer Roel Westland. I do not know the neighbourhood of Middelwatering in the Rotterdam area, so I was wondering: where would the story be about? This is a story based on real experience of the writer as a police officer and events that happened years ago in this neighbourhood in Capelle aan den IJssel.

This story has two sides: a violent side of several crimes that will be committed throughout the book and it also has a soft side. Not the violent crimes of course – and those crimes are not too much detailed so it is still a book that can be read by children or the youth. The soft part is about a group of people that live together because they are death or their hearing is limited. They use sign language to communicate. Through the story of the book you became more aware of this little different communicating in life. Life itself is – supposed to be – not that different. Everybody can live the same life, only being a bit more aware of your surroundings and communicating through sign language or lip reading.

Writing style / spelling

The story is nicely written: a good pace, a good variety between the thriller parts where the tension increases and the parts where normal life goes on. I had just found one grammar mistake in this print but that’s all.

Main characters

The main character of the series is of course Roel Westland. The detective who works in this sequel as a police officer, special team, not the uniform team anymore and so on. His wife Ingrid and their son of approximately six years old, Sander, and their younger daughter Anneloes, are getting a more important role too. The colleague Vargas and his new dog Biko are getting an important stage in the story as well as two police students and their mentor.

I gave it a score as 4 / 5 stars because I am wondering about the description of the crimes and crime scenes. The age for reading is set tot 12+ but in my opinion it could also be 9+, though it is the max then. If it really was 12+ it could have been a little bit more detailed, which is just once at the end of the book.

I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

Continue reading “Politieserie | Violence in Middelwatering – Ben de Raaf”

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | June 2018

Hello readers,

The month of June was a month of scattered pieces of lead.

The final days of my internship had started after I started there in december. That was the physical part because I also had to write on the final report. The first week of June was my last week of my internship. I loved working there and in some way I miss it and in the other way…I am just tired of traveling hours a day, walking a few miles a day, keep up the social life, be there for family matters, running a household and studying besides it.

It’s not like going to work all week, come home in the evening and running your household and social life and family in the weekends. You also need to take some rest now and then otherwise you will be exhausted.

I often saw the same people sleeping in the metro in the morning, just a twenty-minute nap. Feeling tired, looking a bit slobby in a suit and just right before they arrive at their destination looking as if they are completely energized for a day of work. — yeah right. Nah. My style is to feel energized for work and excited the moment you leave your house. And if you have not enough sleep so often, well, try to change something in your life because that way of living is not healthy.

The month started for me in the weekend with The Flying Dutch festival in Rotterdam. Supernice! I really loved the lineup the evening started with. First ‘Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano’ followed by ‘Tiësto’, ‘Fedde Le Grand’, ‘Afrojack’ and the final spot was for ‘Armin van Buuren’ and it was incredible! The jubilee edition and a decor which was very Dutch but I loved the music and dancing with friends and having fun.

The rest of the month was quite silent for me as an explorer of events or little things to do. Halfway the month I went to the Rotterdam Zoo and saw a newborn Californian Sea Lion! Again, for the third time within 18 months haha. And I love strolling through the big park. The rest of the month I am occupied with writing my internship report, studying, family, organizing partly two events which all takes place in the first week of July, or to say: in a couple of days from now. Stress? Yes partly, but I am not really a stressful person. I just like to prepare things right and be a bit organized for all the events that take place.

And the weather is luring me to go outside and live life! But first things first: finishing this year of study before I can enjoy this wonderful start of summer! Walking daily a few miles in the afternoon and with a match of soccer in the evening during the FIFA World Cup 2018, my writings days are not always exactly the same.

How has been your month of June?

Greetings by Sophie

Challenge · Pinterest

Pinterest | Top Five Today | Motivational Quotes

Theme: Motivational Quotes

This weekend is one of the last study weekends of the year and the weather is really good, except for studying inside. The sun is shining and it is circa 28 degrees all day; predicted for all week! These quotes remind me of staying strong, going outside for a walk or the necessary groceries and further on study on…right now I am finishing my internship report.

Accompanied by my laptop, Chromebook – multiple screens that way -, iPhone (quick little researches), a bottle of water and cereals for breakfast, bread for lunch and a salad for dinner. And my desert: well it is e pre-desert, a lovely ice cream cone with an ice cream scoop in the afternoon. Every day a different flavor, but only for this weekend, only this time when I am gathering the scattered pieces of heavy lead to become one piece: the final internship report.

Top Five Today – Motivational Quotes or Challenges

Descriptions for each pin

  1. “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
  2. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
  3. “Work so hard that your signature will be called an autograph.”
  4. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” – Salvador Dalí
  5. “The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to Change.”

 

 

My Pinterest profile board:

At Pinterest I collect many inspirations, photographs, quotes and stuff. Divided into over more than one hundred categories in a logical order, I try to keep it simple and organised all I collect.

Enjoy my Pinterest!

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | May 2018

Hello readers,

The month of May was quite a month of opposites. From the daily work at the internship and traveling a few hours a day, to several travel days, day trips and events. Lots of little different things came by this month.

For the internship my final few weeks of work started since December 2017. It feels good to have a little break in the work rhythm right now, but all the stuff I have learned at the company feels even better. It was an incredible journey and my first real external internship for more than half a year as a student Software Engineering. I am still writing my final report on it and will finish the whole subject completely at the end of the month of June.

The month of May also started with a visit to the famous ‘Keukenhof’ or also known as the ‘Tulips Garden’. I have photographed a lot on this beautiful sunny day and this year the ‘Tulipa Denmark’ is my favorite. It was a lovely sunny day in spring.

Halfway the month I visited the city ‘s’Hertogenbosch’ in the province of Noord-Brabant. Except for a stop at the train station I had never been there before. A lovely town for shopping, some drinks, food and cultural events. Every Sunday around noon is a concert in the local theatre and the cathedral of this city is wonderful! When I was walking around as a  ‘tourist-for-a-day’, people were enjoying the sunshine on the terrace and at every pub and restaurant where little festivities going on. It felt like I was walking to a little town with it’s own close but lovely community.

At the end of the month of May I had a few day off from work and went to the Belgian Ardennes. Stunning view of colors, depths, a river and the natural stalagmites and stalactites artwork inside the caves of a mountain. To a castle and hiking to the heights of the Ardennes from the sunshine in the valley to the top and a bit of thunder when climbing down again. It has been an amazing and exciting experience for a few days a nice mini holiday.

How has been your month of May?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | March and April 2018

Hello readers,

March 2018

March was focused on the exams of study and at the end of the month it was Easter! But inbetween I have been to a special museum night at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam with the exhibition theme ‘High Society‘. It was a really special evening with lots of portraits, stories and a walkaround at the museum. Together with a good photographer I have been to this special event and we ended our tour with visiting the well-known ‘The Nightwatch‘, painted by Rembrandt van Rijn. There were just a few people walking around in that wing too, so we had plenty of time to look at it and the other surrounding paintings. What a beauties and what a beautiful wing too with all the bright colors and details! I had not seen it yet since the museum was restored.

April 2018

It feels like I have time travelled a few weeks and skipped a few days. Life as a student has been busy, as usual, but the last couple of weeks between Easter and the first week of May – yes that is circa a full month – have been a rollercoaster full of closeby extremes.

In study I got a few more results back of the exam weeks I have had, nice :). And I arrived at the last few weeks of my internship. Writing code and code and code I have been literally doing every day, haven’t even written any blog post or word document inbetween. Writing a lot of code means also discovering some errors, trying to solve them and success or fail at the end of the day. Luckily there is always another tomorrow if I could not solve it immediately. And I have learned already so much at my internship! I still have to clarify everything and just make a list of the full workproces for the final internship report.

The next couple of weeks, until the beginning of June, will be more or less the same: code code and code.

In april I have been also participating at the Data Driven Challenge organised by one of my teachers and the KNVI (Royal Dutch Society of Information person). Together with my team Grofgemalen { } we designed a system to be more efficient with the available data and combining it with weather conditions for better predictions and making ad hoc actions possible.

I had the opportunity to pitch twice and I am very thankful to my team for these amazing chances and experience.

The result: we have won the Data Driven Challenge of 2018!

See the full story on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394600370055708672

The end of the month is celebrated with a trip to my brother to celebrate his new job – really proud sister over here. And the month ended with the typical Dutch Kingsday! Family, friends and some nice music made it a happy friday.

The weather in The Netherlands…that were extremes but I am glad spring has finally really started.

How has been your start of spring?

Greetings by Sophie