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Creating apps abroad w/ Academy of Information Technology

How do you find a career in creating apps? We talk to Daniel Lavorato, student advisor and resident tech-head at the Academy of Information Technology (AIT) in Australia, about all things app-related and their Mobile Applications Development courses



What makes a "good app"?

‘The Mobile Applications Development course will teach you the essentials of building a good app. Features of a good app usually include:

  • A sensible and approachable User Interface/ User Experience (Which is taught in the UI/UX subject)
  • A unique and entertaining experience
  • A system that saves you time  
  • Ultimately, something that is well built and functionable that fulfils a need.‘


What do students learn on a Mobile Applications Development course at the Academy of Information Technology?

‘You will be learning the basics of web development using traditional languages such as HTML, C++ and Java. However where the course truly shines is its unique approach to building apps from the start of the course. An aptitude for cross Platform applications development is the ultimate goal of the course. You will learn how to optimise systems for Android, iOS and spend a lot of time on user experience and interface design. We also teach project management, and how to take the needs of a client, systematically manage the project to give the output and specifications they have asked for. When we teach students to make apps they come with their own ideas and we teach them the skills to turn these into a reality. All students will graduate with a collection of apps (called a portfolio) that are ready to sell on the market place, or showcase to future employers.’


What can a student who is interested in studying on such a course do to prepare?

‘AIT has no prerequisites for our courses as they all begin from a base level of knowledge. However we recommend student take an IT subject as part of their schooling, whether it be IPT, Software design and development or Multimedia studies. There are also a range of cool tutorials on various websites and YouTube that can teach you the foundations of coding.’


What are some of the things which surprise students when they begin the course?

‘An active student life! AIT is a vibrant and creative community with so much going on all the time. We have about 400 students on campus and the campus is abuzz with students playing video games, collaborating on projects and enjoying their time as a student.  M.A.D students also really enjoy interacting with the digital media students, who share their skills in animation, games design, digital art and film. This adds a whole new creative element. The most common feedback we get is that students love our small class size and personalised approach. Our teachers really take an interest with our students and guide them through each lesson with a hands-on approach. It is very different to the university model where you may have up to 400 people in a single class.’


Do graduates on the course usually join large companies or “break out on their own”? 

‘We haven’t had any M.A.D graduates yet, the first will be emerging in 2016. However our Diploma of Software Development students and our Interactive Media students end up in a range of places. Many become free-lancers and enjoy working their own hours and charging good money for their work. Others prefer the security of a single employer.  We have graduates working across a range of IT, Advertising, Film, Animation and Web Design companies. We even have a graduate working for Disney in Japan.’


What are some of the notable Australian-born apps?

'Halfbrick studios are a Brisbane Based game developer that has developed popular iOS and Android games “Fruit Ninja” and “Jetpack Joyride”. These games have seen international success, Fruit Ninja alone selling over 200 000 copies in its first month. 1Form was a very successful app that was sold to a real estate company for millions of dollars and a young fellow called John Papandriopoulos created an app called SnappyCam that was bought by Apple for over $20Million. There are so many success stories out there – we hope to give everyone the skills to be in the running.'


What are some of your favourite apps?

‘Some of our favourite apps include Instagram, Photovault, Shazam, Dark Sky and Jelly. These are a diverse range of apps that set themselves apart from other apps on the market. What is interesting is there are so many apps that are so similar to each other, what defines success isn’t always what came first – but how easy it is to use, and how it is marketed.’


What is the future of apps? Are they here to stay?

'We are accessing the internet more through apps and less through web browsers every day.  Even PC’s are now using apps to give specific functionality to their users. Technology research company Gartner predicts that by 2015, projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4:1. Gartner recognises that cloud, mobile application and social computing should be considered a central strategy for every forward thinking CEO. As with any technology, apps will continue to grow and evolve to suit different business and social practices, but they are definitely here to stay.'



Find out more about AIT and their Mobile Applications Development course now!


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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


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