Coding by the Bay: Senior crafts an app at summer program

September 10, 2018 — by Ava Hooman and Esha Lakhotia

Saratoga High Student attends coding camp during summer vacation. 

This summer, senior Veda Jammula attended a six-week sleepaway coding camp called The Make School’s Summer Academy in San Francisco to improve her knowledge on app development.

Jammula decided to apply to the camp last April since she wanted to learn how to make a fully functioning app from start to finish.

The Make School is a program where students can create their own working app or website within six weeks. To get into the Summer Academy, Jammula had to undergo a video interview that had somewhat random questions, she said. For example, one inquired about her post-summer plans and another asked for the best tic-tac-toe strategy.

“I was initially really confused by the wide ranging questions, but I actually appreciated how creative they were,” Jammula said. “They allowed me to show a side of my personality that isn’t always asked for with these applications.”

The camp, which ran from June 30- Aug. 11, was split up into weeks consisting of different activities. During the first two weeks, the students learned how to use Swift, a programming language, and the entire third week was a hackathon requiring students to develop apps in pairs or groups. In the last three weeks, they built their own individual apps.

TAs also helped students when they were stuck and instructors taught for one hour every day.

“I really liked the camp because of the people there and the positive learning environment that they created,” Jammula said.

While there, Jammula met people from around the world and made lifelong connections.

“I have never gotten so close to people after just one day,” Jammula said. “I remember the first night we got there, even though we did not know each other, we all sat in one room and talked for hours about our lives.”

At the end of the six weeks, Jammula was able to launch her own app, Hot Closet, on the Apple App Store. The app helps girls organize their clothes and prepare outfits for school and other events. Jammula said Hot Closet was inspired by her older sister, who “always has trouble figuring out what to wear.”

The app has since gotten over 200 downloads, but Jammula doesn’t plan to stop there.

“I will definitely try to expand more in the CS side by using this knowledge to create more advanced apps in the future,” she said.

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