App Development Club: Creating Our Future Tech Leaders


Andrea Espino

App Development Club Group Photo.

By Andrea Espino, Staff Writer

App Development club has been around for six years at Niles West and gives students the chance to create programming projects that interest them. To give you an example of what the environment is like , one group is working on designing an interactive website to help people learn Tibetan. Another group is brand new to programming and is currently learning how to make a game.

App Development Club’s meetings have changed since their in-person meetings. In their virtual meetings, members go into breakout rooms depending on which project they would like to work on and then reconvene at the end to allow for people to showcase what they have worked on so far or if they want to add anything else. If we were back in school, they would meet before school on Fridays, with someone bringing donuts. Then, they would spend five minutes discussing what got done last week and spend the rest of the time working on new features and such.

This year’s turnout for students has been impressive since we’re doing remote learning. In the past, it’s been difficult to find a time during school for the club to meet and avoid conflicts with other commitments. This year, the App Development club has around 20 or more club members in attendance working on their projects. App Development club is all over Zoom, and some groups are working on projects outside on their own time and communicating through email and chat programs. There are several online programming platforms that students can use to cooperatively work on projects, such as Google Docs, which makes things a lot easier.
App Development Club’s main goal this year is to create a space for students to be creative with their programming skills. Another goal that they hope to be done by next year is an app to help juniors during SAT testing.
“This year, because of the nature of online meetings, we split the club into breakout rooms, and everyone is just working on ideas they think are beneficial or just plain fun. This year, the app we are working on for the school is a website that allows school administrators to efficiently map out SAT testing rooms to accommodate for coronavirus restrictions. We expect to have this app ready to go for junior SAT testing,” senior club president Zakariya Sattar said.
All of the clubs at Niles West are important for building communities and empowering students to explore their interests.
“With computer technology being more and more embedded in our lives, it’s that much more important that students have opportunities to learn how to program. Students in this club have made projects that help the school. For example, one-year several students collaborated on a program to help students find their bus quickly after school. Club members have been able to create projects that have helped them get into college programs or find technology jobs,” sponsor Matthew Fahrenbacher said
Many people join App Development Club for different reasons but senior Alex Koeberl joined because he’s always been interested in creating something technological, and this club certainty was the perfect opportunity to get started during his sophomore year. There’s so much to learn from this club that can help not just now but also for the future.
“So far, I’ve learned about the way the apps interface with both users and creators. I helped create the bus app, although I can’t claim the fame for the programming. I helped work on the image as well as some of the concepts and problems that we needed to iron out during production. I’ve also learned more about how teams of developers need to interact with each other in order to complete each task set out in front of them,” senior Alex Koeberl said.
Members of this club not only grasp so much knowledge about computer science but also get to work on amazing projects to positively impact our community.
“Being a part of this club has changed my life for the better. Since joining this club, I have worked on dozens of super cool projects that all ended up improving our school and community. I have also learned so much about coding and the strategy to building apps that just would not have been possible without the influence of Mr. Fahrenbacher, our mentor,” Sattar said.
App Development Club meets every Wednesday at 2 pm and if any other students would like to join they can send an email to the sponsor Mr. Matthew Fahrenbacher [email protected] and he will add you to their Canvas page.