Nebojša & Branko live in Serbia and recently won a commendation from our judges for their entry to the #EULife AppChallenge. We caught up with them to find out more.

How did you find out about the contest?

We belong to the AppChallenge developer community. We joined in February 2014 because we were interested in the #Careerhack AppChallenge.

What made you enter the #EULife AppChallenge?

When I saw the AppChallenge email it got me thinking. Since I’m a PHP developer and I’ve only been playing around with Java, building a native Android app from scratch wasn’t really an option for me. Then I studied your website and thought to myself “Why not try to make a HTML5 / Web App?”. For a while I have been wanting to improve my Javascript skills and AngularJS sounded like a perfect fit.

I talked to my friend Branko who wanted to join me because he was also looking for a challenge and a way to express in his creativity in a different way to our usual day jobs as backend developers.

The interesting thing was that most of the technologies we used for this challenge (Angular, Bootstrap, NodeJS, Openshift etc) we were using for the first time and that’s why we were proud of our app, even before the results came in! AppChallenge gave us the motivation to pursue our desire to learn new stuff and we’re very thankful for that.

Did the coding tutorials help?

The UK Data Service API Explorer and it’s data helped us a lot while building, testing and debugging. We wanted to explore the dataset and visualise it for a broader audience, since we drew a lot of interesting conclusions whilst exploring the data.

The most rewarding moment was putting the data in the app’s prototype and UX testing with our friends, colleagues and family.

What did you think to the data?

We think that datasets like this should be popularised. Most of the feedback that we’ve received isn’t really about the app but about the data, for example “Is this true?”, “How did you find out about this?”, “Really? I didn’t know that”.

It highlights that often newspaper headlines only cover a couple of data points and are sensationalist. We think that publishing more visualisations and deeper explanations on medium.com would provoke more of a discussion.