Reflective Report

It’s 2am and I’m putting in the finishing pieces of code for my app. I’ve been trying and failing to get the Google Maps feature on my app to work however, I’ve been into the BIOS settings on my laptop (risky move), downloaded all the necessary SDK’s, entered the correct Google services product key but still nothing! I’m digging deep now into why I’m doing this. Yes, it’s an assignment but it’s also for that personal sense of achievement – to make and create something, to try something new and sink my teeth into a challenge. Just a little more and it’ll get there… There! With a final tweak, it’s working! Everything works and it’s ready to go! But how did I get here?

This project got a huge boost two weeks ago when I found somebody to collaborate with, up until that point I could only do research into what software to use, what coding language, market and audience research and create a specification for the features and interface of the app design. Although I had tried to find a suitable programmer within the University to work with, it proved impossible with relations to deadlines however, I’d been discussing the project with a friend from the beginning of the module and in the end, he decided it would be interesting to get involved. We communicated using Skype every evening and in the mean-time, he worked on creating a basic layout for the app using stock SDK, created the navigation and menus and did some research into what services he’d need to install for Android Studio 2.2 to create all the features the app would need. In the mean-time I created a specification for us to work from, detailing the design and functions of each page of the app.

From here we could work on the code using the share screen option on Skype, with me focusing on the smaller pieces of code to control the design of the app, and my friend making sure each function was workable and all the functions were linked together properly. This worked perfectly, right up until the 2am Google services nightmare. With everything working well my friend headed to bed, only for me to notice an hour later that one of the key functions of the app wasn’t working. By following the script readout for the emulator and remembering what my friend had taught me about programming during the week, I managed to link the app to my Google developers account and get the maps page working!

This knowledge has given me a new string to my bow – since I had very limited knowledge to coding before now. I could draw upon what my friend had taught me to fix a serious issue with the app, as well as contributing to the design of the app during the programming phase. I enjoyed working on a professional project with my friend and utilising both of our skill sets.

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