Gizmodo's Developers Cubed series offers a behind the scenes look into Australia’s up and coming dev scene. This week: We chat with Sydney-based Peach Pellen about Corona SDK, helping others learn to code and why it's necessary to eat lunch at your desk.
Developers! Developers! Developers! It's not just Steve Ballmer’s favourite sweat-laden catchcry! If you'd like to be featured in Developers Cubed, shoot a note to alex.kidman at alluremedia.com.au. I'd love to hear from you.
Who are you and where do you work? My name is Peach Pellen and I'm currently located in Sydney, although I work with mostly US based clients. I also work part time for Ansca Mobile, (also US based,) providing help and support for other iOS and Android developers using the Corona SDK.
Why do we know you? What have you created? Most people come to find about me though Techority, a website I run which is devoted to taking people who have never written a line of code in their life and turning them into iOS and/or Android application developers.
Techority has been around since late 2010 and in that time has helped over a thousand people create their first apps by providing free tutorials aimed at people who are learning to program without prior experience - so if you know me, it's from researching app development.
What platforms do you develop for? I develop using Corona SDK exclusively which allows a developer to write one set of code and then build that app for iOS and Android, so I would say I develop for both of those - although if I'm honest I focus 90% of my efforts on iOS because I dislike dealing with the fragmentation of Android.
What are you working on right now? I'm currently working on three projects simultaneously; an educational app for kids, a train-and-battle style app focussed on dealing with bullies (not as "after school special" as it sounds) and putting together the Techority 48 Hour Challenge, which is an annual worldwide coding event that takes place the last weekend in February.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? The growth of the App Store has made it possible for an indie developer to make money from their couch - something I'm totally in favour of. Unlike developing for other portable gaming devices like the Sony PSP or the Nintendo DS you don't need a huge cash infusion to get started and become profitable.
That said, the best part about the rise of the App Store is the number of third party SDKs that have sprung up; the Corona SDK lets me develop an app in about 20% of the time it would take using Xcode and Objective-C and that kind of productivity is important to people like me who can get burned out if they have to work on any one thing for too long without seeing much progress.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? It's a three way tie between ChocoRun, My Little Monster and The Lost City.
What phone do you use? Why? I use a HTC Incredible S as my work phone and an iPhone4 as my personal phone. I like them both but the iPhone really can't be beat, it's beautiful, fast and the touch screen keyboard is the nicest I've ever used, which really matters to me as I try to keep up to date with emails even away from the computer.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? If you haven't already, look into the Corona SDK. It's a very easy way to start developing while still being powerful and flexible. The first app is the hardest because there are lots of hurdles (technical and psychological) to overcome but if your grind through that you will discover the wonderful feeling of knowing something you created is in pockets around the world.
Also, get used to eating at your desk.