Happy hunting apps created

22 October 2014

Rachel Atkinson

First year computing students have taken part in Four Week Computing Challenge

New computing students have joined forces to design, develop and market apps as part of their initiation to academic life at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The 170 first year undergraduates, who are studying on a range of computing related courses, have taken part in the Four Week Computing Challenge.

The students have spent the first four weeks of their time on the Preston Campus working in small groups to create a mobile quiz app. This was then developed into an app to help users complete a treasure hunt around Preston city centre, including the University.

Computing student Oliver Kerr, from Barrow-in-Furness, was part of the Think Fresh Treasure Hunt team. The 18-year-old said: “It’s been great fun as it’s given us a taste of what all the computing courses are like at UCLan. Some of us were able to bring our networking and coding skills to the team while others brought game development skills. To be able to work with these different students from the beginning has been great.”

“It’s been great fun as it’s given us a taste of what all the computing courses are like at UCLan."

Mum-of-two Alison Abbott loved being an integral part of Team Bandito, despite fitting her work around childcare and her husband’s shifts. The 41-year-old, from Rossendale, was made redundant from her job as a personal assistant so decided to enrol on the computer network technology course. She said: “I’ve always been the go to person in my family when people needed help with computers and technology. I spent two years doing an Open University course and this was the natural progression. Taking part in the Four Week Challenge has been thoroughly enjoyable and it’s a great introduction to the course. The group has worked really well together and it’s fantastic to do something so creative and fun so early into the start of our time at UCLan.”

The budding developers and programmers were told to work on the essential module to help with their team building skills and to help immerse them in the practical side of their courses.

Nicky Danino, Senior Lecturer in Computing, is one of the module tutors, together with colleagues Nick Mitchell and Lesley May. She said: “It’s now the fourth time we’ve held this challenge and each year’s intake of students bring something new and original to the task. The quality of the work this year is exceptional and we think it’s a great ice-breaker for new students.”