TechTatva ’17: Behind the Scenes with App Dev

Imagine having to walk to NLH every time you wanted to know the venue and the time slot for a particular event of your liking. The App Development category makes our lives ten-folds easier by coming up with an app solely dedicated to the purpose of notifying everyone about the events going around in the campus during TechTatva. We engaged in conversation with the category heads, Anurag Choudhary and Gautham Vinod to know about their experience of building the app.

MTTN: We know your category is entrusted with the job of making the app for the fest. What did you do differently from last year?

The basic idea behind the TechTatva app is to let people know about the events that take place in the fest, and to update everyone with the results as soon as they are announced. This time, we tried to present the app a little differently by displaying the fest’s Instagram feed on the homepage. We also incorporated links to everything on the home page itself, and tried to personalize the app and make it more user friendly by bringing the user’s favorite events to the top of the feed.

MTTN: What are the challenges that you faced during your entire journey?

Our first challenge was during the organizer call. It’s always difficult to find people who are good at app development, especially for the Windows app. Another challenge was to keep the three apps as uniform as possible. This is difficult because the three interfaces are very different, but we managed to do it somehow. Apart from this, communication with the other categories is also a major setback. All the data that goes up on the app is managed by the Web and System Admin category, and we can’t do anything to modify it, which is something that some of the other categories still don’t understand, and we’re left to deal with them every time some wrong information goes up.

MTTN: Do you have any message for your juniors?

We’re a team of just 10 members presently, but we welcome anyone who has the slightest interest in app development. All we look for is the passion and desire to learn. When we joined this category as organizers, we didn’t know half as much as we do today. We learnt from both our seniors and juniors. Ninety five percent of the work that goes into the making of the app is done by the second year students, which is why they get to learn a great deal in the entire process.

MTTN: How was it working with the Student Council and other categories?

The Student Council was very supportive and had confidence in the work we were doing. They barely interfered with our work and just made sure that the app was ready and working one month before the fest. The communication with the other categories could have been a little better.

MTTN: Did you like the theme for the fest this time? Do you think anything could have been implemented differently?

We, personally, loved the theme. It was somehow more ‘technical’ than what we’ve had in the previous years, but the implementation could have been better. We expected to see a little more of fictional touch in the campus. Also, it seems funny that MIT, despite being a technological institute, spends so much more on its cultural fest. TechTatva hardly has any participation from outstation teams and even our own college students aren’t excited about it. We should try and keep more cash prizes to attract students from the outside. Another thing that can be done is approaching some of the well-known quiz-masters in the country to conduct the few quizzes we have in some of the categories. This would surely attract a lot of crowd.

 

–As told to Gaurangi Gupta for MTTN

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