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April 4, 2013

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Mobile app development; there’s a class for that

By Robert Bray

Recently, Nick D’Aloisio, a 17-year-old in the U.K., sold an app he designed to Yahoo for an undisclosed amount believed to be worth tens of millions of pounds. He was also offered a position with the U.K.’s Yahoo team. Currently D’Aloisio works at the Yahoo London office and is also studying for his GED. The app “Summly” is designed to offer users summaries of news articles on mobile devices with links to the origional item.

Summly Logo“There are a billion apps, but then there’s only a few hundred that are actually famous and get downloaded repeatedly,” said Professor Nigamanth Sridhar, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professor Sridhar teaches courses for designing mobile apps.

Professor Sridhar said that the benefits of app design are in both self-employment and the job market. He teaches two classes of app development. One for companies and the other that an app designer can make an app in their room and become famous.

“There are a few people who have made tens of millions of dollars writing very simple applications,” said Sridhar.

The classes are EEC 492,693, and 793: Mobile Application Development. Many students interested in joining the course are aware of the high demand in jobs for development in mobile apps.

“It’s the way they’re moving too…they’re moving to make it easier for their customers,” said Paul Boda, a computer engineering student at Cleveland State.

Sridhar explained that along with knowing how to program, another way that one can acquire success is by simply having a great idea.

“There’s a guy that wrote an alarm clock app for the iPad, the only thing that was new about the app is that it was the first alarm clock that took over the entire screen,” said Sridhar.

A background in programming would help in learning how to design apps also having experience in object-oriented software development languages such as Java, C++, or C#.

“Android applications are programmed using a stylized version of the Java language, and iOS applications are programmed using Objective-C,” explained Sridhar. For the last three years, the course has been taught in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department

The first two years, it was taught as an iPhone development class. In fall 2012, Professor Sridhar expanded the course to cover both iOS development and Android development.

For more information contact the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at 216-687-5341.