College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State student attends first Google Android Camp

Taehyun Park, sophomore in computer engineering, was one of 26 college students invited to Mountain View, California, for the first-ever Google Android Camp. Over the course of the weeklong camp held June 5–11, the students met with and attended seminars given by top Google engineers.

“At Google, we are committed to helping the innovators of the future,” says Andrew Neginskiy, university programs specialist for Google. The company believes open source development is a very useful and accessible way for students to get involved with computer science in a practical and rewarding manner.

Neginskiy was looking for the most passionate applicants to attend the camp. “For this program we looked for students who have a strong academic background, as well as proven Java experience,” he says. “In addition, we are always excited to see students who find genuine interest in and are passionate about computer science and technology, and pursue their interests both in and out of class.”

According to the camp registration website, applications were open to all freshmen and sophomore students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, and software engineering at a four-year university. Applicants were also asked to have a strong math background, among other qualifications.

Park, who was selected from hundreds of applicants, graduated from Sunrin Internet High School in Seoul, Korea, a specialized high school that prepared him for the information technology field.

“During high school, I self-studied advanced networking, operating systems, and programming,” explains Park. “I obtained the CCNA certificate at the end of the first year and the SCJP certificate during my last year.”  According to the Cisco website, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) “validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size route and switched networks.” The Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) certification proves knowledge of the programming language.
In addition to being president of his high school class and Network Club and winning a grand prize in a hacking competition sponsored by the South Korean government, Park’s résumé also includes extensive volunteer services, honors, and a startup company that began as a project of the Google Android Camp.

The camp itinerary included “interactive and collaborative curriculum focusing on a practical introduction to developing applications for Android.” The attendees also explored the concepts behind Android, the framework for constructing an application, and the tools for developing, testing, and publishing software for the platform. They also had the opportunity to attend a San Francisco Giants baseball game and visit the California Academy of Sciences.

“Our goal is that these 26 campers walk away from this experience with the knowledge and tools necessary to continue to grow technically and develop their skills,” says Neginskiy. “This program offers a dynamic and exciting environment for students to utilize the concepts they learn in class in a real world setting, where they can see immediate results and impact.”

“I was excited that the campers had a lot of field experience,” Park says. “It is really tough to find other freshmen and sophomores with good programming skill sets. I was looking forward to working on a project and making connections with them.”
During the camp, Park attended several workshops and other activities. “Talking with Google interviewers was really useful,” he says of one of the workshops. “I learned about the interviewing process, how it works, and what I need to focus on to prepare for an interview.”

The scheduled events ended around 8 p.m., and all of the campers used the evenings to develop apps, a project that was assigned to them.

“Although we stayed up until 2 to 3 a.m., no one complained about it, and I enjoyed the atmosphere,” Park says. “My team has still been developing the app we started to build at the camp, and we recently decided to form an enterprise.”

Park highly recommends the camp. “It adds to my other experiences and taught me a lot,” he says. “The camp would be a good opportunity for anyone interested in the Android platform.”