SDI Students Do Real App Development Then Land Real Jobs

Haifa Alsaab, Staff Writer, Division of Information Technology

Andy Hayworth is a former Student Applications Developer who just graduated with a Computer Science major (game programming emphasis) from Kent State University. He started a full-time job in the tech industry the Monday after his graduation.

Andy Hayworth worked as a student developer on the Systems Development and Innovations (SDI) team. During that time, he performed a wide variety of common full stack development tasks. “Everything from fixing bugs in a wide variety of Kent State's Outsystems applications to creating a new web application from scratch!” Andy said. He also took part in platform upgrade testing and attended scrum meetings with team members.  

Andy has wanted to work in software engineering for an extremely long time, and his job with the SDI team opened the door for him to gain professional experience in this field as a student.  

"That, in itself, is an unbelievable bonus to have on a resume.” Andy said.  

Andy has had the opportunity to work in an agile environment, communicating with senior management on development and consulting with clients on an application that he was building for them. The skills that Andy developed during that kind of dialogue add bonus to his resume. 

“Without these projects, I would have no real-world experience working in this industry and thus I would have no idea what I would be doing with future projects” Andy said.

Andy has built incredibly enriching and fulfilling relationships with the full-time employees on the SDI team. Within the SDI team, students handle client-facing projects, designing, developing, and testing innovative software applications. Andy's mentors took the time to prepare and coach him in each of these responsibilities. “Regarding project management, they taught me how to properly communicate technical ideas, problems, and solutions. I was able to witness senior executives organize projects, inspire their coworkers, and push the department to be the best it possibly can be.” Andy adds. 

Andy feels that his experience was a real milestone in his professional life. He has become much more confident in his abilities as a developer. Working on real-life applications, consulting clients, and communicating with professionals has prepared him for the market. As Andy adds: “Without these projects, I would have no real-world experience working in this industry and thus I would have no idea what I would be doing with future projects”.  

Andy finds Kent State is an incredible place to gain some industry experience while being a student. In fact, Andy worked as an Outsystems (low code platform) developer on the SDI team as a student. That experience led directly to a full-time job offer as an Outsystems developer! He was so excited to jump into his new career that he started work just two days after graduation. 

“I want to tell those students not to wait! I was lucky enough to get this job as an inexperienced freshman in college and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Do not wait to look for a position that fits your career goals!” Andy reflected. 


Haifa Alsaab is a doctoral candidate studying Translation Studies. She is a student content writer on the Digital Accessibility Team in the Division of Information Technology. Haifa feels strongly about inclusion and as a member of the Equal Access Newsletter Team, she writes content on accessibility on monthly basis. Haifa can be reached at

POSTED: Wednesday, September 07, 2022 03:17 PM
UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 06:33 PM