Bhubaneswar Buzz

Odia Boy wins ticket to US Grand Prix by developing an app

Bangalore National Public School student Pratik Mohapatra’s mobile app was adjudged the best in a competition organised by Microsoft

He is 16, has no formal training in developing mobile phone apps, but has a penchant for it and is already going places. Meet Pratik Mohapatra, a student of National Public School (Koramangala), who, unlike most teenagers, uses his spare time to develop apps rather than make posts on Facebook or watch television. 

An app developed Pratik — with a little assistance from his friends — has earned him a fully-paid trip to the US Formula 1 Grand Prix which begins with free practice sessions on October 1 and culminates with the race on November 2. Pratik will get to meet the world’s top drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. 

Pratik says he always had a love for coding. “I have developed seven till date,” Pratik said. The one that got him a ticket to US is an app called Resolve. “I developed it in February this year along with my friends and classmates, HR Srihari and Aditya Menon.” 

Resolve helps users point and shoot photos of products and services that need maintenance. As soon as a picture is clicked, the department concerned is immediately notified for follow-up. “The app uses geo-coordination that identifies the latitude and longitude of the location where the user shot the photo,” Pratik said. “Then it uses the little brief about the problem that the user provides and escalates the problem with the department whose contact numbers will be predefined by the user. This app is useful in huge apartment complexes, shopping malls, corporate offices, hotels and other places that require a team of maintenance staff. The staff gets notified via SMS which provides them the exact location such as the floor numbers along with the description of the problem that the user provides.” 

In April this year, Pratik integrated the app with Cloud. “I had qualified for Microsoft BizSpark (an initiative of the computer giant that provides free software, support and visibility to start-ups) by developing apps in succession,” Pratik said. “Through that, I got access to Cloud which gave me unlimited storage access. I used C# (pronounced ‘see sharp’, a programming language) and Visual Studio to design the app. Along with Cloud integration, the app was launched in April this year.” 

How did the app get Microsoft’s attention? In May this year, Microsoft organised //publish/ – their annual initiative that connects software developers from over 60 countries across the world. “Competition was in three categories — student, small business and individual and prizes were awarded in four categories, i.e. best Windows Phone 8.1 app; best Windows 8.1 app; App Innovation and Design; best Cross Platform app. I had to develop Resolve from scratch at the event. It took me about 10 hours to develop.” 

The jackpot prize was the trip to US for the F1 Grand Prix. “There were many participants from India, but I am the only one to have bagged the US trip which is fully sponsored by Microsoft.” 

Pratik’s father SP Mohapatra who works as a manager (sales and marketing) at a reputed automobile company said, “My son has come this far without formal training. I am proud that he is representing India on a global platform, but I also feel he is stretching himself too much by juggling between studies and his hobby for developing apps.” 

National Public School student Pratik Mohapatra’s mobile app was adjudged the best in a competition organized by Microsoft.

Courtesy: Bangalore Mirror