Conestoga news

August 5, 2021 3:42 PM

Student developer club supports peer-to-peer learning

Students in Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology have established a developer club, supported by Google, to help build a community focused on technology and collaboration.       

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Third-year students in the School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology established a developer club, supported by Google, to help build a community focused on technology and collaboration. L-R: Andrii Denysenko, Bohdana Tyshchenko and Alisa Vynohradova.

Launched in 2020, the Conestoga Developer Student Club is open to students from all academic backgrounds with an interest in exploring technological innovation to build real-world solutions. The club is among Google’s international post-secondary network of more than 100 official developer student club chapters, and one of only four hosted at an Ontario college.

“The idea behind the club is to bring students together from different backgrounds in an environment that allows them to create projects, learn something new and enhance technical skills that complement their studies,” said former club lead and third-year Computer Programming and Analysis student Andrii Denysenko.

Denysenko established the club after applying and securing approval from Google’s Developer Student Club program. He recruited third-year IT Innovation and Design student Bohdana Tyshchenko and third-year Computer Programming and Analysis student Alisa Vynohradova to form the club’s core operating team. Over the last year, they hosted peer-to-peer events open to the community that included hands-on workshops and speaker series with industry leaders, networking, and solution challenges. Topics ranged from learning new technologies to finding a co-op position to project demonstrations.

In April, the club hosted its first hackathon where they asked teams to develop solutions to improve student life at Conestoga with a focus on overcoming challenges due to the global pandemic. Teams had two days to create applications, culminating in a showcase judged by a panel of peers and guests. Solutions included a transcription module that summarizes video lectures and a networking site that matches students based on interests.

“I started the club because it is something I would have wanted to be a part of in my first year of studies,” Denysenko continued. “I thought it would provide an opportunity for others just starting out to help discover what they want to focus on, what they like and the companies they may want to work for.”

Denysenko, Tyshchenko and Vynohradova are currently completing co-op work terms with local technology companies, returning for their final year of classes in the fall. All three are international students from Ukraine. In addition to curriculum that offers hands-on learning and co-op work terms that provide valuable real-world experience, the students said they value the extracurricular activities available through the college that support development. The developer club, 4X4 Hackathon, as well as other various clubs, societies and industry events, provide a well-rounded and solid foundation to build skills.

In alignment with Google’s Developer Student Club terms, Denysenko, Tyshchenko and Vynohradova have stepped down from their roles to leave space for other students at the college to develop leadership skills, but plan to participate as general members. The chapter’s new lead is actively recruiting a core team. Interested students are encouraged to visit the application web page for more information.

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology offers a 21st-century education with leading-edge programs that prepare graduates for exciting careers in the innovative world of information and communications technology. With a strong connection to local industry, project-based and work-integrated learning enables students to solve real-world problems and engage in new technologies that empower a professional journey in a rapidly growing sector.