App Development and Marketing

App Development and Marketing JBS program

Professors Timothy Hickey and Grace Zimmerman
9 Weeks, 12 Credits | June 3 - Aug. 2, 2019

This program teaches the fundamental concepts behind the design, development, testing and deployment of web and mobile apps, combined with a business-focused exploration of marketing for the high tech market. Throughout this 9-week program, students will deepen their understanding of software development and marketing through the creation of a working prototype of a web and mobile app and crafting a product launch marketing campaign for their app.

To create their app, students will learn how to develop applications using a highly scalable multi-platform approach. On the server side they will learn the state-of-the-art algorithms and methodology for building servers in the cloud that can scale rapidly as demand increases. For the client side they will learn how to create applications that run on web browsers and also run on all mobile devices. To market their creation, students will learn to use a wide variety of social media and marketing communications techniques. These strategies are used to effectively market products and brands, develop advertising and social media campaigns, evaluate word-of-mouth and corporate blog promotional activities, and refine search engine optimization and marketing plans.

This JBS will empower students to create applications that allow them to use Computer Science to create value in people's lives, and will give participants the experience of developing a real marketing campaign for their startup product. This JBS program will also invite speakers from local companies to give presentations to the class once a week allowing students to expand their knowledge of the market, while strengthening their professional networks. In addition to developing a deep understanding of what is involved in creating and marketing a mobile and web application, students will gain practice in oral and written presentation of their ideas, and in developing high tech products in small groups.

This JBS will be open to all students who have taken the first course in the Computer Science minor (COSI 11a) or the introductory marketing course (BUS 10a). Admissions preference will be given to students who have taken both of these introductory courses.

Program Highlights:

While this is a new JBS program, it combines aspects of two JBS programs from other summers: Voice, Web, and Mobile Apps (2014-2018) and Brand Marketing and Communication (2014 & 2015). Activities, guest speakers, field trips, and assignments will vary - however, in the years that Voice, Web, and Mobile Apps and Brand Marketing and Communication were offered students enjoyed:

  • Guest speakers from area tech companies - giving students the chance to learn about the current state of the high tech industry in Massachusetts.
  • Visiting area tech companies like Amazon's "Alexa" Speech Lab for an inside look at Amazon's speech recognition technology. Then, students engaged in a little friendly competition to develop applications for the Amazon Echo speech device in a "hackathon."
  • Learning about "User Centered Design" and "Design Axioms" from experts working in the field.
  • Spending weeks in a "start-up culture" as students collaborated in small project teams to design and build their own working apps. Here are some example apps JBS students developed in previous summers:
    • The Chef's Assistant App - a hands-free app that features over 300,000 recipes with voice-activated, step-by-step instructions. Users can search by the ingredients they have on hand, the type of cuisine they want to eat, or special dietary restrictions.
    • PlanDeis - an app that helps students access course data on all Brandeis course since 2004. The data can help students work out their classes for the coming year including planning schedules for one or more majors.
    • A Virtual Pet - an online pet you can talk with. It will tell you the weather, a joke, and let you navigate between pages all using voice commands.

Ideal for

This program is designed for both undergraduate or graduate students. This JBS will be open to all students who have taken the first course in the Computer Science minor (COSI 11a) or the introductory marketing course (BUS 10a). Admissions preference will be given to students who have taken both of these introductory courses. 

Students in this JBS will earn 12 credit hours and fulfill one Social Science (SS) and two Science (SN) requirements toward graduation. Additionally, for most students, one JBS can count as a semester of residency toward graduation (all students - but particularly transfer students - should click here for terms and conditions surrounding residency requirements). Students will also earn two 100-level COSI electives toward a Computer Science major or minor and one course toward a Business major.


BUS 152aj - Marketing Management
Requirements Fulfilled: SS

Description: This course is an introduction to key concepts in competitive strategy and marketing, which are used to help firms create, sustain, and capture value. Topics include industry analysis, competitive advantage, market identification, and marketing policies. The course also incorporates case studies, discussion method, team projects, and business research.

COSI 152aj - Web Application Development
Requirements Fulfilled: SN

Description: An introduction to web programming that covers the fundamental languages and tools, including HTML/CSS for page layout, javascript/ajax for client-side integration, and server-side programming in Java, Ruby, and SQL. The course also discusses security, scaling/optimization, and multi-tier architectures.

COSI 154aj - The JBS Incubator
Requirements Fulfilled: SN

Description: An introduction to software engineering for web and mobile applications. Covers agile programming techniques, rapid prototyping, source control paradigms, effective software documentation, design of effective APIs, software testing and analysis, software licensing, with an introduction to business plans for software entrepreneurs.

Note: Application to this JBS is open to all Brandeis students who have taken either COSI 11a or BUS 10a with preference given to students who have taken both of these classes. 


If you have questions about the program, please email Prof. Timothy Hickey at:, or Prof. Grace Zimmerman at:

If you have questions about the application process or have general programs about the JBS program, email us at:

JBS Applications:

Applications for Summer 2019 are now open!

Applicants should first review the application process, then begin your JBS application here.

There are limited spaces and financial aid for all JBS programs, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.