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Students code to create entertaining, useful apps

By: Jim DiFrancesco

In 21st-century America, a smartphone is only as good as its apps.

The popular belief is that the only people able to create these smartphone apps are lab-coat-wearing Yale and Harvard graduates using equipment big enough to take up a whole room.

However, the truth is that as long as a person can code, he or she can create an app. Learning to code is like learning a language. Coding is just the language of technology.

“The process [of coding] is try, fail, adjust, fail, adjust, succeed,” said sophomore Matthew Garber, who has published his own app, a puzzle game called Color Patterns, which is available for Apple phones.

Garber takes the Intro to Computer Science class, taught by Daniel Karbownik.

“I lit the spark for Matthew to start looking into mobile development,” said Karbownik.

Junior Jacob Klapper published two apps, a game called Monkey Madness and a Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) app  called JSA Mobile that he displayed at a regional conference. The app  will be used by JSA chapters nationwide. “The app will help chapters organize their meetings and track debates.” said Klapper. “I feel a kind of bond to the apps. I’m proud that I was able to accomplish this.”

Class of 2010 graduate Daniel Nizri, now a senior at the University of Virginia, has pursued app creation for several years. Nizri has created six apps, five by himself, and the sixth with a startup company called HealthyOut.

“It’s different to make apps for myself versus for a company,” said Nizri. “When developing on my own, it is a much more creative process. But, it is also nice to develop for a company because usually the company will already have a database system in place, making the app more complex, interesting and useful.”

“There is a strong and ever-increasing demand for software designers,” said Karbownik. “Software development is one of the most marketable skills one could possess.”

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