Jaimee Newberry, Speaker + Writer + Consultant

  • What do you currently do?

These days, I’m working for myself from my home in Las Vegas, NV.
I kinda define myself as a speaker, writer, mom-in-tech -or- as an experience design + strategy consultant for web, mobile + physical environments.

That’s a mouthful. My focus is mostly on single-momming two little girls, speaking and writing right now but I’m also working on a couple personal projects with some close friends, and a couple awesome client projects..

  • How did you get started in Mac and/or iOS programming?

So… I’m actually an experience designer/strategist. But I got into all this about 15 years ago by teaching myself how to design and code websites. Photoshop and BBEdit, baby!

  • What was the first app you created and what did it do?

My foray into mobile apps was working with an incredible small team to create the first iPad, iPhone and Android apps for Zappos.

  • Where did you get the idea for the app?

While there were a ton of potential ideas for what the app could and should do, the foundation for an entity like Zappos was fairly straight forward. We took the approach of focusing on the simplest version of allowing people to browse and buy Zappos goods. We put as much effort as we could into focusing very specifically on tailoring everything toward the individual devices we were creating for. They turned out pretty ok.

  • What went well?

The team: one UX designer (me), one visual designer, three developers, one project manager and one quality assurance engineer. We worked collaboratively from beginning to end, on all the projects. We had incredible camaraderie, we had fun and laughed a lot, we worked really hard and we launched a completely awesome iPad app in 8 weeks, then trucked along to crank out the rest in similar timeframes.

Hands-off management: Our leaders used a hands-off approach. They gave us an objective, a timeline and support, and they trusted us. We checked in weekly but ultimately, they got out of our way and let us run. We delivered. There was much celebration.

  • What could have gone better?

I really don’t know. I definitely wanted to throw everything away and start again after we launched each product, you learn so much just by “doing” but for a first go at things, I’m not sure things could have gone any better than they did. Make stuff, throw it out there, observe/learn, do it again!

  • What is your favorite among the apps you’ve developed?

I can’t talk about a lot of the stuff I’ve been able to work on in the mobile apps realm due to many strict NDAs. Of the things I can talk about in this moment, Zappos still may be one of my favorite projects to have worked on.

Pretty soon I’ll be able to share some stuff that really takes the cake on my favorite projects, so keep an eye out for those announcements!

  • What advice do you have for young people who want to make apps?

Always follow your passion. Dig in and DO IT.

The app-makin’ community is one of the most encouraging, helpful and welcoming communities I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. If you get stuck on anything, there are people willing to help.

And, even though I ended up following the design path more than the coding path, learning to code as a web designer has always helped me be a stronger designer and a better communicator with the programmers I get to work with.

Follow Jaimee on Twitter.

Help more girls learn software development. Contribute to the App Camp For Girls Indiegogo fundraiser, get a cool perk, and enjoy the feeling of having helped the next generation of software developers.

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