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Apps to Help the Community
Aminata Ka '19 Staff Writer
November 15, 2017
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Deerfield’s App Development Club is a student-run initiative that seeks to increase the community’s engagement with programming and app development. Neil Nie ’19, Valerie Hetherington ’19, and Shreyas Sinha ’19 founded the club last year, and work with a small group of additional students to develop basic programming skills. Stressing the value of app development, Hetherington explained, “[App development] is going to continue to be such a big part of our modern society, … We think it’s very important for people to learn these skills and learn this way of thinking.” By creating projects with the community and for the community, the club intends to promote the necessary role that programming will play not only for the future of Deerfield, but for the future of the world.

Credit: Neil Nie

One of the club’s major projects has been the DA Bulletin App. According to Nie, the app “has a few hundred active users every month.” The app’s developers highly value feedback on how the app can be improved.

This year, the club has expanded their outreach. Sinha ’19 said, “We have been able to work with kids on a much larger scale … and a much more personal level. The premise of our club is to make apps that help our community and [teach] people how to do that.”

With one project under their belt, the club aims to take on more projects this year. However, their primary goal remains to educate the community.

To assist with teaching programming skills, the App Development club uses a website called “Code.org,” a non-profit organization that aims to promote computer science education around the world. In the future, according to Nie, the club’s leaders hope to bring “Code.org” and some rudimentary coding programs to local elementary schools, outside of the immediate Deerfield community. Nie said, “It is very empowering for young students, at the age of 10 or 11, to begin to understand the basics of coding.” The leaders believe it is necessary that young students become engaged with app development given that these skills grow in importance, as shown by the increase in jobs involving computer programming. The club demonstrates a passion for the impact of app development on not only the Deerfield community but also how the field will continue to grow and affect the world as a career industry in the future.