Fund Erie Available Now on Google Play!

Jeez finally back on this thing!  It is the final weeks here for my senior design project and I can’t even describe how stressful and time consuming the past couple of weeks have been.  The best part is that it’s not even over yet!!  We still have some work and preparation to do before the Fasenmyr Engineering Conference on April 30th.  Since I haven’t even thought about posting, I decided I might as well plug myself and the project here.

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So a little bit about the project.  My team and I have been working on a Crowdfunding aggregator for the past two semesters.  Wooowweeeee!  It has been a ride to say the least.  I don’t like to talk about it…

You may be asking, “what the f@#% is crowdfunding aggregation?”

Good question reader! Simply put, we developed a system that traverses HTML and pulls out data related to crowdfunding campaigns from sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Fundly, etc.  All these campaigns are based out of wonderful Erie, PA.   We combine the Erie-based campaigns from all these different sites and present them in one place…into a convenient mobile app!  It is the one-stop-shop for Erie crowdfunding!

What’s the point?  Well, crowdfunding has exploded in the past few years.  New sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe are coming out like hotcakes!  It is very easy to get lost in all the opportunities, making it hard for people to find crowdfunding campaigns in their local area.  In fact, this is what makes so many campaigns, especially in Erie, go underfunded or just straight up ignored.  Yeah this is an outrage.

Now, I won’t get into all of the technical aspects of this project.  Maybe that will be for later…BUT I am happy to say that the first version of our Android application is out on the Google Play Store!!

We need people to download this thing.  Spread the word to all your homies.  The big question we have right now is device and version compatibility.  Also, we need to make sure the back-end server I wrote can keep up.   Our presentation at the Fasenmyr Conference is in two weeks (April 30th).  We need all the help we can get to work out the kinks and to pretty it up!  Download it now! It’s Free!! But be sure to donate to some campaigns…it is FUNd 😉

Click or tap the badge below to check it out! Be sure to review (and give 5 stars…ಠ_ಠ) so that we can get some more eyes on the app and get some honest feedback!

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P.S. more on the Android Planner App is coming. I promise ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Love,

Zach

Android Planner App (Part 1: Getting Started)

Introduction

This is the first post of a series where we will be developing a planner application for Android devices (sorry iOS people).  I am targeting this towards complete beginners in Android and even Java programming!  By the end of this series, you will have a nifty little planner to schedule all your hot dates!  I will be using it for school work…umm let’s move on.

First, lets lay out a few basic requirements for the planner:

  1. Users are able to create tasks, events, etc.
  2. Users are able to update (edit) tasks.
  3. Users are able to delete tasks.
  4. Users are able to view their tasks in a calendar.

These are just some basic, what they call in the biz, CRUD operations.  This stands for create, read (we are ‘viewing’…whatever), update, and delete.  For now, sticking to CRUD operations will give us the base functionality that we need.  After implementing these, we can get fancy with it and explore some cool things that we can do for the app.  Priorities people. Project scope is very important!

Tool Installation

I will be using the Android Studio IDE.  It’s fantastic and made by Google for Android developers!  If you are a seasoned Java programmer and use IntelliJ IDEA, you will feel right at home with Android Studio (it’s based off IDEA). You can download it here.

Android applications are written using the Java programming language.  If you have never used the language, chances are you need the latest Java JDK installed.  Get the latest JDK (JDK 8) here.

Your First Android Project

Alrighty…let’s start our project!  Open up Android Studio.  On first run you will be greeted with this dialog window:

Note: my IDE is dark and angsty themed…you can change yours later if you like. We are working with the same thing!0

Cool right!? To get started click ‘Start a new Android Studio project.’  We will need to enter some more information after creating the project. Hang in there.  But first, simply just type the name of the project.

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“Planner.” Great.  Try to be creative when naming the project because it will be the name of your application!  You want it to stand out on the Google Play Store!  Once you come up with your trendy, award-winning app name click ‘Next.’

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Okay…what is going on here?  We have to select our minimum Android API version.  In other words, we have to specify the lowest Android version that our app will support.  There is sort of a ‘supply and demand’ relationship with supporting more versions vs. having newer API features.  You can target more devices (thus users) with lower versions, however, you can’t make the best out of the newest Android features and vice versa.  I chose API 21 (Android Lollipop) mainly because I want to play with some of the new API features (5.0+).  If you want to market your app you may want to choose a lower one.  Take a look at the Android device dashboard and choose an appropriate minimum SDK for your needs.  It is mainly preference unless you have a client with specific system requirements.

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Finally, we have to add an Activity.  I can go all day on Android Activities, but all you need to know is that this is where our users perform actions.  In the world of Android, activities are essentially application windows!  They present user interfaces and tie in the application logic.  We will create an Empty Activity for now.  This is your queue to select it and click ‘Next.’  Leave the name ‘MainActivity’ (no SPACES!) and click ‘Finish.’  Congratulate yourself, crack a beer (or root beer kids ಠ_ಠ), and call your mom…we created our first Android application!

In the next post, we will get down and dirty with Android Development.  Trust me it’s nothing too scary!  You do not have to be a Computer Scientist to get into this stuff.

Hey! Any feedback is appreciated.  If there is anything you would like to see in this series, comment and let me know! SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT

Toodles!

Zach

Hello World!

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This is my programming blog, or as I like to call it… my Plog! (wooweee! zing!)

Well…this plog was made to share my experiences as an aspiring computer scientist and developer.  I hope to share what I know and maybe even teach people something!  Hell. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be learning along with you.  The computer world changes so fast.  That’s what makes what I do so great!…and cool!

What you can find here are not just showcases of my work.  I want other people to use this blog plog as a resource.   Consider this the center for your development needs!  Programming tutorials, fun projects, technology, and, oh yes, great jams to groove to.

Come back soon! I plan on updating with content over the next few months!

xoxo

Zach