STEM Spotlight: HarkerDEV


Michelle Liu

“STEM Spotlight” is a new Aquila repeater showcasing STEM clubs and their initiatives.

by Mark Hu and Ethan Liu

STEM Spotlight is a repeater exploring what clubs at Harker have been doing as they return to campus. This week’s featured club is HarkerDEV, which creates new software and applications that help the Harker community.

HarkerDev, the Harker School’s official student software development organization, was founded in 2016 by Neeraj Aggarwall (’18), David Melisso (’19), Rithvik Panchapakesan (’19), Joel Manning (’19) and Ryan Adolf (’19) for a coding challenge sponsored by the upper school administration to create a planner website for the school. The team won with their website and has since released nine different projects since its inception in 2016, including the Bell Schedule and Harker Pay.

Led by adviser Dr. Eric Nelson, upper school computer science department chair, the organization is dedicated to making Harker student and faculty life easier through software development. The club is run by two administrators, who set up meetings and general timelines for projects and represent the club when talking with school administration and Information Technology (IT) staff, and nine active members who work on the projects assigned to them by the two administrators.

“Right now, we’re mainly focused on setting up our apps for the new year,” Gloria Zhu (12), a HarkerDev administrator, said. “For example, we’re getting the college counseling drop-ins app ready to go for the class of 2022 and adding the new class secretaries to the announcements app so they can manage class meetings.”

In the past year, HarkerDev updated its Bell Schedule to accommodate online classes, adding an alarm to notify students when classes started. The app can be customized based on a student’s class schedule and includes the lunch menu for every day.

“[Bell schedule] has helped me know the schedule every day, which is quite important for knowing when my classes are and going to them at the correct times during the day,” Kailash Ranganathan (12) said.

The HarkerDev staff have also taken advantage of the time away from campus to develop a variety of new projects, including an app for drop-in college counseling. The College Counseling Drop-In app, or CoCo for short, is slated to release in September this year, along with a Bus Schedule app that allows students to check daily Harker bus routes and pickup times.

“One part of HarkerDev is [that] we have an amazing team,” Kabir Ramzan (10), a HarkerDev member, said.“We have lots of members who all share that same passion of creating applications to help the community, so we’re able to work together to make that impact. As a result, we can maintain a lot of different complex applications simultaneously just because we have the people to do that.”

All of HarkerDev’s projects can be found at Recruitment for the club will be announced at the start of second semester, and students interested in joining the club can email [email protected] if they have any questions.