News Online: New program aims to ensure ‘there’s an app for that’

Published online at on March 24, 2011.

Linda Hoang, Global News: Thursday, March 24, 2011

New program aims to ensure ‘there’s an app for that’

With the popularity of iPhone games and more and more companies turning to mobile applications to attract customers, being able to develop an app for mobile devices is in huge demand.

Edmonton is now home to a one-of-a-kind program that teaches its students to keep up with that demand, and it’s a skill that’s proving successful in this booming mobile market.

NAIT launched its new Apple iPhone/iPad Developer Certificate program this week, making it the only program of its kind offered in Alberta.

It’s a program designed to teach students how to build applications for the iPhone or Ipad, a skill that industry experts say is growing in demand.

“The mobile app market is the biggest growing market in the computer area,” said Harm Gerding, the program’s instructor.

“What’s happening is companies are changing all their information so that they’re becoming mobile accessible.”

Developer Matt Evans is enrolled in the part-time program because his company wants to become more mobile.

“Over the past year we’ve really noticed a huge increase in demand for mobile activity,” Evans said.

And his company isn’t the only one.

“A lot of our clients have been asking for iPhone applications or other mobile applications in order to accomodate their business,” said Jessica Ho, another student who was enrolled by her company.

“There’s a huge demand,” student Jorge Cabral said.

Gerding said there’s so much demand that the class filled up instantly.

“We were probably three-quarters full right away and we actually had to turn people away,” Gerding said.

From game apps to business apps, companies and individuals alike want to ensure that “there’s an app for that.”

“It’s a popular platform. It’s a new market, it’s up and coming,” Gerding said.

And while the program’s main focus is on the creation of business applications, students say they also hope to use what they learn to create the next hit mobile game.

“If I can sell one I’m happy, if I can sell 10,000, I’m fantastic,” Cabral said with a laugh.

Gerding said instructors are also working on creating new programs to teach application developing for Blackberry and Android smartphones as well.

The eight-course program takes place in two full-day sessions over the course of several weeks.

Each intake has 10 students and several more intakes are planned for May and into next fall, with a summer program in the works for the following year.

Click here to read the article on the Global Edmonton website.

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