I’m Adam, and I was an AppCamper in 2013. The app I created was called Maply and it aimed to help users find events in their area. AppCamp was such a worthwhile experience and it put me in a great position for my second year of university, which was a lot more coding intensive than the first.
In the first two weeks as an AppCamper, I learned (with the help of Kainos’s Sean Mackin, Andrew Paul and Paul Acheson) how to use source control and Obj-C programming – and a great deal about how humans interact with devices. I had more hands-on coding experience in those two weeks than in the entirety of first year at university. After the initial two weeks of AppCamp, we had to pitch our app ideas to a board of ‘Dragons’ who would ultimately decide our fate. That was another challenge we wouldn’t have ever experienced at university!
I was pleased to be accepted and progress through to the final stage – six weeks to make my app a reality. I had to learn a lot of new things quickly; even though Sean and Paul covered a lot of content in the first two weeks, we still had to do a lot of thinking for ourselves, about how to take this knowledge and convert it into our own app idea – as ultimately, the projects are our own – they don’t belong to Kainos, and we really took ownership.
Trust me, it wasn’t easy! Due to the complex nature of its design, my app had to interact with a lot of different servers and services in order to pull the information required by the app. I kept learning the entire time, and eventually finished my app with some help from the mentors. My app eventually went on to win the technical triumph award mainly down to its use of interlinking API usage and use of storyboards – this was an AppCamp first.
In the months following Appcamp I was been offered a placement role with Kainos and as part of that, it seemed like a good fit to be a mentor for AppCamp 4.0. It’s a great opportunity for us to pass on our experience and what we learned at last year’s camp. We completed the first two weeks of the competition in Belfast, which culminated in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel where the AppCampers pitched their app ideas to a panel of Senior Kainos Technologists. It was great to watch the talent on show – especially from this side, seeing as I went through it all last year!
A quick week off, and then we move on to the next stage of the competition where the selected AppCampers will find themselves in the same position Stephen and I found ourselves in last year. Good luck to them, they will need it! It’s tough at times – but sharpening your development skills and creating something that really works is an experience I couldn’t have got elsewhere.