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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 29, 2023

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Computer software business creates mobile apps for organizations

After six years as a business, the Agile Software Factory continues to not only help the community and the University, but also help students gain professional experience in their field of work.

Associate professor in the department of Computer Science Joe Chao started the business in 2008 and has made apps such as Campus Maps and Campus Calendar to name a few for the University as well as a disability app to help those with brain disorders to get things done in a day.

The company also creates apps for other professors and has even made a company app for the Cocoon Shelter, Behavioral Connections of Wood County and the Office of Service-Learning. Chao said the business started as a class project that grew kept growing.

“I have five student employees and they get paid to do something they like,” Chao said. “It’s been really successful and is a great hands-on learning experience.”

The Agile Software Factory offers part-time employment, joining students in software development classes to create programs and prepares students for further education in the field.

Junior Andrew Horner started working for Chao in 2012 and said he gets to do what he wants with the job, which is software development.

“I was really excited because this was my first job related to computer science,” Horner said. “It gives me experience that I can relate to my classwork and something I can put on my resume.”

Although the business gives students professional experience in the field, it is competitive for someone to land a position for Chao. There are many people who apply for the position but only five are hired because of costs to keep the Agile Software Factory going.

Senior Chris Bailey originally worked at Wal-Mart until hired by Chao. He said he finally got the chance to earn money doing something useful.

“It’s really the first person that Dr. Chao finds that is qualified to work there,” Bailey said. “He’s been in the market and now he’s a professor so he knows how the software development works and he can pass on the knowledge we need.”

Chao is in the process of trying to get the Agile Software Factory to grow and to “find a way to make it a business and not a hobby.” Chao has had job recruiters visit the University to search for students who could possible work for them one day.

“With experience from my class, they can fit right in,” Chao said.

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