This semester, the MIS major introduces exciting new content to prepare students for the emerging API economy. A three-course series emphases application development and cloud software deployment, enhancing learning while building skills and confidence. “This sequence emphasizes the interconnectedness of the information. Now it’s not like three 15-week courses, it’s like a single 45-week course that goes from one semester to the next,” says professor Jeremy Shafer, who teaches both the first and third courses in the series.
The second course explores networking basics and cloud platforms. “We teach them how to build a very simple API and deploy it on the infrastructure they build,” says David Schuff, professor and chair of the MIS Department, who teaches a section of this course.
Professor Mart Doyle also teaches this second course. “But it’s in the third course that students really bring everything together,” says Doyle. “In the final course, we write an API from scratch. If you understand both halves of the process, and you can put your own API endpoint out in the cloud, there’s nothing you can’t build,” says Shafer.
A focus on the API economy also unifies this series. Modern businesses mix and match APIs with their own custom-coded tools to solve problems. “It’s no longer a choice between building it all from scratch or buying something out of the box,” says Schuff. Through this series, students learn the end-to-end process. “They learn the business thinking behind it,” says Schuff.
This sequence gives students a number of advantages after graduation. “Our students can have an insightful conversation about how to leverage the cloud to deploy APIs and how to design an application that scales,” says Doyle.
“Students who go through this sequence are coming away with something that will set them apart from their peers from other schools,” says Shafer. “Not everyone is being as aggressive as we are at conveying these ideas.”