Monthly Archives: May 2017

Snowball finishes semester strong, sad about saying goodbye

WE MADE IT.

It’s been a long 14 weeks since we started, but we MADE AN APP.

When we first met each other in January, we never imagined we’d be so invested in our product. But through the process of creating our baby, we realized that we had made something we are incredibly proud of. We left Demo Day with three awards — Most Original Idea, Best Presentation and Best Overall App — which is mind-blowing. Congratulations to everyone in this class for doing the damn thing and getting to Demo Day!!

We each thought about the semester, and have come away with a few realizations and messages for each other:

Kailey
That GIF is me and Eitan dancing to show our excitement, and it’s all too accurate after 14 weeks of bonding and working on this with these great teammates. This class was equal parts challenging and rewarding. There were days when we all grew weary, but in the end this ended up being a project we are all proud of. I’m truly bummed that it is over and we all have to part ways. I had so much fun designing the app and making sure every little aesthetic detail was right (and spelling and grammar — you can take the copy desk chief out of The Daily Texan, but you can’t take the copy editing out of the copy desk chief). When Jackie and I teamed up with Eitan, Jonathan and Mantu at the beginning of the semester, I just knew we would be successful. I am so proud of us, Snowball team! Thank you, Jeff and Quigley, for a great class. Your encouragement pushed us through!

Jackie
Our team is the best team!! I loved that we all got on the same page quickly, and how we managed to win THREE AWARDS for this app that we hate/love after so many bugs and still not being in the App Store. Thank you guys for trusting in my dumb humor and agreeing to do a skit or write crazy stories on our app. Our design is beautiful thanks to Kailey, and the app itself wouldn’t exist had it not been for our three wonderful developers. Also, shout out to Mantu for being the funniest person on our team and killing it onstage and in our second promo video.

Thank you to Jeff and Quigs for supporting us throughout this process and being the best critics and cheerleaders. Without Quigs, I would have never taken this class. Without Jeff, I would have even less of an idea of how Swift works. Thank you to our friends and family for keeping us sane this semester, and supporting us at Demo Day. Thank you to the Demo Day judges for seeing our passion for this project and getting why we loved it so much.

Eitan
So nothing I say will live up to Mantu’s speech but here goes. When I first saw this class on the course schedule I was intrigued but I really knew nothing about it. The idea of making an app with journalism students sounded so interesting, a real departure from anything in the CS department. I think until now I didn’t realize what the CS department was missing, but it’s classes like this. I learned more from this class than most others I’ve taken. Teaching myself Swift and iOS development was stressful at first but I feel like I got the hang of it very quickly. I had always wanted to make an app but I never found the motivation, and never had an idea that I cared enough about. This class taught me that apps are fun to make, but honestly extremely difficult. It has taught me to respect apps, and pay attention to the little things. Jeff and Quigley, you guys really do an amazing job and I look forward to seeing what future iterations of this class come up with!

Jonathan
This class really is like no other that I’ve taken. I took an iOS app development class last year, and it doesn’t compare to what I’ve learned or experienced in this class. Diving into creating an app really forces you to learn quickly and more efficiently than a standard lecture. Working in a team environment was the most important takeaway from this class. In my four years at UT, I’ve always hated group projects. It usually seemed that there was always a person who wasn’t committed. I couldn’t ask for better teammates to create Snowball though! Everyone was really passionate about the app, and I couldn’t ask for any more effort than they put in. It’s really great to see that teams really do work before I leave UT and have to work in one in the real world!

Mantu
There is an end to everything. When I first came to class, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anything about iOS development and I thought this is just another iOS class where our professor would teach us how to code. It wasn’t like that. We had to learn and code ourselves. I thought I couldn’t do it. Fortunately, I have awesome teammates who were super helpful and positive. The last time I felt like I didn’t want the class to end and part ways with my classmates was in 12th grade when I was in Vietnam. For seven years I stayed in America, and for all the classes I took in UT, only this time I had that feeling again. With my (poor) observation, every team here was great. They all did great jobs, their hard work showed on Demo Day, but they all lacked something. From discussing their apps in class, or presenting on stage, they lacked something, something that I can only find it in my team. Our team may not be the best at some things, but I know for sure we have the best synergy, energy, and enthusiasm. I felt like we are a family. It’s sad that we all have our paths and we may not be able to see each other again but it’s life. Good luck to them in the future. Love my teammates, also, love Jeff and Quigley as well for the great class. Thank you!

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We’ve submitted a refined, updated build to Apple so keep your fingers crossed — we’re shooting for an acceptance this week. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date and find out when you can (finally) download the app from the App Store!

HAGS!

Love,
The Snowball team

Repped: Demo Day Success!

We did it y’all, thanks to everyone to came out and shoutout to all the teams for their great presentations!

And congrats to Snowball for winning three awards!

Like the title says, Demo Day was a complete success and the music lovers behind Repped seemed to really wow the crowd with the live demo. The supplemental dance videos also added that extra spice we were hoping for. The feedback we received from attendees was amazing and inspiring, with so many people expressing interest in using the app once it is available.

Check out some of the tweets about Repped below:

Not to mention we took home Best Design! Awww yeahhhhh. I’m sure that caught all of us on the team by surprise, but after thinking out it, the nature of our idea lent itself to a rather unique design flow, which is where I think we were able to capitalize. Seems like all that work on the digital mockups (even that one time they all got deleted….) did not go in vein!

A lot of hard work was put into this, as I’m sure the rest of the teams will agree, but to see it all culminate at Demo Day was extremely worth it. This week alone, Repped team members were meeting up constantly to make sure every part of our presentation was ready, from the video/dancer demo to the live demo. With countless rehearsals and hours of refinement, we were able to go in with confidence yesterday.

However, yesterday was more than just about showing off our app. After sitting at our booth (shoutout to Kevin for providing the jams and the journalism girls for the sweet setup and decorations) and talking to potential users, as well as hearing questions during our presentation, we learned just how much potential Repped has looking forward. From expanding on the whole ‘Rep’ social aspect to creating a new platform for users to listen to their favorite artists in real-time, the ideas were just flowing in.

Overall, this experience has been roller-coaster ride with multiple highs and lows, but a rewarding experience nonetheless. Being able to have freedom creatively has resulted in so many awesome creations. In our case, being able to combine tech and journalism with music was exactly what we wanted. The technical challenges associated with our app in particular stunted progress at multiple points throughout the semester but our dev team rose to the challenge. Similarly, our journalism team went above and beyond with our videos, presentations, etc. Professor Quigley and Jeff’s constant advice and feedback also influenced and guided our project in multiple ways. Their answers to our questions often saved us hours of work. Thanks for that guys!

Well, time to sign off. It’s been real! Don’t worry though, the amount of excitement for our app has served as motivation to get the app on the App Store ASAP! Make sure you follow us, @ReppedApp on Twitter and @repped.app on Instagram, to stay updated on what’s happening with Repped and more importantly to see when the app is publicly available. Until then, keep calm and keep jammin ^_^

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