A day in the life

Allan Lavell talks about fourth year

allan-lavell-profile

The cool thing about CS is that you can start programming on your own and invent incredible things on your computer.

Getting practical experience


Not a lot of students can say they worked on a top-selling iPhone app while they were a student. But Allan Lavell can.

In addition to his Computer Science (CS) studies, Allan works for a Halifax-based games studio called Twisted Oak, known for its app called Zombie Wonderland. After its release, Zombie Wonderland ranked as one of the top 10 most popular paid apps on Apple’s iTunes store.

In 2010, Allan was the only programmer working on the high-profile iPhone app, Gracie 360. It’s the go-to app for the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family, a well-known martial arts organization. It has over 2,000 downloads already and hasn’t even been officially announced yet.

“I love programming,” says the Halifax resident, noting he’s been doing it for a while.

He started at 11, which is when his family first got a computer. He tried starting with C++, but soon discovered Python, which has allowed him to create more advanced projects like his own video games.

Today, Allan is happy with his choice to come to Dalhousie. He says the professors and support staff are friendly and supportive, while the small size of the CS program is a plus.

Doing it yourself


“The cool thing about CS is that you can start programming on your own and invent incredible things on your computer,” says Allan.

He recommends students program as much as possible on the side to prepare themselves for their future careers.

"You’ll learn the fundamentals at school and then when you apply them in your own projects, it really solidifies everything,” says Allan.