We all know that computer science education is broken. Bad. One could go four years and walk away with a degree only knowing how to write some subpar console-based programs that were never more than a few hundred lines of code. Worse, students think software is only limited to those crappy programs we used to write back at university, and are exposed when they enter the workforce. I think that mobile development can help us bridge the gap. Students can be introduced to general concepts like the software process, design, styles, development methodologies, and language exposure as well as general topics like web services, working with data, building user interfaces, responsive design, and code-sharing techniques all while building something fun and tangible they can show their friends.
I'm planning on building something like this for my university (Auburn University). I'm in the preliminary stages of getting everything setup for the fall, and I wanted some general feedback from both the student and non-student populations on the club, its aims, and how it plans to get there.
The Spring would be great for breaking developers out of their "shell" and getting them doing some simple business, management, and teamwork activities, as well as seeing a REAL product built from the planning stages to completion. I imagine that this would only make them much more marketable to employers, allow them to show off their product to their friends, and maybe even create something that would give them a job.
Certainly I've just outlined a very idealistic approach, so hopefully your feedback can help someone who has never run a usergroup, a class, or anything of the likes figure out what to do. As students, what would you want in this club? As employers, what kind of traits are you looking for in a software engineer coming out of university? As an event leader, how do you organize these groups and grow the organization? Any other (constructive) feedback you have is highly valuable!
If you are a student, and you don't go to Auburn, feel free to shoot me an email ([email protected]) if this sounds like something you want to do at your university. Even if you don't want to start a club, I'd be more than willing to help you get your feet under you if you are just starting out in the mobile (or even software) world.