In 2009 a group of 5 students was selected to represent Champlain College at the Learning 2009 Conference to create an iPhone application within 72 hours. The challenge, issued to us by the conference main sponsor and organizer named Elliott Masey, was to create an onboarding application that included 10 different pieces of functionality and allowed new companies to bring new employees up to speed effectively and easily. “Extra Credit”, Elliott said, was to create a second application that served as a teacher aid in a classroom to help them remember students. As a Producer/Designer, I aided the team in the creation of two onboarding applications called “iMNew” and “iForget”.
Team Size: 5
Duration: 72 Hours
Released: November 2009
iMNew was intended to be given to new employees before they began their job. They had a “quest” database that utilized multiple iPhone functionalities like Notes, Contacts, Automatically Dialing, and more to bring the user through important company information. Geocaching was used to give the new employee a tour of the company campus, and an SOS functionality was implemented to give new users quick communication between him or herself and their go-to onboarding contact.
iForget was similar, yet it allowed users to connect important information to a contact list and displayed it in a unique way.
Because we were located at one of the few booths during the conference, many of the attendees would stop by and ask us questions, wondering who we were as individuals and how the iPhone application development was coming along. A large part was to field these questions and gather information from the antendees about what they felt like they needed to help them onboard new employees. This helped the team collaborate on a design that met our challenge and was in the proper scope for our 2 programmers. Every morning and afternoon the team would present its progress to all of the attendees at the morning session.
During the final stretch I stayed up with the programmers for most of the night to do research for bug fixes and act as a morale booster.
On the final day, I helped represent the team and deliver the final products — both the I’m New onboarding challenge and the “Extra Credit”.
What I Learned
Learning 2009 was a tremendous opportunity for me to push myself to my limits. I learned that I can still function in extremely stressful and undesirable situations — even to the point of presenting a finish product after 3 days of minimal sleep (4 hours!) to a crowd of over 1,000 people. I found that constant social interaction is draining and that game developers can learn so much from other industries. After the conference, I felt great about my ability to work closely with a team and motivate them through difficult situations.