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March 2021 1st edition

Software developer improves passenger safety

Written by: Dale Hes

James Baloyi is a young man from Roodepoort who is currently employed in the high-potential field of software development, and is also a mobile app developer, creating useful apps that provide a real benefit to users.  James Baloyi recently created a mobile app called DCHECK, which seeks to create a safer experience for users of e-hailing services.

Baloyi (24) and fellow software developer Derik Sadiki recently created a mobile app called DCHECK. The app seeks to create a safer experience for people using e-hailing services. An e-hailing service is a form of transportation pickup requested with a virtual device such as a cellphone.  The app allows users to file reports about their trips, which other users of the app can then view. 

“I have always wanted to build software that benefits people,” says Baloyi. 

After some deep thinking, Baloyi decided that he wanted to create an app that would play a small part in preventing gender-based violence and keep users of e-hailing services safe. 

DCHECK users can give reports about the driver by using the number plate of the vehicle. The app also contains a panic button in case users finds themselves in a dangerous situation. 

“The user stores two contacts as emergency contacts. When they press the panic button, the live location and numberplate of the vehicle will be shared to the contacts,” Baloyi explains. 

Getting into app development

Baloyi was strong at maths and science in school, and initially wanted to study civil engineering, but he got bored with it quickly. 

“This is when I decided that maybe I should start exploring software and app development. I went to WeThinkCode and did their bootcamp, and then started figuring things out a bit on my own, researching and practising coding. I freelanced for a while and then landed my first job,” says Baloyi. 

Baloyi explains that you do not necessarily need a degree to become a software developer. 

“Over the past few years, the IT industry has changed. It used to be that you absolutely had to have qualifications to find a job. But as tech companies started getting bigger, this faded away. Today, you just need a lot of passion, and tech companies will give you the opportunity to show that you can meet the requirements of the job.”

At the same time, Baloyi says that people who want to become software developers need to be willing to rapidly expand their skills.  

You can find the DCHECK app at the Google Play Store or Apple iStore.