Thursday, September 8, 2011

CanSat... The Future of Satellite Industry & Design in Egypt

It all started as a vision of satellite industry and design in Egypt. CanSat isn't simply a functional satellite in the size of a soda can (Pictured), but it's also a program aimed at encouraging and educating people about the manufacturing and operations of satellites. CanSat is a part of Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering, Aerospace department.

As a small satellite, it takes its readings through MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Sesnors) like pressure, temperature, position and much more, then transmits them to a computer through a wireless module. All of that in nearly the size of a soda can and was done in only 10 days. Isn't that GREAT?

I had the honor of designing the poster and flyers for the team participating at the Egyptian Engineering Day (EED). I was even more honored when they considered me as a fellow member even though that was not something I asked for. I'd like to sincerely thank Samy, Mustafa, Rabie, Hassan, Omar Magdy, Omar Sadek, Shalaby and Mahmoud for such an opportunity! You guys rock!

As a result of the team's hard work in design, learning new things and dedicating their efforts for the sake of knowledge and advancement in the field of aerospace, The 2011 IEEE award for best mechanical engineering project at the EED was the prize.

Congratulations and thank you!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Vodafone "Ana Trainee" Experience

It has been a month now at Vodafone Egypt and things don't seem to be that bad at all. I was hired as a first-line trainee technical support engineer at the technology deparment but to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what job I'd be doing since given the fact I'm a computer engineering student + this is mainly a telecom company. Getting accepted was a sort of an achievement as I had to go through 4 stages of selection. Go to Nourane's blogpost to know more about the selection phases. I agree a lot with her point of view.

Now off to what goes on here!

Basically, I'm working as a technical support engineer at the service desk department. It's like a call center but for Vodafone employees; whenever someone has an IT problem, we get the call and solve their problems remotely. The troubles we solve include account management, internet access issues, Outlook, storage management... etc. We usually use remote access methods to take control of their computers and running scripts to fix the problem.

So obviously, this has nothing to do with C++ or Java, or even hardware stuff. But let's face it, I have finally understood how IT works in a large international corporation; I've dealt with a database in it's actual form, learned more about access methods (Because of that, I now use RDP on my Android device!), understood what an "account" technically is within a database, learned more about web applications and the professional use of Outlook. I also came across troubleshooting techniques for various problems.

Even though this isn't THE MOST interesting job in the world, it's still never a bad personal experience here at Vodafone. The people here are "exceptionally" great and friendly, made new connections and the environment is welcoming. There's even a hot drinks machine with free vends! Not to mention the free Audi A5 Sportback test drive... YES a 570,000 EGP car!

I must say I'm enjoying this to the max. I was once told that it's nearly impossible to get accepted there and if you were, it's easier to get a job there. I'm very greatful for this experience and even more greatful to my efforts that took me there!

So Vodafone...