Placement student’s healthy app-titude impresses Harrogate tech firm

29 September 2013

Health conscious Android users can now keep a watchful eye on their body mass index (BMI) thanks to the technical expertise of a student from The Grammar School at Leeds.

Matthew Walker spent his year 11 placement with McKenna Consultants Ltd in Harrogate, where in a project expected to last two weeks, he took just three days to develop the My Body Mass BMI Calculator for Android. Building the app was an ideal challenge for Matthew, bringing together his two main interests of fitness and computing – he has been keeping active through karate for ten years and has taught himself the programming languages Java and C# in his spare time.

Users of the app, available on the Google Play Store, can enter their height and weight in either metric or imperial measurements to determine their BMI. Unlike other apps designed to calculate BMI, Matthew’s app displays the results on a graph so that users can see at a glance into which category their BMI falls – underweight, healthy, overweight or obese.


Matthew said:

I had been programming for three years so working with the team at one of the leading app developers in the area was the ideal work experience opportunity. I learned lots about object oriented programming and test driven development, as well as experience of problem-solving and working in a team.


Aaron McKenna, commercial director at McKenna Consultants Ltd, said:

Matthew has completely exceeded our expectations, picking up the principles of agile software development very quickly. As a result he has seen his app deployed to the Google Play Store for download, and added to our own already extensive portfolio of mobile apps. He did so well that we’ve invited him back for a week in October half-term.

In the meantime Matthew has made good use of his new-found skills by working on an app for a local gym, while in future he plans to study for a computer science degree before pursuing a career in software development.

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