ACF’s MAC: A Budding Developer’s Perspective 👩🏻‍💻


Applied Computing Foundation’s Junior Web Developer, Winbert Zhang It’s been only six months into my internship at Applied Computing Foundation as a junior developer and I’ve already found monumental success with our Monthly App Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, this challenge is7 an online event for students to apply their coding skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python to create real projects and win prizes in the process. Each month has a different theme, such as March’s March Madness Jeopardy Challenge or May’s Mother’s Day Cardmaker Challenge. The intern team at ACF comes up with these ideas and develops a website with instructions on the various requirements that students must meet to submit their app. We also provide a sample app for participants to understand what the challenge is about and template their own projects. As one of the developers behind the creation of these monthly online events, I have had an invaluable opportunity to practice my leadership and collaboration skills. I have learned how to work with my team to set deadlines for specific action-items, such as developing the theme page to promote the event or finishing a new feature to add to the sample app. Additionally, I have also pushed myself to learn more web development so I can create better-looking websites and more advanced template projects. All the while, I’ve had to find a delicate balance between my schoolwork and internship. To help promote our event in light of the global pandemic, we decided to host weekly App Challenge sessions via Zoom. During these sessions, my team and I first introduce the month’s app challenge, then show the students the sample app and have them play around with it, and lastly work with them to create their own project and debug any issues that arise. Although these meetings only take an hour each, they go a long way towards increasing engagement with our community and getting more students to try out our event. The months fly by so quickly and sometimes it’s nice to sit down and reflect. That’s exactly what these blog posts are for: an outlet for me to look back on and share my experiences. During these times of uncertainty, everyone has to look out for one another. Although I can’t share any details right now, ACF’s July App Challenge will work towards the goal of helping the community, but that deserves its own article. Until then, take care!