Our today’s featured app of the day Periodic Groups is an educational app built for Windows 8 that is recently published by Asma Bhatti; a young and passionate student developer from Islamabad, Pakistan. Here’s a brief based on the question/answer sessions we had around her app story.
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I am Asma Bhatti, an enthusiastic student of BS Software Engineering and Microsoft Student Partner at International Islamic University, Islamabad. I take keen interest in software and application development and have actively participated in Wowzapp 2012 and Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013. I develop not because I have to but because I love to.
How the idea of Periodic Groups came to you?
Periodic Groups is an educational application targeted at the students of Cambridge GCE O levels and Cambridge IGCSE. I was sitting one day and thinking about the sort of applications that can help students with their studies. The world is changing and the students nowadays spend more time in front of computer screens than books. It occurred to me that it would be of great use if such an application providing only the important details of one of the basic chapters of Chemistry was developed. I searched through the Windows Store to check if this application was already present but I didn’t find anything of the sort. So, I started working on this application.
Why you decided to implement this idea specifically on Windows8?
Windows 8 is widely used around the world. It is a reliable operating system and a lot of people are shifting from other operating systems to Windows 8. I have used Windows 8 and have also observed that the majority of users are satisfied with the services provided by it. Customer satisfaction is the reason why I implemented the idea on Windows 8 and I’m honored that Microsoft is recognizing my effort.
What resources on Microsoft or community side you found most helpful while working on the app? Could you please take us on a quick tour to understand your application better?
The MSDN library provided by Microsoft has helped me a lot along the way. It provides detailed information about every library starting from giving its introduction to a detailed walkthrough on how its member functions should be utilized. The MSDN forums and other online blogs and forums were also very helpful in providing answers to specific questions. Fortunately, whenever I could not find the appropriate answer Microsoft Pakistan’s DPE team helped and guided me along and provided me with rich suggestions on improving my application.
Periodic Groups is a Chemistry application that provides relevant details about the specific groups in the Periodic Table. The main page allows the user to move to the details of any specific group that he/she wishes to.
It provides a picture of the periodic table to help the student identify where each group is located.
The rich detail of each group is provided. It contains the elements present, the properties and uses of the elements along with their reactions, observations and equations. Not only can the user read it, but he/she can also share the important information present in the page with others using the share option in the charms bar.
What are your interests behind technology?
The technological part of the world is based on ever changing ideas and systems, where one has to constantly stay on their toes, is a challenging environment to work in. Every day there is a new challenge and something new to learn. The Iron Man series also inspire and drive me, like a lot of ideas from stories and movies drive people to replicate those technologies in the real world. I aspire to design something creative and innovative, and this field gives me that opportunity.
Any plans for news apps or projects in general?
I am planning to continue developing applications for Windows 8 and Windows phone. I am currently working on two more applications, one of which is a Career Guide application which I am working on in a group. The second one is a guide for parents on how to raise their children. After these, I am planning to develop an educational game for young children. In addition, I am also considering to develop my final year project using platforms provided by Microsoft.
What would you advise to Developers in the region who also would like to become Pakistan Hero?
It is not an easy task to become a good developer. One has to put in a lot of effort and time. You cannot wake up one day and decide that you are going to develop a software and change the world. You have to start from scratch, develop software that are competitive but not entirely impressive. You have to learn everything starting from the lesson that a ‘programming statement always ends with a semicolon’ to learning to ‘debug your software efficiently’ to getting into the details of ‘designing an effective user interface’. Do not feel belittled if you develop small applications. Once you are good with the basics, everything else starts falling into place and you get the chance to show the world what you are capable of doing.
Where the community can catch up with you online or offline?
I can be reached at: