Over the years, RoboJackets has developed processes to support our primary mission of promoting, educating, and advancing robotics. From training to purchasing, these support processes impact members in quiet ways but drastically improve member experience and technical project execution. One tool that every member has used but probably few have noticed is the member management tool MyRoboJackets, code-named Apiary. Developed entirely within RoboJackets, it enables dues collection, electronic membership agreements, swag distribution, and access management. While this has long primarily been a web application, which we talk about a little bit in a previous newsletter article, this is changing with the introduction of MyRoboJackets Android.
The new Android application was developed by Evan Strat, a recently graduated member and former Web App Product Owner and IT Coordinator. The original goal was to be able to track attendance without needing to bring card readers to events. In order to drive adoption of the app, Evan emphasized ease of use during the app’s design process. After learning about some new Android frameworks like Jetpack Compose and completing an internship at Zillow focused on Android development, Evan had the tools he needed to work on the app. He had to solve a lot of interesting problems including using near-field communication (NFC) to read BuzzCard information through the phone and updating Apiary to allow users to sign in through a mobile app.
Since the app’s initial beta launch for General Interest last fall, it has proven very valuable and so far recorded 1,500 attendance records via NFC BuzzCard taps! The next major feature will be merchandise distribution, aiming to simplify the distribution of t-shirts and polos to RoboJackets members. Evan’s favorite feature is the fun messages that appear if you record attendance for many members at once. He’s also excited about the recent addition of a continuous integration pipeline behind the scenes, which will accelerate the process of testing and releasing new features in the app.