This summer, I worked on an app geared towards helping students with concussions track their symptoms and navigate their concussion progress. Following a step by step process where I did research on similar apps, wrote out features for my app, made design mockups, help code, and now am able to run key features on the app, the path before the product was certainly rewarding but far from straightforward. Here are some of the reflections I have, looking back at the summer.
1. Starting from scratch is hard
I knew this project would be hard and time consuming. Online, I saw that it could take up to nine months to design an app, and I knew based on the features I wanted to incorporate, finishing my app before the summer would not be very realistic. This made starting the project difficult since I didn’t know when I would be able to have an end product in hand. What helped me get through this phase, though, was just reminding myself that starting would be the hardest part.
2. Starting without previous experience is hard
I have never created an app before, let alone touched the programming language used to code one. That’s why, while I was basically doing everything to make headway in my app, I was intentionally leaving out the coding. Watching coding tutorial videos helped me gain a new respect for the programming behind the apps I used, but at the same time, they made me doubt my own skills. I was sort of stuck.
3. Working by yourself is hard
I consider myself pretty independent which is why I started this project by myself. However, in the process of being stuck trying to learn a new coding language, I came upon another lesson which was that you can be independent but also let others help you. At that time, I enlisted the help of my mom to help me with the coding aspect of the project and we soon became a strong working duo. Being able to have the experience of working on a project together with my mom was a unique opportunity, and was beneficial towards moving forwards.
In this reflection, I’ve named three areas of hardship that I encountered. However, I think overcoming those difficulties are what’s made this experience most rewarding. I know when I get back to school, progress will definitely slow down, but I know that I will continue working on this app. Overall, I’m happy with the progress I made this summer, and would like to release a beta version of the app sometime in the fall. Thanks to the Workman family for helping lift this project off the ground.
-Jerry Huang ’23