Students to Display Developments at Swift App Showcase

A culmination of a semester’s hard work will come to fruition on Monday for the students enrolled in Swift/iOS App Development, an information systems class in the Carroll School of Management, in the form of the Swift App Showcase.

Students will display the various apps that they have developed over the past three weeks of the course, in which they learned Swift—the general-purpose coding language developed by Apple for iOS and macOS products.

Previous apps displayed include a coyote tracker app, which sought to track the coyotes spotted in the Chestnut Hill area; an app that tracks the wait times and capacities of different local bars; and one that functions similarly to the TransLoc Rider bus tracker.

Students enrolled in the course have a wide range of prior experience: Anyone from students who have never seen Swift to computer science majors who have extensive experience can take it, according to John Gallaugher, the course’s professor.

“I had specifically designed the class so that it could be their first collegiate programming course,” he said.

Gallaugher said he was motivated to create the course after conversations with many students in CSOM, during which he found that the biggest problem that students have is not having the skills to build their “vision”—by which he meant anything from starting a business to building an app.

“A lot of students will actually take this class because they have some sort of business in mind, and they just don’t have the skills to do so,” said Joe Langenderfer, a teaching assistant for the course and CSOM ’19. “And they want to learn those skills, and you’ll see … some students who are super entrepreneurial but aren’t super technical.”

The course has a “flipped classroom” structure, meaning it’s based around video lectures that the students watch to learn the programming concepts and build apps.

Students design numerous apps throughout the course under the guidance of the instructional materials and Gallaugher, including a venue rating app similar to Yelp called Snacktacular. The final project ot this semester was to create a Game of Thrones-inspired app, featuring detailed descriptions of the many fictional houses featured in the HBO series.

“We are in the golden age of collegiate entrepreneurship because of technology,” Gallaugher said. “And that’s because it’s never been easier to start a business and make it available to the world. So apps play a pretty big role there.”

Featured Image by Jack Miller / Heights Editor

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