We’re kicking off a new series on the Appcelerator blog today. In it, we’re sitting down with members of our developer community to talk about everything from career paths to current projects to the future of app development. With the state of mobile always changing, these interviews will serve as a status report on all the exciting things happening.
Our first interview is with Rodolfo Perottoni, mobile developer at digital marketing and innovation company Orange Digital in Brisbane, Australia, and Co-Founder of LoopModules, a user-driven HyperLoop module repository. Here’s what Rodolfo had to say:
When did you become a developer?
My first contact with programming was back in 2011 when I joined University. At that time, I wasn’t sure if programming was the right area for me, since I always worked with technical support, fixing things like computers and printers. I made my first mobile app in 2014 when a friend of mine wanted someone to develop the Android version of an existing iOS app. One year after that, he contacted me from Australia. He came here to study English and ended up getting a job at a digital marketing and innovation agency. They were in need of an extra mobile developer, and he pointed me out for the position. Fast forward a little bit more, and now I’m living here. Mobile apps changed my life!
What was the first project you worked on as a developer?
I worked with some big enterprise software in my first job as a programmer, but I don’t consider those to really be “mine”. The first real solo project that I did was kind of a “yellow pages” mobile app for a small city near where I used to live.
How has your approach evolved since you first started, both from a technology and project standpoint?
Whew…that’s a good question. When I started working with mobile development, all I cared about was “code, code, code”. I guess that’s pretty common for most programmers when facing their first real, big projects.
I started to change my approach only after working on my second mobile app, which was a huge success for both the company that hired us to develop it and for me. We managed to increase the number of downloads of the app to more than 100 thousand in seven months. In its first release, the app received heaps of negative feedback, which was kind of a shock to me. We’ve learned from our mistakes and managed to improve a lot since then.
If I had to give advice to any mobile programmer out there, it would certainly be to give an unreleased version of your app to your parents, brothers, friends and the baker in town and watch them use it. Consumers find bugs better than any QA team and teach you about UX better than any course. Also, read the book The Lean Startup. Don’t ask me why. Just read it!
What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve been doing a serious amount of R&D at my full-time job. Working at a digital marketing and innovation agency requires us to always be ahead of everyone else. In the past weeks, I’ve gotten to learn a bit of virtual reality, bots, Hyperloop (thanks Appcelerator!), facial recognition and lots of other things. I’ve also been working on LoopModules, creating HyperLoop modules for the developer community and helping Appcelerator by filing JIRA tickets.
What are the biggest challenges in mobile app development right now?
I’ll just use this Medium story as my answer.
What are you most excited about for the future of app development?
I’d say VR is definitely something every developer should at least be curious to learn right now. There’s so much improvement to be done to this area of knowledge, but it’s definitely jaw-dropping (especially for consumers). It’s not something easy to do, but creating your first 3D scene or game and seeing it through cardboard is really rewarding. There’s no better way to present content to users than VR! The look on their faces is always priceless.
What’s your developer story? Leave us a comment and let us know what drives you and where you see mobile development headed.