From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Jared Poole: My experience in going from CIS student to app developer
I recently received the following letter from one of our students, Jared Poole, who was excited about his success and experience with the Microsoft Application Development workshop hosted by his professor, Dr. Rhonda Syler, in April. Jared is a relatively new Computer Information Systems (CIS) student in the College of Business. He took the CIS 315 (Intro to Programming) course under Dr. Syler this spring and decided to attend the 2-day Microsoft App Development workshop to see what it was all about. Microsoft was so impressed with his success from the workshop, they asked him to do this write up. At last count, Jared has published over 40 Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone applications, has had thousands of downloads of his applications (many of which are paid downloads), and now has a revenue stream from this work. It is great to see the impacts of experiential learning offered by Dr. Syler to her class. The experience has been transformational to Jared, and it is rewarding to hear the excitement in his voice. I hope Jared’s excitement and experience will also prompt others to explore our CIS program and the opportunities it offers for students and graduates. Here is Jared’s letter: My name is Jared Poole and I currently attend Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. My major is Computer Information Systems and I am currently enrolled in CIS 315 Intro to Programming. In the beginning of the quarter my professor told us about the opportunity to participate in an app development workshop. I thought it sounded pretty cool as I have always enjoyed technology and phones. As the quarter went on, we got around to the weekend the workshop would be held. At this point, I was not sure if I was going to attend or not. I knew it would cut into my weekend, studying, and any other things I had planned for that weekend. After lots of debating and talking with my parents, I realized that if I wanted to be a CIS major then I should attend this event and see what it was all about. I knew the only thing it could do is benefit me, and after conversing with friends I also found there was a money-making opportunity. At this point, I had committed to attending and the first night I upgraded to windows 8.1 and got several different programs that we would use throughout the weekend. This was already awesome to me – getting all of the new software I knew nothing about. I showed up to the business building the next morning and was ready to see what this was all about. I first met Paul Decarlo and instantly we hit it off and I knew this was going to be an awesome weekend. After getting all of the prerequisites taken care of, we started working in app studio. This was the coolest thing I had ever seen and I worked all day on one app and got it perfect exactly how I wanted it. By the end of the day, I had an app in the market. After the first day was over, I was blown away with the things I had accomplished. Getting all the new software, building and testing an app, becoming a developer for windows phone, publishing, and seeing my app I created live in the store. I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do in the future after obtaining my degree and retiring from the military. We arrived on the second day and Paul told us we would be using the xplatform kit. Upon arriving, we started working on more app studio and planned to do so until lunch and then start working in the xplatform kit. We got so into working and publishing apps so quickly, that we didn’t get a chance to work in the xplatform kit. After the workshop was over and I had published four apps in the store, I immediately went home and submitted my fifth app and shortly received my first developer phone. The very next day after submitting my fifth app, I started watching videos on how to work in the xplatform kit. I got some things done within the kit and was having trouble, so I contacted Paul. He was ecstatic that I called him and was willing to sit down and help me learn about the xplatform kit on my own. We talked for several minutes and he talked me through the areas in which I was having trouble. Soon after, I had published my first windows 8 app store. From that point on, I was completely hooked in the world of app developing. I made several apps a day and slowly got better and faster. Some days, I was publishing four to five apps a day. Paul and I were keeping in contact throughout the entire next week and he was willing to answer even the smallest questions I had. Without him, none of this would have been possible. The second week of developing windows 8 apps, I started to notice downloads rising. I hit my first 100 downloads and I was blown away because people were actually downloading and purchasing my apps. I started receiving a few purchases a day and my interest grew and grew every single day. I would wake up and the first thing I would do is check my apps progress and see how many more purchases I had. The next week I hit 1000 downloads total and I couldn’t believe how far I had come since the workshop. From there, it got more and more crazy and in less than a month I have received thousands of downloads. It grows every day and I am so amazed how quickly this is blowing up for me. Paul has stayed in contact with me and amps me up more and more every time we talk. It has now been a little over a month and I have 39 apps in the windows 8 store, and 7 apps in the phone store. I had been so excited and so overwhelmed with my success I was telling everyone about it, even though no one believed me. One of my friends contacted me and we talked for a little while and I told him everything from the beginning. His eyes were wide open the entire time and he told me I had to get him into app developing. I agreed to work with him. We sat down one day and I upgraded his device to windows 8.1 Pro, and gave him every other pre req he needed to do what I was doing. Dreamspark and Bizspark were incredibly helpful in getting him everything he needed to be an app developer. These two programs enabled me to be able to take everything I had learned in the app builder workshop and teach them to another student. After a few days of trial and error and working out all the details, and with some help from Paul, we got him up and running. He was now ready to start developing apps. He came over to my house one night and I took him step by step through the entire app development process. He wrote every step down, constantly asked questions, and we got his first app created and published on the store. I have never seen anyone so happy to see something he had created being published on the store. This made me feel incredibly good as the student had become the teacher. It has now been a little over a week since I helped him get started and since then he has published 25 apps in the store. Seeing him seize the opportunity just like I did is awesome. It makes me feel good to know I took what I learned, and gave this opportunity to someone else, like Paul did for me. After a recent phone call from Paul, I have now learned that all apps that I have created within the xplatform kit are available to publish to the phone store. I will seize this opportunity soon and get my apps from the windows 8 store onto the phone store and see how successful I can be there. This has been the most unique and amazing opportunity I have ever been presented in my life. The last four weeks have been incredible and this is just the beginning. A big thank you goes to Paul Decarlo for taking time to come out and work with us. I am very grateful for this opportunity. The sky is the limit with the amount of success I hope to achieve within the next days, weeks, months, or years.