In this two-part series, we speak to the brains behind tApp, Misty and tLaundry. Today, Ora alumnus Anthony Tantra, a fourth-year Civil Engineering student, shares his experience creating tApp (https://tinyurl.com/tapprelease) and Misty (https://t.me/TembusuMistyBot).
Can you explain what your apps do? What are they about and what do they aim to achieve?
The apps have the same goals: to be a centralised platform of information that is accessible to all Tembusians. tApp focuses on visual representations of information and virtual social interactions (much like Facebook), while Misty focuses more on an interactive conversation medium on a platform that is used widely in Tembusu: Telegram.
What inspired you to create these two apps?
The idea actually popped up during my time in the CSC (College Students’ Committee). By that time, we were already sick of Facebook (the clutter and the constant commenting to keep posts on top), and people kept asking us the same administrative stuff on and on again. tApp was supposed to be an alternative to Facebook at first, but it sidetracked a bit, causing it to be less effective after production. Misty, on the other hand, was an attempt to cover tApp’s problems, while I slowly refurbish and revamp tApp.
What were some challenges you faced along the way? And what motivated you to carry on?
Quite a lot of problems. As you know, tApp is supposed to have much more functionalities which can actually help people in the long run. But red tape from the university side is keeping me from implementing much of the wanted features in tApp – for example, they discourage us from accessing NUS servers/database with sensitive information. Another one is probably getting people to actually use the apps. The thing is, my apps are not a personal necessity, unlike tLaundry, so convincing people to use them is quite a difficult process. What motivated me was actually my attachment to the Tembusu community and making their lives easier and more fulfilling.
What has been your favourite memory from this whole process?
Ha… no favourite memories here. Maybe reading or listening to people’s feedback?
What are your plans for these apps? Where do you see them in the future?
tApp is going to be fully renovated. Since Misty can do most of what tApp can do, I’m planning on making it more focused, and more of a Facebook alternative than it currently is. Misty, on the other hand, will probably just be a very smart cat.
What got you interested in computing and programming?
I was actually already interested in programming way before I thought about creating these apps. I just haven’t got the correct motivation to apply them in real life. But my interest in programming comes from the idea of increasing efficiency and productivity in any community that I live in.
What advice do you have for others who are similarly interested in app design?
Keep learning, the application paradigm is changing rapidly, and you have to adapt to these changes very quickly. Get a team! Don’t do this by yourself or you’ll be bald by the time you release your application.
What is one thing you want Tembusians to know about you?
Nothing much, just know that the things you are experiencing and enjoying right now in Tembu are the products of many students’ sacrifices.
What is your take on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the government’s Smart Nation push?
I’m all for the Smart Nation move. I’m just disappointed that for a very developed nation, people are not very open to changes in their lifestyle. We don’t have this kind of luxury in developing nations.
Check out Part 2 featuring tLaundry on Thursday.
Pictures by Anthony Tantra and Bryan Kwa
About the author
Jonathan is a second-year student from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. He is interested in literature, politics, language, time and memory. Some of his favourite authors include Dickens, Orwell, Ishiguro and Kundera. You probably haven’t seen him before: he’s usually firmly ensconced in his room.