Meet the Sheffield teen who created a new service in the run-up to his A-Levels
Dom Barter was just four weeks from sitting his A-Levels when he decided to build and launch a new digital service.
After seeing his friends struggle to manage their commute times to Sheffield UTC by public transport, 18-year-old Dom decided to create a web application that would translate and illustrate existing public transport data, to generate accurate travel time ‘heatmaps’ for any location.
And ‘Hexos’ was born.
“It took me about two weeks, during the run-up to my exams, to build a local version for UTC,” explains Dom, now aged 19, and studying computer science at the University of Sheffield.
“It soon became clear that it was a service that could have wider implications.”
As well as helping students to work out their most effective public transport route, the new heatmaps also offered insight to Sheffield UTC, offering them the potential to target schools for recruitment which were most readily accessible by public transport.
“More than that,” says budding entrepreneur Dom, who lives in Stocksbridge.
“These heatmaps could be used across a variety of sectors; by homeowners researching a new town, or even planning companies, if overlaid with postcode data to suggest ideal sites for new buildings or housing developments.
“It’s also possible to place new routes over the heatmap, meaning prospective bus routes could be trialled on the map to see how well they’d perform.
“Weirdly, this service wasn’t something that existed, despite the data being readily available from Google.
“There are places you can get the average data, but I wanted to offer specific and accurate data, and that’s what Hexos does.”
Dom is now working as a software developer for Elements Technology in Sheffield, whilst continuing his studies, and is keen to work as a computer scientist in the future.
“I love programming,” he says simply.
“Hexos didn’t start out as a business – there was a problem that needed solving, so I solved it, which is how a lot of services like this begin.
“It quickly became clear though that what I’d developed was something people wanted, and were willing to pay for, so there’s been a lot of interest.
“I’m loving my new job with Elements, and they’re really supportive of my studies and my business.
“I’m excited to see where life takes me, but I definitely want to continue to grow Hexos in the future.”