Reactives - Bond For a Bang ☼.☼!

Posted on by Shwetha & Tu An

Categories: blog and student posts

Our Team

Team ReactivesTeam Reactives with coaches Vanchi (left-most) &Arrchana (right-most). Image taken by Arrchana

Who We Are

Hello, everyone! We are Team Reactives: Shwetha and Tu An with our coaches Arrchana and Vanchi. All of us are in Singapore and living in the same university campus. Being 2 undergrads and 2 Ph.D. student, we haven’t worked together before this and probably wouldn’t have if not for the summer of code. We two met each other as fellow guitar players for our university’s guitar orchestra and found our coaches through the Rails Girls website. This programme has brought us closer as we encounter and overcome obstacles together.

Team ReactivesTu An (left) & Shwetha (right). Image taken by Arrchana


Hi, I’m in year 2 of computer engineering at the National University of Singapore. I have had a passion for coding since my parents are coders and they first introduced me to GW-Basic back in middle school.

Tu An

Yo! I’m a mostly self-learning coder, who started out due to the mythical fear of programming prior to joining my engineering major two years ago. It’s a wonder for me to discover my fondness in coding (& weirdly long hours of debugging) after plowing through basic C programming course as a year 1. Currently, I’m still sticking with my biomedical engineering major as an undergrad, but I really hope to pursue further studies in computer science disciplines. As a junior, I’m figuring out my most interested IT field. I have been eyeing a few after two years of exposure to basic levels of computer graphics, web development, and testing automation.

The best thing in my learning journey so far is extending my abilities beyond myself and sharing my knowledge regardless of how little it seems. Besides coding and exploring other technologies, I really love guiding younger ones (like teenagers) as they pick up coding - the new literacy skill for present & future generations. Moreover, I hope to help others enjoy programming as much as I do despite the crazily deep & lonely valley of the learning curve for newbies as I’m there now and hoping to get through it soon.

Our Project ♪♫

We are working on the Open Source (Duh!) Project Sonic Pi - The live Coding Music Synth for Everyone. Our mentor is Joseph Wilk, a long-term contributor to Sonic-Pi, coding and music enthusiast.

What we’ve learnt so far

We have learnt a ton together. From beefing up our Unix command line skills to picking up Ruby and Rails. We learnt about working in a team: that communication is critical for productivity. It might be tempting to take a crack at it on your own but if just 1 mind working on the issue is not working out for days on end, more heads just mathematically improve the odds of solving the issue.

And of course Git!!! It has been extremely useful for us to keep multiple versions of our old codes and avoid random bugs since we can revert them at no memory costs (at least locally).

Also, we got to learn about accessibility design principles. It was an eye-opening for our team to know about the multiple screen readers across various major platforms such as Orca for Ubuntu, NVDA & Jaws for Windows, VoiceOver for OSX. Many considerations which are required for designing web apps & pages with accessibility have never crossed our minds before beginning this project. Awesome features that we took for granted like dropdown menus, scrolling bars, hidden cards, tabs all turned out to have highly demanding logic implementation behind if made accessible,especially for the visually impaired.

What we’ve achieved

We had a major hiccup in our progress at the very start in installing and building our project so we decided to work with the latest release for now. Working with that version, we have managed to build a basic prototype to test server communication.

We also experimented other technologies such as JS, Reactjs + Webpack + Babel + Electron for cross-platform applications. We made a super simple prototype with these technologies to quickly try out our ideas for accessibility design on the view layer. Our plan for this prototype is to implement the MVC, connect the application with the local server and package it for Sonic Pi.