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From Cupcake to Jellybean, Allstate NI Develops an App-etite for Android

Allstate NI's appetising Android training course went down a treat this week in the Belfast offices. Kicking off Allstate NI's 'Good Hands Academy', the Android application course was the first of several internal up-skilling courses to be run and taught by Allstate NI's very own senior trainers over 2 days.

The Good Hands Academy is part of a charitable innovation drive within Allstate NI, encouraging participating employees to raise funds for their chosen charities using their own talents and ideas. It plans to host a series of internal training activities to broaden employee's skillsets throughout the year. Last month also saw a teacher training initiative where 35 teachers from across NI came to the Allstate NI Belfast Offices to receive training on the new Software Systems Development A level to be made available to students at the start of the next academic year. To date over £2500 has been raised for their chosen charity—the NSPCC, between the 2 activities with many more training courses to be run throughout the year.

The training course taught participants how to create interfaces using XML and programming using Java and each walked away with a certificate of completion and a full disc of training materials to improve their new skills. Participants were also given the opportunity to follow up on their course with a project to develop an app (related to the insurance industry) with the best winning an Android tablet. A C# course will also be made available free of charge for those who attended the Android course and wish to learn how to develop apps for the new windows 8 operating system.

Allstate NI's appetising Android training class standing by the Android dessert theme table.

Lunch was provided and a special Android dessert themed break was created for employees following the theme of the Google Android's edible platform versions—Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean.

Desserts using the Android themed releases as an inspiration.

According to a release in August 2013 from the UK Office of National Statistics over half of internet access is gained through mobile phones alone and as of July 2013 there has now been over 50 billion Android app downloads from Google Play. Employees with varying degrees of programming knowledge ranging from Business Analysts to Developers, learnt how to develop apps for the Android operating system (AOS) which can be used on a range of mobile phones and tablets.

"This course was a great opportunity for me to up-skill in something outside of my core day to day job role but which nonetheless I need to understand in order to work better with my technical team mates. The course was detailed and intense but I enjoyed it thoroughly and found the trainers very personable and knowledgeable. Outside of the training aspect, this course also provided a good opportunity to donate to a worthwhile cause. I will certainly look out for future 'Good Hands Academy' training courses", Stephen, Business Analyst.

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