SOC2019: Developing apps as a student job

Summer of Code 2019 is a hackathon lasting four weeks. It takes place in July. The event offers students living in Belgium the opportunity to develop open source projects under specialist supervision that can then be put into practice. More than 75 development, design and communication students have taken up the challenge. The programme that includes a total of 21 assignments also includes the development of a new TMaaS app. We went along to take a peek during the kick-off event on 2 July and made acquaintances with the students who are going to develop an app for TMaaS.

Evelien Marlier, TMaaS team member: “Our aim in participating is to highlight the open source nature of TMaaS even further. We have made it clear that everyone is free to make their contribution to the dashboard. The project is open to others and we encourage developers to use our equipment. The input provided by third parties is a core element in the philosophy of TMaaS, and Summer of Code is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy.”

Weak spot

The app that will be developed during Summer of Code gives pedestrians and cyclists the possibility to send notifications to the City of Ghent about their route and the problems they encounter along the way. “It will provide an additional source of information to complement existing TMaaS data, in addition to the input that comes in through other channels – for example from our partners” said Evelien Marlier. “In this way, the app forms an interesting addition to the dashboard, because this input from cyclists and pedestrians is currently a weak spot on our dashboard.”

Sources of inspiration

For this app, TMaaS took inspiration from the ‘fly tipping reporting app’ of IVAGO the intercommunal waste management company. Citizens can use this to report fly tipping to the City of Ghent. Another example is the Fix My Street Brussels app. This is a platform that is available to the citizens and administration authorities of our capital in order to report problems in the public space.

Meet the crew

Summer of Code selected three students to develop the new TMaaS app. They are all young people who are passionate about new technologies. Moreover they all have their own specific field of interest, which gives them the advantage of forming an extremely complementary team. Under the supervision of the professional coaches Wouter and Miet, they will have the opportunity of showcasing all their skills over a period of four weeks. Allow us to introduce them:

  • Jan Temmerman is a developer who is passionate about design. He studies New Media Development and sees himself as a real problem solver.
  • Martin Leroy studies business computing at the HELHa in Mons. New technologies and the technical aspects are what fuel his enthusiasm.
  • Elena Sánchez Nicolás has a Master’s Degree in Transmedia Journalism and New Media & Society in Europe. Communications and new media are her speciality therefore. She works as a Project Developer at AEJ Belgium.

Urban Innovative Actions

This project is co-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

Urban Innovative Actions is an Initiative of the European Union that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges.

Based on article 8 of ERDF, the Initiative has a total ERDF budget of EUR 372 million for 2014-2020.