Guest Blog – Code First: Girls at Mozilla London Head Office by Olivia Drury

Code First: Girls Mobile Development Workshop

On Saturday, the 21st of June, Code First: Girls held a workshop at Mozilla in London on mobile app development. While it was sunny outside, the girls were focused inside on learning how to build a mobile app. The workshop itself was fun and interactive since the instructors, James Nocentini (@Jamiltz) and Yacine Rezgui (@yrezgui) were keen to share their enthusiasm for app development and careers in web development in general.

Most of those who attended the workshop already attended a Code First: Girls course. There was an attendee who previously took a Code First: Girls course in Aberdeen!

We spent the morning setting up our laptops for making an app. This included an introduction to PhoneGap and Apache Cordova which provided a platform for building our app through code. We used HTML5, CSS3 and Angular JS during the afternoon, enabling us through the process of making a messaging app. Angular JS was mentioned as being particularly useful as it is JavaScript but better in the sense that it saves time for developers not having to bother with selectors and provides interactivity to users. Being able to use Angular JS today is valuable because it is fairly new and increasingly being used in app and web development.

The instructors also shared positive prospects of considering web development as a career. Yacine enjoys being a web developer himself because “it is creativity.” Yacine supported working in a startup since they “grow so fast and are creative.” The added flexibility when working in a startup was described as a bonus that potentially gives you greater freedom than working for a large corporation.

The app we all worked on held a sequence of coloured lines where you write in the contact you would like to send a push notification or message to that appears on locked screens. While we didn’t have time to publish apps ourselves, James gave us a presentation at the end of our session to show us how it is done. Providing us with a guide on the different ways of publishing apps for Android and iOS, Android published through Google Play appeared much easier than the process through iTunes for iOS apps which also charges a fee. While it may be harder to publish an iOS app for iPhones, insight into the building process of a mobile app now appears to be very achievable thanks to the introduction to mobile development.

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