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App Making 101

Like many of us, Katherine Shaw and Mrinalini ('Merru') Padmanabhan grew up in the era of smartphones.

Shaw, who’s just completed her law degree and Padmanabhan, a software engineering student at Charles Darwin University and junior programmer for the Department of Corporate and Information Services, have joined forces to create Project Empower – a program designed to excite and empower young people through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Off The Leash had a chat with Shaw and Padmanabhan about their vision and upcoming app making workshops, designed for 12 to 16 year olds.

How did you become interested in app making?  

We both grew up at the beginning of the technological age and, with the emergence of smartphones, we began to see the power of apps, how they cross national, cultural and educational boundaries, and can be used as an important vehicle for changing the way people interact and see the world. 

How long does it take to learn to make an app?  

With the advancement in technology, app building has become a matter of a few clicks. Ultimately, the time depends on the complexity of an application. The workshops aim 
to help young talents to put their imaginations together to develop a simple application in a short time span of about two hours. 

Do you need any previous skills or experience to make an app?  

Absolutely not. There's a range of different applications on the Internet that can help you create an app. In the current era of Smart technology, building an application with these online tools can be viewed as creating art on a computer. 

How will app making help students in the future?  

The workshops work around making students feel confident, as by the end of the session they will be able to build an app successfully. The sessions will incorporate a perfect recipe of brilliant minds, patience and pure imagination.

Why did you decide to hold these workshops?  

Most teenagers have access to smart phones and are in constant contact with mobile and computer applications. In a changing world, computer programming is a new language, and we believe that everyone should learn basic fundamental skills in this area. We want to ignite the passion for computer programming and get young people excited about what is possible. Not only that, we believe that by providing this knowledge they will be equipped with free skills and inspired to create something to benefit the whole community.  

Are you planning to hold future workshops?  

We are! Our organisation, Project Empower, is holding a six-week program commencing in August. The program will involve teenagers from 12-15 years old and mentors from Charles Darwin University to help teach them basic software programming skills.

App Making 101 – Game Apps | Wed 19 Jul | 2-4pm | Casuarina Library

App Making 101 | Fri 21 Jul | 1-3pm | Casuarina Library

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