Taylor University is home to nearly 2,000 students, each with their own gifts and abilities. One student has been making waves in the technology industry with his unique coding abilities and desire to serve the world.
Brayden Gogis, a Mechanical Engineering and Biochemistry double-major in his second year at Taylor, has set out to help others better evaluate areas of joy in their lives. He is doing this through a personal love of his: coding. For the last few years, Brayden worked to incorporate his faith with this passion, resulting in the creation of Joybox, his most recent app.
Coding Before Taylor
Gogis began his coding career in second grade with a Google search: “how to make a game for iPod Touch.” After spending time on YouTube, he stumbled upon a program called Stencyl that taught users to create and develop games. Gogis was hooked.
Gogis has created numerous games for different app stores, with his first being in 2nd grade. His love of coding led to several accomplishments, including winning Apple’s Swift Student challenge in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Since then, Gogis has coded many more games. His most recent project, SpongeBob SolitairePants, was designed for Apple and is currently in the Apple Arcade.
Gogis was also recently featured on local Indianapolis news outlet WISHTV, where they interviewed him about his achievements in the Swift Student Challenge. That interview can be found here.
Coding With a Faith Mindset
Gogis speaks highly of the liberal arts education that he has received at Taylor, praising the ability “to get different perspectives on life, especially for when I graduate.”
In addition to the technical capabilities that he has obtained through his Engineering and Biochemistry classes, Gogis believes that the philosophy and faith that Taylor teaches has helped focus his mindset on combining his beliefs with everything else he does.
Gogis is especially grateful for the ethics and philosophy classes in the Foundational Core Curriculum that Taylor requires undergraduates to take. These classes have strengthened his morality and faith. He values the opportunity to go to chapel with his friends, recognizing that “in a couple of years, we won’t have to, three times per week, meet with all our friends and worship the Lord.”
Bringing Joy to the Public
In the fall of 2022, three Taylor alumni, Gary Gogis '00 (Brayden’s father), and brothers Nate '00 and Justin '02 Marquardt met with Brayden and ideated an app that brings joy to its users. The Marquardt family had a tradition of placing stories of joy into a box throughout the year and at Christmas, they would sit down together and open it, reliving the joy of the year. It was with this inspiration that Gogis set out to create Joybox.
Joybox is classified by Gogis as a social app, not social media. Gogis wanted to maximize the benefits of social media while minimizing the harmful effects that it can cause.
The app seeks to bring people together in the same way as the Marquardt family tradition: with boxes in which you can put photos to view at the end of the year. The app allows users to join multiple boxes with different groups and put moments of joy into them through photos and stories. At the end of the year, the box opens, allowing the group to review the members’ moments of joy during the year.
Another unique feature of the app is the Daily Joy (pictured at top). The Daily Joy asks the user to respond to prompts to help them uncover moments of joy in their day. This design is meant to help people emotionally, which is what fueled Gogis’s imagination in forming the questions and prompts that make up the Daily Joys.
In the fall of 2023, Gogis brought Joybox to Taylor University’s Shark Tank (now called Trojan Arena), an event hosted by Taylor’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This competition provided the winner with $5,000 to invest in their idea or product. Gogis’s presentation of Joybox grabbed the attention of the judges, and he was able to take home first place. With this $5,000 and some significant work, Gogis finished Joybox and listed it for pre-order in the Apple Store.
Elevate Your Coding Potential
Taylor’s Computer Science programs will provide you with the skills and abilities to design beautiful apps like Joybox and code your way through the problems of the real world as an undergraduate. Request more information or schedule your Taylor visit to learn more.