In the following interview, Ms. Wallace talks about the app, her ENMU experience, and her future plans.
Q. Where and when did you graduate high school?
I graduated from Paonia High School, Paonia Colorado, 1982 I also graduated from Central New Mexico Community College, AAS CIS, Programming and Database concentration, 2013
Q. Describe the app you entered in the competition? What was the process for developing it?
My team, JABC, created an Android Application called "Student's Little Helper". Our goal was to create an application to help students navigate the community they live in and stretch their money, if possible. The application includes five activities.
- A simple notepad "doodle app" in which the student could make notes and save them to pictures as a .jpg. Created simply so the student could have a notepad without having to open another application
- A route activity in which the student can access the bus routes and where their bus is located at the moment. This activity goes to google maps and the student can then figure out the best way to get where they are going by, bus, bike, ride. The activity utilized City of Albuquerque open data sets for the bus locations.
- Included in this app is an activity which, when activated with the button, displays free Wi-Fi locations throughout the city. This is meant to help the student find a local place to study. In the future, this activity will include user updates so that they can give feedback on the Wi-Fi, such as "great connection here" etc ... We used a .csv file and parsed through the file and add it to the activity.
- The same .csv file included a list of businesses that gave student discounts. In the same way the Wi-fi discounts displayed locations and information, the business was parsed through to display whether they have free Wi-fi. So, the student would save even more money if the business gave a student discount and had free Wi-Fi.
- The last activity created was one we thought a good tool for the student to have at their fingertips. A grade calculator that would calculate based on weighted scores. The student can add up to eight categories and calculate their grade based on the percentage weight of each category.
Q. What was the process for developing it?
The process for developing the application was a kick-off meeting, to plan our app, assign tasks to each team member, decide the software we would use, and a communication plan. We also developed a stakeholder registry and stakeholder management plan.
We used Android Studio to develop the application and Git hub to update, upload and download code and pertinent files. Each developer kept a log of what they did, problems they had, and a time-line of each task. Changes were dealt with immediately and uploaded to google docs.
Q. How did your coursework at ENMU prepare you for entering the competition?
I think the course that really helped me in the development of this application was IS460, project management. It provided insight into necessary planning, documentation and communication that was vital to the success and timely completion of the Android app. I have gained vital experience in working with a team and knowing that we are all wired differently. I take all online classes and the communication needed to do things correctly has strengthened my soft skills.
Q. What do you want to do after graduation?
I plan on acquiring a position for which I can utilize my soft-skills and technical knowledge, to create a productive and happy work environment for team members.
Q. Other thoughts?
I have learned many new skills, communication, respect of team members, and creating a positive work environment by doing this hands-on project with a team. The team as a whole worked together in equal partnership, bringing all of our individual skills to the table, and creating something we feel is of great benefit to students. My team members were Jenn Morales-Owen (NMSU), Anna-Louise Martinez (CNM) and Bresdin O'Malley (NMHU), and me, of course.
I feel that it is important to mention this because we are all graduates of CNM CIS Programming, have gone on to our perspective universities, and have brought all the educational experience together to share technology. I feel that bringing the knowledge from four different educational bodies is a great achievement.