For most university students the summer means a relaxation from studying, exams and assessments. Many students spend their time on holidays, while others spend their summers in employment. For me it was slightly different.
I was on a trip away at the time when I was told of an internship within Computing, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). I was instantly intrigued. Having read the job description, I soon realised it would be a programming role. I knew I wanted to apply … so, that very afternoon I completed a job application for an internship in the development of an application to help first responders when carrying out first aid. The design of the app itself was to be based around if the Primary and Secondary surveys in first aid had already been accomplished by responders.
As an undergraduate, I was given a Bash assignment and one of the sub-tasks was to sort some .csv file by date. It took me two weeks to realise that the way we, as British humans, format the date (dd-mm-yyyy) is utterly useless to sort with and simply reversing the date (to yyyy-mm-dd) and treating it as a numerical type (example, 20150810) would guarantee an easy way to sort. It later transpired that formatting dates to yyyy-mm-dd is an ISO standard and what you should be doing when working with dates on computers and whatnot. At the time, though, my undergraduate mind was overjoyed that I managed to solve what was a tricky problem.
Given that previous lesson, you really would have thought that an experienced Joe, having already world exclusively solved the date sorting problem for the standards committees, would not be naive enough to use dates that follow dd-mm-yyyy format when programming. Well…