imageFebruary has come to an end which means it’s time to announce our next Tech Student of the Month! This month, we are pleased to highlight an extraordinary student named Gavin Earley, a senior studying Computer Science at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Gavin has made strides in the Windows Phone development space with a number of popular apps out in the Marketplace such as Cowapult and FHE Helper. Outside of technology, Gavin is a proud husband and father of two and loves to explore his passion for development with the support of his family.

Gavin first realized his interest in technology in middle school when he was able to help his dad build a computer from the ground up. The project allowed him to see how computers work from a hardware perspective and this sparked his interest in learning more about them. When he moved from San Diego to Utah in 7th grade, Gavin was given the option to choose an elective at his new school and naturally, he went with a computer science course. When he went on to Alta High School in Sandy, Utah, he decided to take his learning to the next level by taking an A+ certification course in computer repair. This allowed him to explore computer hardware in depth and shortly after passing the certification exam, he began working at a computer repair company where he was able to implement his technical knowledge. Although the certification course helped him develop his skills, the bulk of his learning was self-taught through the utilization of various resources and blogs he found on the web. Most recently, he has been able to make use of his school’s MSDN Academic Alliance program which provides schools free access to professional development tools.

CowapultIn 2010, Gavin was invited to a Windows Phone kick-off event where he was first introduced to the platform. Here he learned about the various tools and programs that were available to developers wishing to code a Windows Phone app and he was surprised to see just how accessible the resources were, ranging from the tools themselves all the way to the step-by-step tutorials. Since the kick-off event, Gavin has created and published five apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace, all of which have been extremely successful in terms of downloads and user reviews. His app, FHE Helper, which stands for ‘Family Home Evening’ Helper, is an app designed to help users plan activities for their families to do together and has had over 800 downloads so far.

Gavin is currently in his last year at the University of Utah and is planning to graduate this December. For his senior project, he and his team are redesigning the way restaurants operate with an interactive mobile menu that allows customers to view the menu and order from their tables via a mobile tablet. Outside of school, Gavin has been working part-time in an internship at Innova Systems as a mobile developer. He hopes to apply the experience he has gained from his internship to further his career down the road. In terms of future plans, Gavin wants to continue his education by getting his Masters in Computer Science after gaining some more experience in the field. He is expecting his third child so he is extremely excited for what 2012 has in store.

We want to congratulate Gavin on all of his successes and thank him for setting such a great example to fellow student Windows Phone developers. We wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavors and hope he continues to build rock-star apps!

Follow Gavin on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/gavinearley

Visit his blog: http://gavinearleydev.wordpress.com/

Check out January’s Tech Student of the Month Profile on Chevon Christie