Call him App Man
Meet David Bobbitt, the man who wants to put the wonder of JCCC into the palm of your hand.
Bobbitt, mobile application developer, has been tasked with the job of building JCCC-centered applications for mobile devices. The opportunities for applications are nearly endless, Bobbitt said. Unfortunately, his time to build them is not.
So, it’s about prioritizing. What would best help mobile device users who are visiting the JCCC campus? What would best help students?
According to The Nielsen Company, more than half of all Americans who own cell phones now have a smartphone, and that percentage is expected to increase.
Americans of traditional college age (18-29) depend on their phones more than other age groups, another study found. They are nearly twice as likely as people ages 50-64 to solve an unexpected problem using their smartphone.
Bobbitt understands what students want because he’s a JCCC student himself. After he was laid off from the technology department at the University of Kansas, he decided to go back to school.
In 2009, he enrolled at JCCC, and in spring of 2012, he completed his AAS degree in computer information systems. He’s taking one more class to get his associate of arts degree this fall while working at app development.
“One thing we’re working on is having an interactive map where, when you’re using the map and you highlight a particular building, you can get information about that building,” Bobbitt said. “What the information will be, we don’t know yet. Maybe the hours the building is open, maybe the departments that are in that building. That’s stuff we’ll have to determine.”
Bobbitt said he’s sure people will want to know where they can eat and park on campus, so that information will be included. An overlay showing where all emergency phones are located on campus will be included.
“One of the first things I’ll probably put on there is the ‘Where am I?’ locator that shows the person’s location on campus,” Bobbitt said. “But I have to figure out the best way to do it.”
Part of the problem, Bobbitt explained, is that if an app is truly application-only and not tied to a website, then multiple versions of the same thing have to be written since there are a variety of mobile platforms out there: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows devices are the most popular.
Still, he said he’s ready to move forward.“This interactive app is just the beginning. We need to get that mobile app experience for the students and for everybody,” he said. “Because everyone is doing everything with their phones and their tablets.”