Application Development Initiative

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Founded: 2009
Recognition: ABC
Membership: People in Tech
Executive Board:
Category: Special interest clubs

ADI is Columbia's largest tech club on campus, whose goal is to build an inclusive and active computer science community through workshops, hackathons, and community-building events. ADI holds around 60 events a semester, making them one of the most active student-led initiatives. Students can get involved with ADI by attending Cookies and Code, looking out for their flyers around campus, and subscribing to their mailing list.

ADI Academy

ADI Academy is a semester-long program that teaches the basics of web application development. Academy meets once a week and consists of a short lecture followed by time to work on provided exercises. The program is designed to not only help students learn skills not conventionally taught in computer science classes but also to encourage graduates of the program to develop their own future ideas into applications.

ADI Labs

ADI Labs is an opportunity for students to apply what they learn in class to real-life projects meant to help the Columbia community. Through Labs, students work on existing projects (i.e. Density or the Jupyter notebook), learn how to work with existing codebases already in production, and get to learn best practices for both software engineering and UI/UX design.

Starting in the 2018 Spring semester, students have been able to participate in ADI Labs for class credit under the advisement of Professor Paul Blaer.

Cookies & Code

"Cookies and Code" is a weekly meetup for Columbia students interested in technology featuring free cookies and milk, every Wednesday at 10pm in Lerner 569.


Main article: DevFest

Every February, ADI holds a popular Columbia-wide hackathon and workshop series called DevFest. The workshop series takes place during the week leading up to the hackathon, and features introductory talks designed to help people build a simple first app. In 2014, free dinner was provided before each workshop, and office hours with developer evangelists from sponsor companies were held for those who didn't attend the workshops.

The hackathon lasts twenty-four hours, during which time undergraduate and graduate students form teams and create a web app, phone app, game, or hardware hack from scratch. In 2014, around 300 participants created nearly 50 hacks, many of which were the participants' first hacks. The event features prizes from sponsoring companies, which have included Google, Bloomberg, Venmo, and many others. Judges are found from important places in the NYC tech community, and have included Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, and Camille Fournier, head of engineering at Rent the Runway.

Startup Career Fair

Every fall, ADI hosts a startup job fair, during which engineers from over 20 New York City startups come to meet students in a casual atmosphere.

ADI House

ADI House is the Application Development Initiative's associated Special Interest Community, which began in Fall 2013 and was initially located on the fifth floor of The Convent. Starting in Fall 2014, ADI House will occupy both the first and fifth floors of The Convent, to facilitate growing demand. Students must apply to be a member of ADI House, and accepted applicants tend to have a strong demonstrated interest in computer science and technology.

External links