Harnessing the Cloud for Mobile Apps

When you publish a tweet, ‘like’ a post, or browse the map on your phone, you are interacting with data that is stored, as is generally said, in the ‘cloud’. Building a cloud service is a critical foundational step when building a mobile app or website. In this workshop students will gain a practical understanding of how a server, database, and API in the cloud work together to support a connected mobile app.

Workshop participants will build, from the ground up, your own simple server application that can store geolocated data. Your new server will be live and running on the Internet, and accessible anywhere in the world. The idea is to set up a simple platform that you can use for further independent experimentation and prototyping. You will encounter several different technologies and programming languages in this workshop, but don’t worry: this workshop is for beginners; no coding experience necessary! All code will be provided and thoroughly explained step-by-step.

In this workshop, students will:

  • Understand the role of databases, algorithms, APIs and servers in a cloud architecture
  • Apply data modelling techniques to design a database that reflects the structure of a real-world dataset
  • Recognize different data encoding formats and programming languages (CSV, SQL, JSON, JavaScript)
  • Integrate a variety of technologies, using code as the glue, to make a cohesive online application

Workshop Facilitator
Mike Spears (he/him), Manager, MADLab, University of Toronto