Senior Justin Huang launches grade-tracking app ‘Grade-Hound’


Provided by Justin Huang

Justin Huang pictured coding on his computer.

Elitsa Koleva, News Editor

Getting through high school is a stressful time for anyone who cares deeply about their academic success. Oftentimes, the constant influx of tests and homework can generate an equally long list of scores, which is near impossible to keep track of.

Senior Justin Huang recognizes and shares this struggle with his classmates, wishing to do something about it. With his grade-tracking app Grade-Hound, he seeks to contribute toward the academic organization and growth of students throughout the Westford community.

After developing the app over the summer as an individual project outside of the classroom, Huang launched Grade-Hound on the app-store within the past month.

According to Huang, the AP Computer Science class he took and his passion for software development led him to work on this project. Additionally, since WA’s Data Structures Class was cut last year, he was determined to come up with an app on his own.

“After exploring dual enrollment options to no avail, I just decided to develop my own app as a project over the summer instead,” Huang said. “I came up with the idea because I had heard people around me mentioning faults with programs that are meant to have similar things, so I compiled a list of functions from my close friends as well as others in my grade that I would incorporate into the app.”

With this app, students are able to create a folder for every class that they have, in which they can record the percentage grades for their assignments. There are multiple assignment options which they can select, including homework, quiz or test. They can also customize how much each assignment type weighs, in order to get a more accurate representation of their overall grade.

“Grade-Hound is a really simple app to use,”app user and senior Charles Lin said. “Justin didn’t give me any instructions on how to use it when he showed it to me for the first time, and I was able to figure out all the functions very quickly. The app is a great way to make sure I’m on track to accomplishing my academic targets. The best part about the app would be the user-friendliness of it. It’s extremely intuitive, and looks great as well.”

In order to create the app, Huang researched official documentation and online resources before development, including Stack Overflow, a website where programmers around the country can communicate, to further his knowledge and gain ideas. After doing so, he began coding for the app by himself, and designing the Graphic User Interface (GUI) with some help from his sister, Nicole Huang, who is a user experience designer.

According to Huang, for the coding itself, he chose a three-tier architecture, with a Flutter framework for the frontend, allowing for the app to be installed on multiple different devices, including Apple and Android. The middle is made up of Python, which is a programming language that Huang commonly uses. For the backend, he used Cloud SQL, which allows for a strong data storage.

“I opted for the three-tier architecture shown in the diagram because it offers the three key advantages of scalability, security, and efficient development,” Huang said.”This architecture enabled my app to support a large number of users. Another reason I settled on this architecture is the possibilities of enhanced security that it provides.”

When it comes to improving Grade-Hound, Huang is open to feedback and further development of the app. For the future, he is also considering making a music app that helps musicians such as himself and plans on continuing his passion for computer science in college.

“I’m going to major in computer science because technology is essentially part of the future,” Huang said. “Ongoing innovations in software development, machine learning, advanced data science, and all of these things solve problems in ways that have never been possible before. Ultimately, I think computer science is a great way to have a positive impact, as well as express my creativity.”