I’ve been following Information Architects (iA) for a few years now. They were one of the first companies that influenced me to get into UX design. Before them, I didn’t even know it could be a career. One day, I just decided to email the company and ask for a job (no where did they say they were hiring). And, of course, I heard nothing back.
Until about six months later. Oliver Reichenstein emailed me back, simply asking if I were still looking for a job. I was, so we met up at SxSW in Austin, Texas to discuss working for them. After a short stint of remote work, I’m living in Zürich, Switzerland as a developer for the Mac version of Writer.
I hated answering “Well, I know of them” when questioned about threading and syncing RESTful applications. Theory and classes aren't always enough, so I put my knowledge into practice. Googling around told me to stay away from calling SQLite on separate threads, but I couldn’t resist the challenge (plus, processing XML shouldn’t be done on the main thread).
I love TWiT and podcasts in general, so this app was a no-brainer. Just before I started, TWiT was moving out of Leo’s humble cottage into a beautiful multi-million dollar studio. There was a lot of talk of a new website and branding to go with their more professional status, but none of a new iPhone app. Their current official app was just terrible (it just loaded UIWebViews), so I built an unofficial one.
Probably my most full featured app to date. Everything from simple animations to OpenGL. Very little of this app was built in Interface Builder, so much of it has to be drawn at runtime. A lot of the elements are subclassed, even the UISlider. At first, the slider was only a graphic replacement, but I needed to add multiple thumb-nubs and left/right labels.
I enjoyed making this app because it let me flaunt my UI skills. I was going for a mix between an infographic and a pokédex. Textbooks are too sterile and linear (and when they add non-linear elements they’re just distracting). I hope this app—and future versions—live up to the motto “Knowledge in perspective”.
My first client. Missy (co-founder) really paved the way for my development career, much more so than the app store in general. It all started with a simple email. I had an idea for a flip-strip iPhone app; simliar to the classic naughty novelty pens. Of course, I didn‘t have any females who would let my photograph them in their underwear.
So, I sent an email to any corporate email address I could find on the SuicideGirls webpage. The idea was forwarded and read by Missy and she loved it. We got to work, sold a few copies, and have been working on apps ever since. Sadly, the SuicideGirls risque style gets their apps rejected quite a lot.
I call these “beer money,” because they net me about $100/month. No run away hits, but they’re fun. I’ve learned a lot from creating these apps; mostly about Cocoa & Objective-C. Looking back at some of the first app’s source code is embarrassing (’tis the way of programming).
Most are games I created for myself, but I’ve done some work for other people. Who Tweeted – inspired by the Kevin Pollak Chat Show. Basic Instructions – a ★★★★, free app for the webcomic of the same name. And two apps for the SuicideGirls – with over a million downloads, I’d say they’re my most popular.