Optional Module Application Development (using Java)
We do it everyday, almost every second: Using apps. New apps pop up daily. We have apps for text editing, for cooking our meals, for keeping track of our workouts, for everything. Just in time for the big app boom, UNIGIS released the optional module “Application Development (using Java)”. It fit right into my programming focused GIS path, after I finished the OSM and Python modules. So I went ahead and selected the module.
The module was structured in 13 lessons and four assignments.
Lesson and Assignment three were then about the other end of the game: Server-side scripting! We were given a PHP query and had to explain what it does.
After that was a long stretch of lessons without assignments. The topics covered were: system architecture, object-oriented programming, and programming environment.
Finally we touched Java itself. The following seven lectures covered everything necessary to build an actual Java app which was the last assignment. All of that was new to me. We used Eclipse to build the app. The app is supposed to receive data from a GPS device and bring it to a server, which eventually will publish the information. The conceptual model (from the UNIGIS lectures) below illustrates the individual steps.
Our task was to develop the receiving, processing, validating, and triggering parts of the app – the server component. It was quite tricky, but very well documented and we received detailed step by step instructions. Eventually we could test our app with a set up server from the instructor.
Developing the app was definitely the hardest and most time consuming part of the module. Though I learned a lot: starting from learning some Java to actually understanding what steps are necessary to receive data and bring it to a server.
The module was well structured and managed, going from a general app introduction all the way to developing a Java app without losing or boring the student.