Behind Building The Worlds First Android App For Internships

Behind Building The Worlds First Android App For Internships

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It was back in November’12, when Letsintern’s technology team was developing the new portal for Letsintern that the idea of an Android App was incepted in our heads, late at night at our tech office in Pune, while in the midst of one of our usual hackathons. Our initial thought was that building the app would be a great way to cool off and get away from the web technologies which had left us sleepless and tired ; ) and then of course it would be so very useful for our users to have easy access to letsintern, while on the go.


Android, called the next big thing back in ’09 had already become the biggest in the smart phone world winning the race by increasing their market by a whopping 2000% in the last four years; being the 2nd most famous user’s OS visiting our site, after Windows (desktop) made that fun little idea of ours materialize.

Puzzled between going for a web/hybrid app or a native app, we tried our hands on both. Trying all variations while making prototypes of the web/hybrid app on PhoneGap, Cordova, Sencha; it seemed the easy way out but with not the best results. Ditching the idea of going for a web/hybrid app, we installed Eclipse (development tool) on our PC’s to go for the kill, the native app, our next Everest!

Rambling our ways for a couple weeks, getting better with Android, video tutorials, going through sample codes, visiting StackOverflow (our last resort, coders would know) for the stupidest and the silliest things to get a little hang of one of Google’s masterpiece; resulted in a pretty decent draft (which I thought was my masterpiece) of what still is the foundation of the app. But the design-less draft said this out loud “ki beta, ab tumse na ho payega”turning us to reach out for help for the design that you now see.

The single screen app that we had visualized back in March, at the one week holiday project to cool off, had become a big thing by then, in June, mirroring almost everything that happens on the website, took a month and a half of rigorous development and integration with the design to get it running.

One thing that paid off pretty well was the architecture of the core framework of our web application – the Service Oriented Architecture or SOA. Every small bit of business functionality was exposed through APIs for other applications to consume. In early days, it was just our web application that was the only consumer of those web services (APIs) but while designing that we knew it would come in handy to build applications on top of that.

Android development was all about the native code with very minimal (read null) business logic. Call it abstraction or smart sense, our service layer worked like a rocket. Every Android device signed up is assigned an API key tagged to the device id and the user. These APIs return JSON for everything and rest on our cluster of 5 web servers on Amazon EC2 in an auto scaling group.

We developed our own smart sync algorithms to cut down on radio and battery usage. Push notifications have been powered by Google Cloud Messaging which comes as a plug and play implementation.

After our internal testing and optimization, we finally released the app for 100 odd beta users on 26th August to get valuable feedback; and here we are hitting the Google Play Store with our Android App for students.

Now entering your pockets, we wish to keep you connected to our servers 24×7, keeping you updated with the latest opportunities that you should not miss out on; aiming to bridge the gap between students and organizations, giving you a head start in the competition that you’ve already entered, bringing you your own customized place for opportunities; making everything easy with a tap. As we always say, “Start Young to Stay Ahead; take your first few steps with our Android App. “

There is a lot more to come from us at Letsintern. We are building even better APIs for them to be consumed by a whole stack of new applications that are in the pipeline.And for the Android app, we will be monitoring the usage and usability very closely over the next 4 months, improve our existing feature set and bring better and more useful features ( already ideated ) in our next release. Hope you like it and use it obsessively. Let us know if you have any feedback for us : )

 

Download the Letsintern app for free.
Search for ‘letsintern” on your Google Play Store or click here http://bit.ly/letsintern-app

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