Tips For Applying

On AppDev we look for people we want to work with, to hang out with, to connect with, and most importantly – to learn and grow together on the team.

Not having the strongest background shouldn’t deter you from applying! Although we value technical skills, we place a greater emphasis on candidates who are passionate about the team, who have the drive and potential to thrive on AppDev.

Finally, for all of our subteams, we highly encourage you to take one of our courses prior to applying – a majority of our team members are course alumni!


We ask standardized questions across all of our subteams, including:

  • Outside of academics, what do you enjoy doing most?

  • What can you bring to the team?

  • Why do you want to be a member of Cornell AppDev?

We weigh all the answers to these non-technical questions as much as the specialized questions we ask per subteam, so we encourage you to be honest and take your time!


Here’s some great sample responses from members of our team:

iOS:

Tell us about a project that you’ve worked on that you’re proud of.

Over the summer, one of the side projects I worked on was recreating Facebook's Messenger. I used Google's Firebase Database as my database to store user information and their messages. I used Firebase's authentication for user login and user creation, and also used Firebase's storage to store all the user's profile images. This project was the largest and most difficult Swift project I've worked on thus far and was extremely enriching/fulfilling to complete.

Why do you want to be a developer on the team?

After coming to Cornell for the first time last Fall, I was overwhelmed by everything, from its size to students to clubs. I felt lost in the beginning. However, even after I settled, I still had a daily dilemma that I could not seem to overcome: whether to eat dinner at Appel or RPCC (the big question). Because the menus always changed constantly, I tended to stick with Appel because they seemed to have better food more often. Towards the end of the semester, however, my hall mate told me about Eatery. Once I realized what it was, I was extremely surprised that the app was developed by students. Thus, when I learned that I could learn how to create apps through the course, I jumped at the opportunity.
While I have been able to work on mini-side projects on my own, the resources at Cornell AppDev are incomparable. The chance to work with others will help me grow both as a developer and a teammate. I would be able to gain invaluable experience of what a professional iOS Developer goes through daily while being able to take advantage of the learning environment that exists in a University. Similarly, in return, if I am able to join the Core Team, I would be able to actively support the process of building apps such as Eatery and TCAT to help make the lives of students, just like me, easier at Cornell.

Backend:

Why do you want to be a member of Cornell AppDev?

I’m interested in exploring backend engineering, but every backend needs an actual project to be a backend for. Cornell AppDev provides a collaborative learning environment where a developer can both delve into a specific aspect of software production and also integrate their work into a product that is greater than the sum of its parts. I would love to take what I’ve learned so far, in and out of the classroom, and be able to contribute to a motivated team whose apps make an impact on campus and beyond.

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.

I love to draw in my free time, and as part of my practice, I do a lot of timed figure drawings using photo references. I wanted to draw without worrying about manually managing a timer, picking random photo sources, rotating, etc., so this summer I began working on a program that can assist me with that. This was my first major personal project - it was a new experience to build a functional application from scratch without relying on skeleton code like in class assignments or building off of an existing code base like during my summer research. I’m proud about this project because I feel like I’m building something worthwhile for a community I love. I have been designing the program based off of feedback from other artists, and though I have reached my initial objectives for the project, I’m excited to continue working to make this a great tool for many artists.

Design:

Why do you want to be a part of Cornell AppDev's design team?

I would love to be a part of Cornell AppDev’s design team because it is the perfect project team where I am able to utilize my passion for design and User Experience to make a positive, impactful change in our Cornell Community. CU App Dev is a great opportunity to work with and learn from skilled developers, designers, and product managers, gaining real experience. Every Wednesday night last semester, I would look around at all of the IntroDPD student teachers, feeling so inspired by their passion, drive, and unique experiences. When I had the opportunity to test out some of your projects, including the Podcast App, Clicker App, and TCAT App, I realized that these are the exact applications that I would love to help bring to life, since improving students’ safety, productivity, and everyday lives are so important to me.

What can you bring to the team?

I believe that my interpersonal skills, my ability to step into the users’ shoes, and my passion for technology and design would benefit Cornell AppDev's design team. Last semester, I took Intro to Digital Product Design, where I conducted in-depth interviews, user research, and market research, pinpointed the distinct People Problem, and created user flows and paper prototypes. I also have used InVision and Origami Studio to build prototypes of my designs. Aside from my design skills, I am a driven and motivated student. I feel strongly that with my hardworking disposition, intellectual curiosity, and enthusiasm about designing for a social impact, I will be able to make a positive impact on CU AppDev’s core team as well as the Cornell community.