When creative director David Reichelt ’13 (Theatre) worked on the development of his popular game application Color Switch, he had no background in coding. With a 4.5-star rating on iTunes and more than 5 million downloads, the addictive app has made it to the No. 2 game spot in the AppStore. As the title notes, the game revolves around colors, which is ironic — besides having no programming experience, Reichelt is colorblind.
On March 3, Reichelt spoke at the AppJam Kickoff event at California State University, Northridge about turning weaknesses and disabilities into advantages. He encouraged students from all majors to participate in this month’s AppJam competition.
“Having a passion for what you do is the key,” he said. “Passion drives you past all your failures and doubts.”
The kickoff marked the beginning of the month-long AppJam competition, in which more than 40 teams will develop a variety of apps for the community. The three winning teams will receive a cash prize and professional startup consulting from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator at CSUN (LACI@CSUN) and Bixel Exchange.
“We did it last year, and it was so much fun to put something together in a short time frame,” said computer science graduate student Kyle Shaver.
Shaver and three of his friends won second prize in the 2015 AppJam with their CSUN internal social networking app, Ole. This year he teamed up with one of his old teammates, Vladimir Jimenez, also a computer science major, aiming for the grand prize of $3,000. Although Jimenez and Shaver only have each other to rely on in this year’s competition, they are confident in their new idea and plan to use campus resources such as the creative media studio in the Oviatt Library.
“If you can dream it, you can do it,” Shaver said.
The teams will publish video demonstrations of their apps on Portfolium from March 28-30, allowing the CSUN community to vote for the most innovative and creative project. The final AppJam showcase and award ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on March 30 in the Northridge Center of the University Student Union.