The GAP Decoded event was a very interesting and fun tabling event where The Hacking Club members got to experience firsthand the different components of an IT department at a large company. Other than all of the free items we got, including a web cam cover, gloves that let you use a touchscreen, bottle-opener sunglasses, and enough candy to give a kid diabetes, we actually learned a lot at that event.
GAP is a clothing company that uses a lot of technology in its effort to be a leader in the IT world. We were introduced to the many potential upcoming technologies that GAP may be implementing in the future. One of the interesting parts of the event was the fact of how much influence focus group tests have on the implementation of a product or idea. As computer science/computer engineering students, we are very familiar with unit tests, but we never considered user tests.
One example of GAP determining whether a product gets created or even implemented is when they considered if a user’s shopping cart (clothes they wanted to buy online) should be placed in a changing room when they enter a brick-and-mortar store. The main question wasn’t if the concept was possible (it is very possible); rather the question was if it is “creepy”. We never really considered the users’ feelings when the idea was introduced. Our immediate reaction was how would we personally design or implement the concept in terms of code.
As part of the Hacking Club, we have to consider the human in front of the computer to find the flaws or vulnerabilities. The GAP Decoded event was the Hacking Club’s first tabling event in terms of industry. If there is one thing that we will take from it, it is that the programs we design are for human, regular humans, not other programmers. Networking and meeting people is the key to success, not just for computer science, but in life. GAP Decoded taught us a lot and it was definitely an event we would recommend and go back to. Hopefully, one or more of our members gets a GAP internship for the summer!