Wei Shung Chung (pictured) graduated with a master’s degree in computer science more than 10 years ago, and remembers seeing a lot of people struggling to find tickets to OU football games.
He decided to put his computer programming skills to good use to create a free iPhone application called umeTicket, which connects OU football or basketball ticket sellers to buyers.
Chung works full-time as a computer programmer for a Norman company, but builds apps in his spare time.
“When they first released the iPhone, I got fascinated with the whole model of the App Store,” he said. “I figured I could make use of this opportunity and build my own apps, so it’s just a hobby, something I like to do.”
For the time being, he receives no compensation for any of his apps.
Chung only started creating apps a few months ago, but umeTicket is already his third. His first app, okApp, helps Oklahoma citizens find the nearest fire station, police station or post office. His second, umeBook, lets students to post their used textbooks for sale.
He credits his OU schooling as one thing that fueled his new hobby.
“The program gave me a good foundation, so with that kind of foundation, it was easy for me to pick out an idea and play with it, and then build something,” he said.
Another thing Chung said made the work easier is a template that Apple Inc. provides on how to build apps.
He said building his first app took longer because he had to build the framework, but he has been able to use the same framework to build his subsequent apps. okApp took several months to build, while umeTicket only took about a month.
Regardless of the template, the process is not simple, according to Chung.
“It’s not smooth sailing at all,” he said. “My friends, they ask me, ‘Why are you doing this?’” Chung is using OU as the initial testing ground for his apps, but said if they succeed, he aspires to market them on other college campuses.
He hopes to build at least 10 apps by the end of the year.
“As a programmer nowadays, you just have to do all of this because it will help you in your work,” Chung said. “Everything that you learn that is new may help you someday. You never know.”