September 7, 2014

BUSINESS NEWS | ‘Cornell App Development’ Offers Training for Designers

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Cornell App Development — an organization that will educate and work with Cornell students to develop apps for Apple’s App Store — is one of Cornell’s newest start-ups.

Also known as CUAppDev, the organization aims to release at least one application by the end of every semester, according to president Eric Appel ’16.

“CUAppDev’s plan is to take a new app idea every semester from conception to completion and release a finished app on the Apple App Store at the end of the semester,” he said. “To do that, we are forming a team of designers and developers.”

Appel said he has been working on his own apps for years — either in his own spare time or at summer internships — and has been looking for ways to recruit a team to aid him with his development.

“The idea came to me back [during] finals week of my freshman year,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘I wish there was a group of people I could get together with so I could start working on some of these apps with a team.’”

Brendan Nunan ’16, a mechanical engineering major and CUAppDev’s vice president of operations, also expressed similar ambitions.

“I would love to develop some kind of team that can work very well together,” Nunan said. “I want us to act like a regular startup company in the professional world.

Nunan and Appel said they met with Cornell’s engineering department last semester, submitted an intent to register as an on-campus organization and were accepted this past spring.

According to Appel, those who are interested in joining the team do not necessarily have to have prior experience with app development or computer science.

“Our 10-week developer in training program assumes no prior knowledge of iOS development or computer science,” he said. “Upon completion of this program, trainees will have the skills necessary to become a junior developer on our team and actually start contributing.”

Appel also said that due to the theoretical nature of the computer science curriculum, students often have to undergo months of training at tech companies upon graduation. However, he said, CUAppDev aims to provide a way for students to use the knowledge they learn in the classroom and apply it practically now, so they can contribute immediately later.

“Once [graduates] go [into the work force], they still have to go through months of training periods in order to the knowledge they learned at Cornell,” he said. [CUAppDev] is also going to be a really cool way to get involved in a startup environment early on.”

Appel said CUAppDev is currently recruiting.

“Employers in the tech sector look for two things: Experience and experience,” he said. “This is an awesome way for anyone on campus to gain experience in mobile app development.”