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Everyone knows the monthly Norfolk Developer meets attract speakers from around the country to talk tech to us, but we were reminded recently that we also have a more practical function. To bring like-minded programmers together. One such successful collaboration began in March last year between John Heaser of Responsive Systems and freelance mobile developer Neil Sedger. The conversation they had resulted in a wildlife tracking app, which has recently been published on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

John posted in the NorDev Meet-up group that he was looking for help with a Cordova phone app and then decided to attend a meet-up himself. “I went along to my first NorDev meeting on 25th March 2015 and during the pre-meeting beer I overheard Neil talking about Cordova – so I asked him if he was interested in working on the project and he said yes, he had some time available, so I was very lucky! There are five of us working at Responsive Systems and whilst we have good skills in some areas we can’t be experts in everything! Neil helped us get started on the project – he is a nice chap to work with.”

“I’ve used Cordova on a few projects now” says Neil “It’s great for quickly building a cross-platform mobile app, especially if you already have a responsive browser-side web front end. It’s not for every project but it’s worth considering.”

Neil describes the app as a wildlife database with an built-in questionnaire to help users identify a creature they have found. “ ‘Dragon Finder’, has been built for the wildlife charity Froglife who are dedicated to the conservation of amphibians, reptiles, and their habitats. Users are encouraged to report sightings of creatures which can include location, habitat description and photos; this is uploaded to Froglife’s central database which they use to monitor populations, spread of disease and non-native species, and feed into other conservation projects.”

“We have brought in outside help on previous projects” says John “and I believe that co-operative skill sharing between small software businesses will play a key role in making Norwich a centre of technical excellence and that NorDev can facilitate this.”

Check out the finished app here:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.froglife.dragonfinder
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dragon-finder/id1051344492?mt=8