Rock Valley College app development course focuses on filling a need

ROCKFORD — Be it Facebook, Fitbit, Fruit Ninja or Flickr, the downloadable application has gained so much popularity that, in 2009, Apple trademarked the ubiquitous saying, “There’s an app for that.”

A screenshot of an iOS app called "Pallet Counter," created by Rock Valley College student Bartosz Zoltek during an app programming course taught by Professor Chuck Konkol. As a way to help his father, a truck driver, Zoltek programmed the app to estimate how many pallets, or wooden boards, can fit in trailers of varying sizes. PHOTO PROVIDED
A screenshot of an iOS app called “Pallet Counter,” created by Rock Valley College student Bartosz Zoltek during an app programming course taught by Professor Chuck Konkol. As a way to help his father, a truck driver, Zoltek programmed the app to estimate how many pallets, or wooden boards, can fit in trailers of varying sizes. PHOTO PROVIDED

But despite the millions of apps available at the tap of a finger, Professor Chuck Konkol teaches students in his mobile app development course at Rock Valley College that there is still a need for more.

Konkol touted the course, CIS 280, as the first of its kind at a community college in Illinois. As an elective for the Web Programming & Design degree, the course is designed for students who already have a college degree or for high school graduates who want to focus on app development, Konkol said.

Students learn the basics of programming for iOS Apple mobile devices by writing commands with Web-programming software called X-code. Their final assignment is to create an app and present it to the class using an overhead projector that connects to their iOS device.

For his final project, Bartosz Zoltek, 19, created an app to help his father in his work as a semi-truck driver.

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