Brandon is an iOS developer and works at Black Pixel in Seattle, WA.
- What do you currently do?
I’m currently an iOS Developer at Black Pixel. I work on the client side of things and jump over to our product work from time to time. I’m also a conference speaker and an author, I wrote Pro iOS 5 Tools published through Apress. I also did a video training series on using Xcode and Instruments through Pearson. You can find it on safari online.
- What was the first app you created and what did it do?
I don’t think my first app should be mentioned as it isn’t something I’m terribly proud of. But it is an app called Beat Counter. It’s an app that tells you the tempo of something as you tap on the screen. I’m not really an idea guy but I love writing code. That’s pretty much what got me started with app development.
- Where did you get the idea for the app?
The main idea for the app came when I first signed up for the iOS Developer Portal and I wanted to see what the process was like on getting an app into the store.
- What went well? What could have gone better?
What went well? Getting the app into the store.
I do wish I had more time to support that app, but it’s pretty simple and there are other apps in the same space that do a much better job.
- What advice do you have for young people who want to make apps?
Making apps is hard work! Between late night debugging sessions and discovering a critical bug hours before submission, it can be very stressful and frustrating. Now that everyone is scared off…There’s nothing like seeing something you’ve created solely or as a part of a team on other people’s iOS devices or Macs.
I also want to reiterate that I’m not an idea guy. I’m not the sort of person that comes up with these ideas and wants to see them through. I’m the type of person that enjoys helping make the idea come to life. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but execution on the idea is the key. I love the execution part. Being able to find a team that I can work with has been extremely rewarding.
So my advice: Figure out what you’re good at (ideas, design, coding, support…or a combination of those) and practice at it. Practice at it as much as possible. You’re not going to be good at it at first, none of us were good at first. Don’t be afraid to be terrible. Just get the product out there and make a difference. Then do it again.
- How did you get started in iOS and Mac OS X development?
I started my development career as an Adobe Flex/Java developer and when I saw that the Flash platform was going to become obsolete, I decided to move to a different platform. That was when the iOS platform was announced. I started reading as much as I could and writing as much code as I could. When the moment was right, I found a full time iOS job and then I wound up at Black Pixel a year or so later.
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