Evan McStay

I decided that I wanted to build an application for farmers to use to identify plant diseases that are plaguing their harvest. I decided that for the first iteration of this application that I wanted to stay local and focus on the vegetation around Beaver County. So, I travelled around the local woods in Beaver County to find some plants that are dead/decaying and snapped a few pictures. I then later used these pictures to note down the traits that I saw between the healthy sections and the dead sections. That wraps up the research part and leads me to the development part. For the first iteration, I decided to write the application in native iOS and Android. This part took me the vast majority of the time to complete, but I have a working version that I continue to improve on when I get time. The application was developed using Android Studio, SQLite Studio, and xCode.

This experience was important to me because it allowed me to better my skills with an interest that I have (developing applications), but more importantly lay the foundation for a future in which farmers can likely save their crops from diseases. I continue to work on the second iteration of the application when I have free time and once that is complete I plan to take it to the field to be tested. So, as of now I cannot say the full impact of the application, but if it works as it is intended I believe it will be very beneficial to local farmers and those nationwide.

Since I am an IST – Design and Development student I was already familiar with developing applications for different use cases. So, I took what I learned in IST261 and IST311 and merged the two together to help me create the disease identifier application. There were some things that I did not learn from the classroom that I needed to use, so I was easily able to look them up and find guidance through the use of the textbook from those classes.

This experience has taught me a few things about developing applications, being my own boss, and the importance of IST in the world. The experience taught me how to be my own boss by showing me how to manage my schedule around a full-time internship, personal time, and everything else. It also taught me how to meet requirements and deadlines. Whenever I was developing the constant practice helped me further my understanding of how applications are developed in the real world and not just inside the classroom. The final thing the experience has taught me is the importance of IST around the world. IST is a major that allows for the world’s problems to be solved through the merging of technology. It is very easy to see how easy it is to start a project that in the future can have a huge benefit to those farmers that rely on every cent they get from a harvest. Leveraging the skills we learn in IST and implementing them in the real world can lead for a better future. As for my post-graduation plans, I have not made any decisions just yet as to what I wish to do. However, I will continue working on this application and other applications that focus on improving the world we live in.

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