Mobile Application Award Opens New Doors for Up-and-Coming Developer


- Shachar Udi

Term : May, 2015
Department : Engineering
Program : Computer Programming

Shachar Udi’s career started out in a coffee shop in Israel, which he opened at age 23. For four years he worked in the restaurant business, until he discovered his true passion for iPhone development. He studied the fundamentals online and freelanced for a few years, developing a few applications, iPhone games and websites. While he enjoyed the work, he wanted to find a program that would teach him the fundamentals and provide the training he needed to take his skills to the next step. Enter UCSC Extension’s Computer Programming certificate program, which offered the theoretical foundation he was seeking, as well as a unique Professional Award in Mobile Application Development, which Udi pursued while completing an internship at a Silicon Valley startup. He completed his certificate in 2015 and landed a job as mobile applications developer at a San Francisco startup.

What brought you to UCSC Extension?

I was looking for a way to make my career official; I wanted something that would look good on my resume and give me tools to understand the industry. The fact that the program is located in Silicon Valley, right where everything happens in my industry, was very important. As far as I could tell, UCSC Extension was the best program I could find, covering everything I could think of and much, much more. The program allowed me to choose what I want to learn and build my own course structure. I feel like I really got to learn—my expectations were confirmed.

What did you want to learn?

The things I wanted to learn were very specific: I wanted to learn about mobile development, especially iPhone development. I wanted to learn about core programming in C language, something that is very basic and a real programming staple. I wanted to get grounded in computer science.

What courses surprised you?

Most of the courses I took gave me something that I didn’t really expect to receive from them. By learning C programming, I actually learned so many things in the computer science field that shed light on everything I know. I was able to use a lot of advanced things after I took the “C Programming” course. I understood why things worked the way they do, and it gave me a much better grasp of how to do things in general.

I took “Python Programming” initially for the units, and I still learned a few things about data structures that apply to everything I do. “Designing Advanced Mobile and Wearable User Experiences” gave me a lot of understanding of what users expect.

Since completing courses at Extension, my entire development process has been improved drastically.

What kinds of projects have you completed in your courses?

In my “Linux Based Web Application Development – Apache, MySQL, PHP” where I had to build a kind of Craigslist-style website. Even though I had done things more complicated than this before, in different languages, the course surprised me with the power I can have when using Linux. I learned a lot about databases.

Now I am working on a really good project for the “Developing Applications for iPhone and iPad, Advanced” course. I’m actually making a game where you upload a photo and then make it into a puzzle. This is part of my final project.

What was your internship experience like?

My internship was perfect for me. I learned about it while living in a startup house. I interned at a young startup that created a native iOS app similar to messenger. I worked alongside the two co-founders. I learned the software Git and got to learn a lot about how to work on a team, how to write code that works better in terms of other people reading it. It was also a fun social experience.

What advice do you have for students considering a career in mobile development?

Go for the Professional Award in Mobile Application Development; there are a lot of courses there, and it gives you a really broad understanding of the mobile industry.

Within months of completing his certificate, Udi landed a job as a mobile applications developer for an eSports startup in San Francisco. 


Visit our Computer Programming page to learn more about UCSC Extension’s unique offerings. For information on services and programs for international students, please visit our International Programs page. Browse upcoming Computer Programming coursesRead more international student stories.
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