August 2020 Updates

Daniela Manotas  September 22, 2020
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CONQUERING THE ROAD ONE SOLAR CELL AT A TIME.

“If you’re tired learn to rest, not to quit.”

Website Debut

Over the month of August our Software Lead, Kiro Bondarev, with the help of Marketing and Media Lead, Daniela Manotas, has been working on building and styling a brand new Sunstang website that matches the team’s re-branding strategy. 

The reasoning behind this decision was twofold: for one, the previous website, compared to those of other solar teams, was too simple mostly due to the fact that it was made with Squarespace, a template-based website designing tool, which did not offer a great enough quantity of templates/customization for our team’s needs. And secondly, this project provided a great opportunity to learn more about website design.

Our new website was fully designed with WordPress, an open-source website creation platform that is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database, and is hosted on DigitalOcean, a cloud service provider that offers cloud computing services to business. WordPress is widely used around the world (with 35% of websites built using it) and allows for easy editing and uploading to the website without the need for new complex coding, while still allowing the user to “pop the hood” whenever necessary to edit the code used to structure and style the website. Specifically, Kiro utilized HTML5 and CSS3 in WordPress to bring our new website to life. HTML5, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language 5, is used to describe page templates (hence “structure”) and CSS3, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets 3, is used to achieve interactive graphics/animation, superior user-interface, significantly more organization, and rapid download time (hence “style”).

By making the switch to a custom website solution, rather than using a template-based website design tool, we have removed “server lock” restrictions (i.e. we can host our website on any server) and have the creative freedom to bring our unique visions to life. We are proud of this project and can’t wait for you to see!

We would also like to thank DigitalOcean for partnering with Sunstang, without them this would not have been possible.

Pictured: Example code for the website

Welcoming new recruits

Our Internal Affairs Lead, Stephanie Marinacci, alongside the Project Manager, Steven Lawrence, and Operations Manager, Tashmia Anwar have been hard at work to prepare recruitment and on-boarding for the coming year.

It was decided that a mix of information sessions and hands-on projects will be utilized to introduce new recruits to Sunstang and provide a decent idea of what type of work they will be doing throughout the year if they choose to commit to the team. Students will be assigned mini on-boarding projects for each team they choose to try for a week during our 3-week on-boarding team rotations. The mini-projects will be assessed by their prospective team leads upon completion of the rotations, after which students will choose a permanent team they want to join for the remainder of the year.

The 4-week recruitment plan for this year goes as follows:

  • Publish a Google Form to gauge interest and get to know our recruits’ backgrounds (Aug. 17)
  • Host remote recruitment information sessions over Zoom (Sept. 15/17)
  • Send out recruitment packages to prep for on-boarding (Sept. 15/17)
  • Host first on-boarding work session over Discord + First rotation begins (Sept. 19)
  • Second on-boarding work session + second rotation begins (Sept. 26)
  • Third on-boarding work session + third rotation begins (Oct. 3)
  • Permanent teams chosen + projects assessed (Oct. 10)