North Texas Daily

Coding and design club has dreams beyond university limits

Coding and design club has dreams beyond university limits

November 19
03:19 2015

Chad Robertson | Staff Writer


After working at a few internships for tech companies like Fujitsu, psychology junior Brandon Harwood realized there was a serious lack of communication between engineers and designers working together on the same project.

Because of this he decided to jumpstart a coding and design club focused on bringing together amateur and expert techies alike.

“Since designing and coding share similar aspects, it made sense to create a forum where the two entities could openly and more easily communicate,” Harwood said.

Harwood, a San Antonio native, joined a similar coding and design club at the University of Texas at Dallas, and, noticing the lack of a large-scale club of the type at UNT, he said he figured it was high time to start one.

“The clubs at UTD have awesome connections with the professional world,” Hardwood said. “Their clubs are sponsored by Microsoft and Facebook, and I felt like UNT should have the same.”

Jonathan Joyner, 26, decided to jump on board and has been helping Harwood start up the club as vice president. Joyner said he joined the team once he, too, realized there wasn’t an organization on campus that bridged the gap between design and programming.

“Both design and coding benefit from being as simple and efficient as possible, so why choose between function and aesthetics when you can have both?” Joyner, a UNT alumnus, said.

Joyner, who has worked on websites for Whataburger and the American Airlines Center, said he is eager to share his industry knowledge with prospective peers.

2015-11-05 Denton, TX. University of North Texas. Frank & Sue Mayborn School of Journalism. Photo: Colin Mitchell

Psychology junior Brandon Harwood meets with his club in the Library due to the infancy of the club. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

“Hopefully this club will become a community where everybody benefits from collaboration and sharing ideas,” Joyner said.

When he isn’t doing schoolwork, Harwood keeps himself busy as a freelance web designer, even designing for UNT. He said he is combining his web design experience with his psychology studies in the user experience design field, where he gauges user satisfaction after receiving feedback from users once they trial-run a new app or website.

“I’ve been interested in psychology since I was in high school,” Harwood said. “After I started leaning toward computer science and design, I found out there was a way to merge all three.”

Harwood said he hopes the club will eventually construct websites, apps and participate in “hackathons,” developing sessions where web designers spend 24 to 50 hours creating individual websites.

“In five years, I’d like to see members of the club generating great connections,” Harwood said. “Not just within the school, but also out in D-FW and the professional world.”

Featured Image: Psychology junior Brandon Harwood poses for a photo in Willis Library. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

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