Making load shedding schedules more accessible to the public through a special app is what made second-year Information and Technology Software Development student at DUT embark on creating one. He was announced as the winner in the Windows Phone Category of the Microsoft Openness Competition for young developers, recently. The competition called on current and aspiring Azure-a Microsoft cloud computing platform-backed developers for Windows Phone, iOs, Android or BlackBerry to submit entries on their existing or concept-phase apps.
His prize entails winning a R50 000 digital marketing campaign which will be facilitated by Microsoft and iProspect, to market his winning app, Eishkom. “I developed this simple app called Eishkom, it basically allows the user to search a suburb, view its load shedding schedule and also receive push notifications about changes in the load shedding stages and implementation times,” he said proudly. Chetty also added that with the frequency of power outages, he wanted to create something to help users get notifications around the load-shedding schedules.
He began developing for the Windows Phone competition from last year, 2014. His app will also help users keep track of the load shedding schedule in their areas for the different stages. Eishkom has a push notification feature and a Twitter feed that displays all Eskom related-tweets.
Chetty has a goal of finishing his National Diploma and thereafter do his Btech while continuing his work of creating software that attempts to solve everyday problems. Chetty is also grateful for the support system he receives in the form of DUT lecturer, Cassim Vanker. He added that Vanker organises workshops and events on campus which drives and inspires students in learning and developing new skills in the IT field. It is through the events on campus that he decided to get involved with the Windows Phone Development competition.
“Studying at DUT came as an advantage to me as it also allowed me to be affiliated with Microsoft. Through this partnership, young and upcoming innovators get the opportunity to interact with professional trainers who introduce them to various Microsoft technological developments such as Azure,” he said.
For other students who are interested in innovations and technological developments, Chetty suggests that they should start small. “Create small projects that do one thing and expand on them later, after a while you’ll get lost in the knowledge you would have amassed. Also, attending workshops and events on campus is an exciting and great way to learn. It also gives you a chance to network with professionals and other student developers, so make the most of it. Winning such a prestigious competition made me feel proud to be recognised for my IT development efforts,” he said. On 21 September 2015, he will do his presentation at Ritson campus at the DUT Symposium on Web, Mobile, and Software Development Technologies. If anyone is interested to learn more about Eishkom and various other technologies involved in its inner workings, should come along to the event.
– ANELE HLONGWANE
Pictured: Lionel Chetty, winner, in the Windows Phone Category of the Microsoft Openness Competition, for young developers.