Developers! Developers! Developers! Steve Ballmer's favourite sweat-laden catchcry is a reminder that all those great apps we spend so much time using on our phones and PCs are made by someone, somewhere. Developers Cubed looks to get a behind the scenes look at some of Australia's up and coming development scene. This week, we speak to Andrew Waters, one of the founders of up and coming development house FingerSprint.
Who are you and where do you work? FingerSprint is a small company of three; a Designer, an Engineer and a Genius. I'll give you a hint, I'm not the genius. We are from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and country Victoria so our office is really in the cloud.
Why do we know you? What have you created? Our first App "Social Commentary" is starting to make waves amongst movie lovers. Basically it is like Twitter for movies and allows users to view and share comments and trivia about their favourite movies in a special timeline. The timeline displays the comments at the exact point in the movie they relate to. It's a great way to find out all sorts of cool things about your favourite movies, and Star Wars fans in particular seem to love it.
What platforms do you develop for? At the moment it is only iOS however we certainly have plans to bring the App to the Android platform.
What are you working on right now? Version 2 of "Social Commentary". We have a lot of really great new features that we can't wait to bring to the App and being workaholics we have already started on version 2 even though version 1 has only been available for a few weeks.
How did you get into development? I am a Graphic Designer by trade and started coding websites as a direct result of that. I found myself really enjoying the coding aspect because it was an extension of the visual design. Good design is more that just skin deep, even though no one sees it I think that good code is just as beautiful as the eye candy over the top. It was this passion that led me to app development. I had also heard Marc Edwards another iOS developer from Bjango talk on a few podcasts and to hear another designer talk about their transition to developer really inspired me to think that I could do the same thing. So I developed a killer idea brought a couple of very clever people on board and FingerSprint was born.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? The truth of the matter is that if it wasn't for the AppStore we wouldn't be developing Applications of any kind. I know some developers are going to say that that somehow makes us unworthy and that's fine. But without the AppStores infrastructure it would be too hard for a small startup like us to compete.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? I have fad-like favourites that come and go but as far as my favourite little utilities that I use every day it would be; Consume by Bjango, The Early Edition by GlassHouse Apps and Pocket Weather AU by ShiftyJelly. Honest to goodness, I know it seems suspect seeing as they are all Australian developers and other developers in this segment have mentioned the same Apps but I think it is just a great credit to the Australian developer community.
What phone do you use? Why? I use an iPhone 4. Basically I work in an all Mac environment both at my Advertising Agency and also my App Development Company so it is a no brainer that I would have an iPhone. It all just works.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? Be prepared for some hard, hard work. Do it by all means, it has never been easier to have a world wide audience. But be prepared to put in a lot of hours if you want to build a quality product.