Stanford’s Facebook App Development Group

    September 26, 2007

Today I noticed that a couple of my Facebook friends joined the group: Creating New Apps for Facebook (New Stanford Course).

Stanford course on facebook appsI personally think it is a great example of how students are able to learn a cutting edge skill that they will be able to practically apply once they get into the industry. I also wished I had courses liked that when I was in University. Here’s a brief overview of the Stanford Facebook Group:

Taught by BJ Fogg and Dave McClure, this class will focus on using metrics and feedback to create compelling apps for Facebook (and other social graphs). We invite motivated students from all majors to join this group. The ability to write code is helpful but not required. You will work in teams that bring
together a variety of skill sets.

Below are some FAQs posted at the group:

Q: Do I have to have background in CS to take this class?A: No. Ideally, the class will be a mix of students with technical background and non-technical backgrounds. However, if you already have a background in Facebook application development, we want you in this class.

Q: Are we going to learn how to actually BUILD Facebook applications?A: Not directly. The focus of the class will not be on how to actually build Facebook apps, but rather on how to design persuasive and engaging user experiences within FB apps. The Tues lab will be used as a resource for students who need extra help in learning the FB language.

Q: If there are teams of 3-4 students, how will we decide who owns what percentage of the application once the class is over?
A: We will most likely provide a framework for how to split up work and ownership within each team, and we will provide guidance to students who need help structuring their teams. However, an important component of this course will be to give students real-world startup experience, so we hope that teams will work together to come up with diplomatic solutions.

Q: Will I be on a different team for each project?
A: The short answer is that the teams will probably stay the same throughout, in order to promote continued development and improvement of the apps we create. However, we’re open to your input. This course is the first of its kind. We have a vision for how the quarter will play out, but we will definitely be learning and improving as we go. Please feel free to reach out if you have ideas on how to make this course as rewarding as possible for everyone involved

Personally I think there are numerous online marketing related courses that Universities should teach and I would love to see Canadian Universities like UBC also participate and be proactive in designing the courses. Here are some of my ideas for potential courses:

  • Building and Leveraging Google Gears
  • Creating applications with APIs such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Technorati
  • A Yahoo Pipes related course
  • Blog Plugin Development
  • Widget Development and Tracking