An Independent Study in the Upper School
Last Spring, when I was deciding what classes to take my Senior year, I came up with the idea to do an independent study with Jona Rice, an Art teacher at Waynflete. I wanted to do something that would allow me to explore one of my personal interests at school. I talked with Jona about my goals and plans for the study, wrote up a proposal, and it was approved. So, this past fall, I started my independent study, Graphic and Mobile Application Design.
A few years ago I became interested in creating iPhone apps. To do this, I had to learn how to code in Objective-C and also learn how to use Xcode, a software development tool used to develop iOS apps. I had never coded or programmed before, so I taught myself with books, the Internet, and stackoverflow.com (the programmers version of Yahoo Answers). I found coding to be fun and fascinating and soon I was able to create my own application. After a few months of experimenting, I was creating more complex apps, and I began selling them on the iTunes App Store. As my business grew, I started developing Mac applications as well and created my own website (http://gtcsoftware.com). I also began doing development work for other companies and individuals. I built applications for them or helped them with the building process and distribution of their own applications. Last summer, I registered my business in the state as GTC Software LLC.
Recently, I was approached by a company called Leap Motion, Inc., the creator of a device, which was launched this past summer. The device allows users to interact with their computer in 3D using special sensors. Leap Motion has an App Store similar to Apple’s, called Airspace, and after seeing some of my apps online, they asked me to develop my apps for their device, and sell them on their App Store.
Creating apps includes both coding and graphic design. Jona is extremely helpful in giving advice and feedback on the design aspect of my work, which includes graphic design, interface design, and user interaction with the app. I am able to meet with him regularly to discuss new apps to make, redesign already made apps, and work on graphic design and Photoshop use. It is extremely helpful being able to bounce ideas off of someone who is so knowledgeable.
Having an independent study at Waynflete has supported my interests and granted me credit for pursuing them. Despite not having any computer science classes, the school was able to accommodate me and assist me in my personal studies.