Otago Polytechnic
Ira app v2

Software for community groups

Third year Bachelor of Information Technology students are developing software for community groups for free.

The goal is to provide custom-designed software for community groups, or small businesses with a direct community benefit. These projects might be mobile, web or desktop applications or web sites. Clients will receive a beta version of the software and access to the code base developed by the students.

One group of students in 2016 worked with Claire Porima of Ira! Inspiration Cards to convert a physical set of cards into an app. Each card has an abstract concept in Maori and in English to encourage reflection and provide inspiration during the course of the day. The cards also help users become more familiar with te reo Māori and connecting language with culture. Sound recordings of the correct pronunciation of the words are available on the Ira! website.

The students built a database for the sets of words and pronunciations using Django for the backend with a RESTful API. The mobile front end runs on Android phones but the application code base is cross-platform for future iOS development. Patricia says the student team did a great job in the limited time they had available, building a sound codebase that can be extended and scaled. 

Ira! Inspiration Cards is a new business and Claire Porima appreciates the students' support to convert the cards for the mobile era. Having access to the code base means she can engage a commercial developer to test and fine tune the app before it goes public. She likes the potential to add enhancements subsequently. 

December 2016