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First UCD-EPITA Android workshop a great success

First UCD-EPITA Android workshop a great success

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The first UCD-EPITA Android workshop was held in EPITA – a French Engineering school focused on software engineering – from April 14-16. The purpose of the workshop was to enable the participants to obtain some experience working with the platform by engaging in an intense short term project of their choosing.  The participants included UCD students – mostly final year students – and some EPITA second year students. The joint workshop provided an opportunity for students to understand a little about the differences between the Irish and French education systems and the skillsets they teach.

The event opened with a welcome followed by a talk on - Good Android Development Practices - presented by Backelite (www.backelite.fr). After this, there was a session in which ideas were pitched and teams were formed based on the participants' project  preferences. The teams then proceeded to define the work in more detail and break it into sub-tasks for each member to work on.

The teams worked intensely with almost all of the teams working through one of the nights of the workshop. The teams gelled well in the sense that – despite the high pressure environment – all of the teams got on well, even though for the most part they did not know each other prior to the event. All of the teams managed to deliver working functionality which had some utility.

Five projects in total were defined:

Twixi: a twitter based taxi call/response system comprising of two mobile clients, one for the taxi and one for the person seeking taxi services;

GetSpongeBob: an augmented reality game in which sprites were superimposed on an AR backdrop in an intelligent fashion which leveraged some basic video processing functions to extract features from the video;

Social Match: a location based dating application in which the user can search for people in proximity that have similar profiles/interests;

OTCE: a collaborative note taking tool in which a group of people in close proximity could share information to arrive at some combined notes;

Offline Evernote: an alternative to the Android Evernote note taking client which can support the taking of notes while offline and enable them to be synced with Evernote once the user goes online again.

At the end of the workshop, there was an opportunity for team's to presented their project work. Twixi was awarded the prize for the best project because - it appeared to have some real deployment potential and the team managed to get two mobile applications working during the event. The team were awarded some phones which were kindly donated by Samsung in France, who are investigating whether the application is worth developing further.

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