“We tend to think of apps as small, little things, but actually they’re very powerful and very fast.”
About one in four Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month and Vincent Gabrielsen, 51, who just finished up a pair of iPhone app developer courses, is making it easier to tune into one podcast in particular.
Emotions in Harmony is a new San Jose-based nonprofit organization providing counseling services as well as an ongoing series of bilingual podcasts about health and balance produced by psychologist Carmen Román, Gabrielsen’s wife. So, he created an app for it. Podcast topics covered by Román, Ph.D., range from “Listening to your body” to “Sexist microaggressions that women face,” and “Mothers’ emotions at the perinatal stage.” The International Latin Podcast Association recently nominated Emotions In Harmony for the Latin Podcast Awards 2018.
“The main app feature is to be able to go in and play all the podcasts for my wife’s nonprofit so you don’t have to fish around for them in the iTunes library or Google Play Music,” says Gabrielsen who gained his new mobile app-building skills in Developing Applications for iPhone and iPad, Introduction and Developing Applications for iPhone and iPad, Advanced.
iPhone App Development Courses
The two courses are included in the eight-unit Mobile Application Development professional award program, a focused miniseries offered at Extension. They are taught by Bess Ho whose day job is to head up products for Phorena, a smart-building hardware startup.
Students learn first to create simple iOS native applications, explore XCode libraries and inspectors, build scenes in storyboards, and gain some fluency in the popular Swift programming language. In the advanced course, they move on to debugging techniques, iOS technologies that support animation, internationalization, accessibility and persisting data. Working on their own projects, they learn the technologies to design and develop advanced applications and launch them in the market.
Gabrielsen, who has about 20 years’ experience as a web developer for startups and billion dollar companies, has experience working both the front- and back-end of web development. Currently he works as a user interface (UI) developer for Timesheets.com in San Jose.
iPhone App Features
The new Emotions in Harmony app has the look and feel of Roman’s website branding with rich colors based on her sister’s artwork. When it’s ready, it will serve as a one-stop library of Roman’s interviews and discussions in both English and Spanish.
It features introductory pages about the nonprofit organization founded by his wife, basic privacy terms for users, and the ability to make an appointment for psychological services. It will soon have a donation button since the organization just received nonprofit status. Gabrielsen hopes to have in The App Store this fall,
“We tend to think of apps as small, little things, but actually they’re very powerful and very fast,” Gabrielsen says. “They can handle lot of information, save a lot, and do it quickly.”
Gabrielsen earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and economics from San José State University and a master’s degree in sociology from The New School for Social Research. He has returned to Extension over the years to update his tech skills.
“The main reason I took the courses was to expand what I do and to learn something new,” he says. “I wanted to add something to my resume. A lot of the current front-end developing I’m doing now is making mobile-ready websites; the iPhone is another extension of that.”
You have to keep taking classes or teach yourself, he says. He prefers the classroom.
“It’s fun to go back and forth with people and debate ideas, also to work as a team.”