And go.

My next seven months will be all consuming.  It is time to start something.

My course of study at DIT is in Creative Digital Media with a focus on social media app design.  In my opinion, the programme is excellent.  And apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so either.  In 2014, it was shortlisted for IT Postgraduate Course of the Year and the Best New Course in Ireland.  After completing one year of the one and a half year programme, I can see why.  It is industry-focused, hands-on, and extremely relevant.  I am learning exactly what I want to learn in a well-designed course of study.  It’s a dash of theory with a dollop of trial and error.  Each module I take builds on the skills from previous modules and leads to some larger goal.  In the case of the programme’s culmination, we are to build a social media app of our own invention.  It is a lot of work, but it is also a ton of fun.

I am working with Karl Power (Karl- get on Twitter), a classmate who shares my enthusiasm for building something kick-ass.  He and I are designing and making a travel lifestyle app that lets a person save details about experiences and places they love in a mobile-first way that makes it easy to find again themselves or share with others to find.  We want to let ordinary people become sources of travel expertise for their family, friends, and extended network.  We are calling it Travel Kandi.

Kandi, as Ginger explains, is something you make yourself and trade with people with whom you connect.  It is at the heart of the Rave Culture tenants of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect).  In our case, we are applying the concept of trading special items to the travel sphere.  Instead of trading brightly colored rave bracelets, we are trading travel suggestions.  It is really just good karma to give someone a great suggestion to enhance their travel experience and to think fondly of you when they go there.  Maybe it is your favorite restaurant in Florence, or the hole-in-the-wall place for fresh steamed dumplings and hot and sour soup in Taipei, which doesn’t even appear properly on Google Maps (it’s somewhere around there).  Perhaps it is the best pint of Guinness in Dublin (Grogans, obviously), the best kebab in Berlin (@caden1688) or the most delicious cherry wine you will ever have in Brussels (@atthinks).  Whatever it is, share the places you love with the people in your life because it will impact them and they will remember you, even years later.  Trade suggestions.  Trade Travel Kandi.

The process that Karl and I will take to bring this app from idea to App Store is one that involves a summer of building upon some core skills in tech and design.  Our programme at DIT has given us many of the fundamentals needed to get us off in the right direction, and now it is up to us to see how far we will go.  In particular, I really enjoyed our UI Design class.  It was taught by John Wood, the Head of Practice at the Dublin-based design company Each & Other, and is really excellent.  Hats off to you, @cogfric, for being an excellent and engaging lecturer.

This summer will be an intense one for Karl and myself as we work our way through the 201-page project proposal that we just submitted today.  We know exactly what we need to do and how to get there.  Now we just need to go do it.

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