Student Of The Week

Neel Mehta: Android Coder & Rubik’s Cube Champ

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City: Mumbai
School: Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Portfolio: Angel.co, PlaystoreWorld Cube Association

Camp K-12 is proud to announce the student of the week, Neel Mehta, a class 11th student of Dhirubhai Ambani International School.

One of the modern and upcoming careers is mobile app development, and this young chap is already up for it. Neel is really passionate about the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and loves the ease with which one can create and code on this platform. Neel has shown that making apps is child’s play — he initiated a small app development startup with his friends in school, and is going to be leading his school’s Artificial Intelligence and Software Development Club from the coming year. He also took part in an All India Quiz (CL Young India Challenge) which had a telecast on Indian television and reached the national finals where the country’s top 6 teams took part.

As if that’s not already impressive enough, Neel is also happens to be a pro at solving Rubik’s cubes. Let’s find more about him.

How he got interested in Android development?

Neel’s interest in app development began when a family friend, pursuing Computer Science showed him an android app he had made. This really fascinated him and he found out that the Android development platform works on Java. It so happened that he was learning Java in school at that time so he resolved to make some applications of his own.

He had always been interested in programming as such, but he chose Android because of simplicity and utility. “I started learning how to make Android apps on the 31st of December 2012, a very simple application that could increment and decrement a counter based on button clicks and from there, there was no stopping me. I went on learning and falling in love with the platform,” he says.

Neel’s first Android app (at age 13)

Neel\'s First App

 

His stupendous journey with Rubik’s Cubes.

Setting an Asian Record on the 4th of May, 2014 for solving the 2x2x2 cube in 0.85s, Neel is a pro at solving Rubik’s cubes. He started cubing when he was 12, and attended his first competition in Feb, 2012. Neel says, “I had a 1 min 58s  time, but soon improved it and now it is at 15s.”

He has been to 9 competitions including the Indian Nationals and has participated in about 15 events. His Rubik’s Cubing profile shows all his records and positions at different levels. Have a look:

cubing profile

In December last year, he made a mosaic out of 1012 Rubik’s Cubes with a couple of friends.

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He’s doing an Android Internship this Summer.

At the moment he’s interning at Codigami as an Android developer, and will soon release the app (called Crowdfire) he’s been working on. As part of the internship, Neel communicates with the back-end developers for the different APIs and JSON structures and coordinates back to them as to what new API he would need to build for the application.
Neel says, “I talk to the other mobile developers (on the iOS side) to ask them exactly what code structure is needed and how I should structure my project so that it fits into the pre existing app architecture, I communicate with the UI designers to make sure the app looks exactly how they want it and how it would be most effective for the end user to use.” He never thought he would get this opportunity and would be working with such people, writing applications for a real startup, that too as a school student.

Neel has published apps to the Play Store.

Neel has released an android application, which is now on the Play Store and has over 100 downloads, aimed at securing conversations that people have with one another over messages, without complicating things too much.

Text Locker App

Neel’s views on starting early.

Neel strongly feels that it is ideal for kids to start learning technology at an early age since that is when they have the most interest in a certain thing. He also adds that at a young age, one can learn more than at any other age, so becoming a programming polyglot will be a bigger challenge for someone who is not a kid to someone who is a kid since they can grasp more and also since they have more time on their hands.
“Kids are also very inquisitive and tend to be more excited about things,” he says, “and technology is very vast and I am sure every kid can find something they are interested in. Technology is the future we’re all heading to, a little head start cannot hurt.”

He’s working on an Android carpooling app — he’s building a team, maybe you can join him.

Neel plans to create and launch an Android app to enable carpooling. “I have in mind an application that would help people carpool, or share a cab, or simply meet someone new while commuting from one place to another, which would help reduce traffic, pollution and noise in a city.”

The app would also provide ratings for users so that the users know whom to stay away from and who would be a good travel mate. He has planned a chat service between the two people in question so that they know if they would be comfortable travelling with each other.

Thanks to his summer internship, he is now an Android UI guru but is looking to add some back-end Android developers to his team. If you’re interested in teaming up with him, get in touch with him at facebook.com/neelmehta247

What does he feel about Camp-K12?

Neel says, “I think Camp K12 is an amazing platform for kids to learn about technology. As I said, all kids should learn some sort of technology while their young and Camp K12 aids in doing just that. There are so many things that you can do ranging from Music Production to Game Development, I mean it is wonderful. Projects like 3 day startups bootcamps are simply amazing since it gives a chance for talented youngsters to live their dreams and make it big with their startups.”

Camp K-12 wishes him all success in future.

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