App: The Human Story - My Story like many others

A recently posted kickstarter project is making a documentary about the inception of the App and they want to hear about app stories.

A recently posted kickstarter project is making a documentary about the inception of the App and they want to hear about app stories.

I decided to write my story because watching the trailer for the film I get the feeling that most of the stories will be about runaway successes from large companies and indie studios. My story is probably like most of the community especially for developers around my age; a view point of the App Revolution from a developer starting his career around the beginning of the iPhone release.

In late 2007,  I was almost halfway through my  computer science degree and working as a web developer for a digital agency in Perth, Australia. Someone in the office had one of the first iPhones. It was one of the early 2G devices the SDK was still be announced so as a developer it just felt like every other phone.

Like many others I purchased a iPhone 3G when it came out as a consumer not a developer. I had an interest in the SDK and began downloaded the SDK and ran the demo apps and started writing some code for the iPhone. However I didn't see the commercial success of the app revolution coming and didn't have the jump right in approach that many more successful app stories have. Still I built a simple app of my own that displayed the local traffic camera images. I made the app for a good reason, I wanted to solve a problem, the website wasn't viewable on mobile and I wanted a quick way to check the traffic. The app was free, so I didn't win the app store lottery however it had a purpose it got me noticed and helped me land a new more senior job, at the beginning of the "my company needs an app attitude was growing". I've always had the philosophy that a good native app should solve a problem (I'm sure I read that somewhere). Working on an app and then releasing it into the app store gives you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that I love and still crave today whilst also keeps you grounded and vulnerable as frustrating app reviews come in.

I hope to provide balance from some of the "app store riches" stories that will be most likely highlighted and sensationalised in a documentary about apps. I think its important to tell the other, less discussed but still common story. The developers that have been walking the line between agency life and working on that app itch and are still going even though the app gold rush is well and truly over. As you can see whilst I've been trying to itch, I've built a decent number of apps for other Australian companies ranging from a small shoe retailer to a national shoe retailer (Betts) and a national car park operator (Wilson Parking) but unfortunately are now apps that are either a bit long in the tooth or no longer available.

Making a successful app is hard, very hard. It takes a dedication team with the perfect balance of skill, perseverance and a generous amount of luck, well so I've heard, I'm yet to make my own runaway app success story!

In June 2014 I started a new company in pursuit of the app store dream, freelancing/contracting as a web and iOS developer to pay the bills whilst I work on an app project of my own....