Apps for Good brings computing lessons to life, it gives people a chance to see how everything comes together in the real world.”
We had the opportunity to speak with Daniel Mattioli, Head of Labs Engineering at Refinitiv Labs about his experience of being Apps for Good Expert of the Year in 2018 and how he enjoyed following the full process from idea to helping winners Booksy launch their app.
How did you get involved with Apps for Good?
I was an Apps for Good Expert in 2017-2018 while I was Director at Thomson Reuters Labs (now Refinitiv Labs). It was Bob Shukai that encouraged me to get involved.
Through the Experts programme, I provided 1:1 coaching online to teams all around the country. I attended an event in Manchester where I showed how we used Agile Development in our labs and how they were already applying it with their Apps for Good projects.
What do you think makes Apps for Good special?
Apps for Good brings computing lessons to life, it gives people a chance to see how everything comes together in the real world. It opens young people’s minds to new possibilities regardless of financial or home background.
I specifically remember at the Apps for Good Awards there being a young kid from Wick in Scotland, he hadn’t left his home town before, and here he was with his teammates in London on stage doing a presentation about their project to industry professionals in a building that overlooked the Shard. That’s not an opportunity that everyone gets… and it should be!
What do you think the students like best about taking part in Apps for Good?
There are so many different things.
During the whole process they get to collaborate with their team, they get to see the context of the work that they are doing in the real world. They are given real employable skills and they are shown all this, not only by their teachers but by people who are in these careers.
We had Apps for Good winners Savanna and Kirsty join us at Thomson Reuters for the day. They had to present their app idea Booksy (to help note-taking for GCSEs) idea in front of 15 software developers and user experience experts in the morning and then had a professional photoshoot and were interviewed in a real TV studio in the afternoon.
Also, students can be from anywhere, it’s not bound by location. You don’t need to be in London to access the course or the competition.
Has being a part of Apps for Good had an impact on your own work?
Absolutely! I’m much more aware now of target audiences. I take more time to explain things, any time I include technical terms I make sure that it doesn’t fall into jargon. It was great to be able to teach the students about the work that we do and explain it thoroughly in a way that would help them get the most out of it.