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Oliver O. ‘17 — App Developing

The Project: Mobile app of Calhoun’s website for students and teachers

Process: "Everyone has smartphones. There are more smartphones than there are computers out in the world--by a few billion units, actually--and everyone carries them around. So,I thought to myself, what would I want, how could I improve the situation here, and how could I get into this exciting new world of app development? I took an intro class in Java last year with Jonathan [Haff, IT DIrector], so I used Java as the basis for my app, which makes it compatible with androids. Then I did a lot research for the app on my own--referencing online blogs and discussions by coding experts, and working with a mentor (outside Calhoun)."

What I Learned: "I got the input of non-tech people, which was really helpful. But of course, a lot of people don’t know what you can and what you can’t do; or more specifically, what I can and what I can’t do [with this mobile app], so it was interesting. Some of the easy things impress people and some of the really hard things they just shrug off. The hardest thing was.getting the data off of the website and putting it into the app."

Value of JW: "I want to be a developer one day—so it was important to get an early start in this new and exciting world. I'm glad I had this chance."

What's Next: "I hope to keep working on the app this summer."

How Coding Relates to Music: "In a way, there is a connection between my music and my interest in coding; for both, you’re solving problems. A lot of people like to say that music isn’t that mathematical because it comes from the soul. But I think coding can also come from the soul; it’s creative…you’re creating something new and you have complete control over it. So really, it’s not all that different from writing a song, or from painting."