App Development Summer Bootcamps big hit with Swansea teenagers

Over 100 teenagers in the Swansea region have packed away their beach towel and tried their hand at app development and game design this summer to keep themselves busy.

Technocamps, a £6million outreach project backed by the European Social Fund and led by Swansea University, took advantage of the peace and quiet on campus during the summer holidays by setting up a series of high-tech bootcamps aimed at young people interested in computing.

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The first bootcamp to kick off the summer festivities was the iOS App Development Bootcamp, which enabled the young people to engage with new and emerging technologies including the iPad 2, iPod Touch and Mac Book Pro’s. Getting to grips with the programming language of X-code, the young people saw their two days of hard work pay off in the shape of new and exciting iPhone game which they later submitted to the Apple Store.

16 year-old Robert-Jay Curry, who attended one of the iOS App Development Bootcamps and produced a game involving a car dodging cars and cats, said:

“I have found it very interesting. With technology developing so quickly, it’s good to start getting the knowledge I can now. I look forward to study computing at sixth form in September so I can develop my code knowledge more.”

Another bootcamp which caught the imagination of the young people this summer was in Microsoft’s exciting new visual programme language, Kodu, designed specifically for game development. On day one of the bootcamp the young people learnt how to create a world, map out paths, as well as control characters and its enemies. On day two they put their training into practice by designing their own game, creating it and testing it on their friends, all done via an X-Box controller.

Director of Technocamps, Professor Faron Moller, is delighted with how well the first series of holiday bootcamps have gone. He said:

“All year we have had strong demand from schools, colleges and other educational providers, to deliver workshops in the areas of app development and game design because this is the area that excites the young people.

“Thanks to our developers and research team here at Swansea University we have managed to produce a series of thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring workshops which provide the young people with a working product at the end of it. The beauty of our workshops is that they can continue their interest at home or at school by accessing the free online resources on our website. Here we have produced easy to follow bite-sized guides which will help them to continue developing their programming knowledge.”

The Technocamps programme, which is delivered all-year round, is available to all young people aged 11-19 in the convergence areas of Wales. In partnership with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Glamorgan, the project aims to inspire young people to consider the computing-based topics underpinning the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with the long term goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in an area that will drive economic growth in Wales.

For further information on the project, please visit www.technocamps.com.