Nokia Create Winner Showcase: Rob Kachmar and Camera Buddy++
Posted on December 20, 2013
Rob Kachmar is a father of 2 with another on the way and a passion to make the world a better place using his skills as a developer. He localized his Camera Buddy++ app to seven additional languages to win first prize in Nokia Create Mini Mission 6 - Localisation. This American developer’s app was already a big hit in Thailand even in its English translation, and this Mini Mission was just the motivation he needed to make the app even more locally relevant.
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a husband, father of 2+ (one on the way), and the middle child of 3. I began my addictive passion with technology playing video games like River Raid, Joust, and Space Invaders. Thankfully I ended up finding practical uses for it when I began web development at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Since college, I have been professionally involved in software development for over a decade. I’ve mostly worked on back-end B2B systems that process high volumes of data. I’ve built systems that are still being used nearly a decade later, and I’ve lead teams with dozens of software developers working on dozens of mission-critical projects.
How did you get into developing? What do you enjoy the most?
I started developing in college with an HTML introductory class. I instantly knew I had found a life-long passion with all the creative possibilities that can be achieved. More importantly, I recognized the opportunity to positively impact so many lives. That’s my true passion, to make the world a better place, and development is the way I am achieving it.
Tell us a little about your winning app. What does Camera Buddy++ do?
Camera Buddy++ lets you see over 40 amazing real-time filter effects from the Nokia Imaging SDK. You just pick the effect that you want and tap the screen to save what you see. Additionally, you can choose your favorite effect in the settings menu and jump straight to it when the app launches.
How did you decide on this idea? What inspired it?
I downloaded the open source Real-time Filter Demo project from Nokia Developer, took one look through the lens with the Nokia Imaging SDK filters, and instantly fell in love. I had to create an app to show the world all the amazing filters that can be made with the SDK.
Tell us about the update that you did for the Mini Mission. What was your experience with Localisation and what languages did you add?
My experience with localisation was zero when I started the mission. The Localise your Windows Phone apps to increase your market potential 4X article really opened up the possibilities. It also forced me to be a better Windows Phone developer. Now it’s automatic for me to add any string to the AppResources.resx file. I added all the major languages: Chinese (simplified), Spanish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, and French as well as Thai, since the market has been so good to my app.
Why did you choose this Mini Mission?
My app is a huge success in Thailand. They’re blowing away downloads from any other market. I was already planning to add language support for Thai, and after I read the Localise your Windows Phone apps to increase your market potential 4X, it was a no-brainer to add support for the other popular languages and enter the mini mission.
How are you finding the Nokia Create contest so far?
It’s been very fun and challenging. I’m excited to see how the winner selection goes for the Master Missions. I have my fingers crossed for a trip to Mobile World Congress 2014.
You are now a finalist for the Grand Prize. Which of the Grand Prize winner prizes are you the most excited about?
A free trip to Mobile World Congress 2014 would definitely be the highlight of my software development career. I haven’t been back to Europe since I was a child.
Have you entered any other Nokia Create Missions?
I also entered my Photo Buddy++ app into Mini Mission 6 - Localization.
I created a new lock screen image rotating app, Lockscreen Buddy++, for the Image & Photo Master Mission.
I created a new app, Flashcard Buddy++, for the NFC Master Mission. It allows you to add images to flashcards, manipulate them with filter effects from the Nokia Imaging SDK, and transfer the flashcards to other users with NFC.
Why did you choose Windows Phone?
Hands down, Nokia and DVLUP. The Nokia Ambassador, Randall Arnold, lured me away from my Android development pursuit and opened up all the opportunities of DVLUP. From there, all the exciting challenges and pursuit of prizes at DVLUP have dominated my free time. The challenge deadlines, as frustrating as they can be, are a significant driver to keep me focused and engaged on producing Windows Phone apps.
One dev. tool you couldn’t live without?
Microsoft Visual Studio