‘App-solutely’ Jamaican - UTech graduate creates one of the most popular 10-digit converters available in Google Play Store
Scores of Jamaicans are turning to the Google Play Store for help to convert the seven digit telephone numbers in their contact list to meet the new 10-digit dialling regime, but not many are aware that one of the most popular conversion applications (apps) is made by one of their countrymen.
Jerome Campbell, a 31-year-old Jamaican information technology specialist and app designer, is responsible for the second highest rated country code converter in the Google Play Store, with more than 20,000 downloads and a 4.5 rating out of five.
Campbell’s CodeApp adds the missing digits within seconds, converting all the numbers to the necessary 10-digits.
“I quickly realised that this was an opportunity, because to change out the numbers manually would be tedious. So, CodeApp was a pre-emptied solution to the problem. There are other international apps out there but I still wanted to put my app in the game” Campbell told The Sunday Gleaner.
Campbell, who grew up in Lawrence Tavern with both parents, attended Lawrence Tavern Primary and Oberlin High schools before entering The University of Technology (UTech) at age 15.
“When I entered UTech, I didn’t know what a programmer was; I was told there were a lot of jobs working with computers, so my mother encouraged me along that line. Programming came naturally to me and I just began to become good at it,” said Campbell who now holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UTech and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies.
The adjunct lecturer at the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) teaches Mobile App Development along with other information technology based courses to young students.
He said he did not get a job immediately and after leaving university, and so he started working on apps to make a job for himself. To date he has developed more than 20 apps with CodeApp being among the successes.
“At the current rate I’m expecting 50,000 downloads by the end of this month, it’s making a bit of money, it’s building,” Campbell said with a smile.
CodeApp was developed under Campbell's company called ArrowEX, Inc which is incorporated in Delaware in the United States. With this arrangement, he said the company is able to facilitate a global reach and investment, but all the development is done in Jamaica by Jamaicans.
"This positions the company for international investment. I have seen one and two downloads so far from as far as India," said Campbell.
According to Campbell, CodeApp is trustworthy, as it does not harvest or store the users contact information.
“In this age of scamming and hacking, persons might think that Jamaicans are not tech-savvy, but we are very aware and very cautious, as opposed to other apps, which we don’t know who is behind it, I’m putting my reputation behind this app, so that is a guarantee that I’m not harvesting the contact information,” said Campbell.
For persons thinking that after the numbers are converted the app is useless, Campbell said that is not the case.
“The app has value added features to check data and credit balances, send please call me and please credit me messages and other (quick) codes. Its download size is less than four megabytes,” said Campbell.
CodeApp is currently available in the Google Play Store with a free and premium version. The iPhone version is currently being developed and will be available by June 30.