Daniel Tull: Blog


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

I think I can sum up my 2009 with just one word: “iPhone”. When I left university in 2008, I had no idea what I’d be doing for cash or even if I could get a job at all, given the economy of the time. To be able to jump into iPhone application development has been a dream come true, I love what I do.

At the start of this year I had been with weComm for two months and was just about used to the London lifestyle. However, as time went on the more uncomfortable I became with the product we were trying so hard to make. Ultimately, I felt the company’s iPhone plan seemed to be waning more each day rather than getting closer to being a reality. I learned a great deal while there and thank everyone who helped me along the way.

A couple of people really made my time there enjoyable. Pete Sipple, my project manager, who gave me a smile almost every day. His approach to management made it easier to get on with what I needed to do rather than bogged down with paperwork. Greg Dobrowolski worked closely on the Sky+ application early on with me, and many times had a good laugh when an API became “broken” as we tried to decide whose fault it was. He was also subject to torture when I made “Greg’s Box”, an application that had a button that when pushed would ring straight through to his office phone.

Around March, I discovered the London iPhone Developer Group (LiDG), which had started holding meetings in a small office near Waterloo station. This became a great source of information and talking to the minds there gave me the confidence to go freelance. A huge thanks for this should probably go to Chris Walters, who I believe said something like “you’re young, hardly any dependencies, so just go for it”. I did, and it’s looking promising so far.

It was at LiDG that I met Ed Lea, who develops the TV Plus application. At an early LiDG meeting, I got to meet him and talk to him about events that had led up to the development of the Sky+ application. He’s a thoroughly nice chap and I urge you to buy his apps.

Over the years, I’ve got many odd looks from people after telling them I hadn’t flown before (because it’s so natural for humans to fly), but this year I made a trip to San Francisco for Apple’s WWDC conference. I admit to loving flying, I was amazed at looking out the window at the farm land as we went over the states and the tundra of Greenland. This has honestly been the nicest surprise of this year for me: I dreaded the idea of dreading flying, if that makes sense.

As my first WWDC trip, I was grateful to know of someone going along too, Chris Greening from LiDG. I think I would have been sorely lost without his company there, and he introduced me to Java developing friends, a crazy German and a couple of yanks. It was great to meet everyone I did there, and hopefully I’ll have enough funds to go this year too.

Unfortunately, 2009 hasn’t seen me in the outdoors a huge amount. There are likely a few reasons for this; London pins you in, the DofE group I help out hasn’t run its usual two weeks in Wales and working has kept me pretty flat out. This year the trips look positively on and I plan to kick start my outdoors time early and hopefully catch some snow in the process.

I should really thank Steff for the amount of pushing he’s done to get me to do things. I released Weather Maps 1.0 after sitting on it for eight months and managed to release a second version also. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have got that far without his encouragement.

2010 already looks like a great year, which is odd considering I hardly ever know what to expect for the future. Steff and I will be getting our own office to work on our own projects and continue our contract work. This will mean moving again, though not too far from the south coast and still in the realms of the Downs.