Eagle Update, an app that allows students to browse courses and sign up for alerts while seeing average course ratings, was released last week. Along with the ratings, users can also see meeting times, professors, and the number of credits for each course listed.
The program was developed by Brandon LaRouche, MCAS ’19, a computer science major who saw the need to improve the EagleScribe app that people often use to view and subscribe to courses during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. He started working on developing his app, a process that he has been familiar with since he began developing apps in middle school.
After working on the app for 250 to 300 hours, LaRouche submitted it to Apple to be reviewed. After Apple confirmed that the app was secure, he shipped it to the App Store for release. The app is publicly available, free, and does not have any advertisements. LaRouche didn’t want to add anything that could diminish the quality of the program, and he has been paying for any costs associated with running the app.
To make the app, he developed a database that keeps track of course openings and closings. In order to begin the database, LaRouche originally had to manually input every course offered, in every school at Boston College. The server for the app runs constantly to check for course updates, and it sends a notification to every user’s device as soon as a course they are signed up for becomes available. Right now, the notification is sent to everyone at the same time, but LaRouche is interested in the possibility of developing the program so that it can send notifications in order of seniority or class requirements.
The app is also capable of automatically registering students for classes, something that LaRouche would like to work with BC to implement in the future. To access the course ratings, LaRouche used the information that is publicly available online. To use the data from the UIS, he had to figure out how to “make calls” from his server to the website, something he was successful in doing.
He is open to hearing any suggestions that people have for the app—he realizes that he can only come up with so many ideas on his own. He’s also interested in working with an Android developer, since his app is currently only for Apple products. He drafted a 50-page document outlining how he developed it, and he would be willing to give it to anyone who wanted to work with him to develop a new and useful app for the student body as he did.
“I think it’s useful so I want other people to be able to use it,” he said.
Featured Image by Eagle Update