Building an app in CS52
The most rewarding classes I’ve taken at Dartmouth have been classes where I’ve been able to apply the lessons I’ve learned in classes to real practice and application. My interest in computer science first started when I began playing with HTML/CSS to build and design website in middle school, so it was only natural that I was drawn to the course, CS52: Full-Stack Web Development.
With how rapidly web dev is evolving and growing today, it was impressive how much this course was able to cover. We had biweekly workshops where we discussed and introduced new technologies and frameworks, assignments walking us through how to use and apply what we learned. It was fun learning what went into actually creating a website, and definitely gave me an appreciation for the websites I visited and used every day. The professor was always available to answer questions and offer help, and was more than happy to discuss different technologies and new developments in the world of web dev.
Instead of a final, we had a final project where we created anything we wanted using what we had learned from the course — my group decided to create purrpl, a self-care app using React Native (a framework used for building mobile apps very closely related to ReactJS, the framework we learned to use to build web apps).
We started by designing the app on Figma, creating mock-ups where we played with color schemes, app layouts, and icons. Once we created designs we were happy with, we began to work on the app. We set up the server and backend first, then started working on the frontend and connecting the backend to the frontend. We ran into countless bugs and error screens, but in the end, it was gratifying to have created working, fully functional app from scratch. We exhibited the app during the school-wide exhibition in the middle of the library, where we were able to display working versions of our app to the Dartmouth community and see the projects of our classmates and friends.
This has definitely been one of the most gratifying and fun classes I’ve taken at Dartmouth, and I’m excited to see where the highly applicable and interesting things I’ve learned are able to take me!