Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. This week we are talking to Carlos Morera de la Chica.
Name: Carlos Morera de la Chica
Developer Name: Moremu
Google + Profile/Page: Carlos de la Chica
How many people on your team? 1
Tell us about your company
I am an independent developer so I do not have a company.
What level of experience do you have with coding and development?
About 2 years ago I finished my Computer Science degree at the University. Since the very first years of the degree I’ve been working with applications development and design. During my studies I was more focused on desktop applications mainly using the Java language. After I had already finished the studies I started my career as Android developer.
What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?
I’ve been working with a lot of programming languages such as assembler, C, C++, pl/SQL, python and my favorite one, Java. I started to get into them at the university, some of them like assembler and C languages were my first steps into the programming world. Since the first years of the degree I’ve been more focused on Java, as it really suits my necessity and it is the programming language used for Android development, which is my job and my hobby in the same breath.
What level of experience do you have with design
During my studies I’ve had some subjects about user interface and user experience that brought up to me the first concepts and knowledge about how to build a good quality UI.
After that when I became an Android developer I’ve been working in both pure app code development and UI design. In my opinion UI design is the development process that needs more work and time to be totally polish as you really need to sit and create some sketches before having a final design.
What apps have you made?
I’ve been working in three apps that are personal projects and two more for third party clients as a freelance and the ones that we develop in the company I work for such as BBVA (Spanish bank).
The three apps that I’ve built as personal project are quite different from each others as each of them for a completely different purpose. The most popular is my very first one, Finger Gesture Launcher in which I’ve been working real hard since my first days in the Android world.
Another of the apps that I’m working in for a long time isMyGarage. In this app I’ve been working side by side with two mates from the university, who are Android developers as well.
Of course the ones that I am most proud of are the ones that were started as personal projects as they bring a completely different feeling when you work on something that you have created from the ground up.
How do you monetize your apps
In my apps I use advertisement plus different billing-in-app products to remove ads. Specifically a month subscription, year subscription and a product to remove the ads for ever.
I believe this is the best monetization system for the users of the apps, due to they have all the features for free, so they can enjoy the full version of the app for free and at the same time it offers the developer two ways to monetize the app, the profits coming from the ads and the ones coming from the purchases.
I use a donation product as well, so the users can donate to support and keep going the project. I have to say that I was surprised because I didn’t think users will donate having options to remove ads for almost the same price, but they asked me to do so and I added this option at the request of the users.
Do you consider yourself successful?
In my humble opinion the success of the apps has been pretty good, I had never expected to get so many downloads as some of the apps have nowadays.
I think that the most important fact for this unexpected growth has been that I do care about users, I answer ALL emails and comments that they send me asking for some new feature or just reporting some bugs. I work side by side with users when there is a problem until it is solved or a new feature that they asked for is ready.
The fact that make me feel more proud and successful is when some user writes giving a great feedback telling that they love the app.
That having been said. Is there anything better for a developer than having great feedback from his users?
How difficult is it to make money as a developer?
Well, it depends on what kind of developer you are. Whether you work for your own, in a team or in a company it is really challenging to be able to grab a piece of the pie as there are millions of apps over the market. In my opinion the fact that an user is willing to pay for an app is directly connected with how happy and comfortable the user is using your app.
The real problem for independent developers like me is that it’s really tough to get your apps recognized and published without a good enough budget, so the users just don’t have the chance to know about its existence.
What can Android do to improve?
In my opinion they could help finding a way to promote and recognize apps from developers that don’t have such a big budget as the important developers have. Normally they are companies that it is impossible to fight with.
Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?
I only develop for Android. In my opinion they are and they will be the most used platform for a very long time, so it is a great chance for developers to take advantage of.
I think the most important with mobile apps is not the platform, as being a developer you can change to one platform to another with not so much effort. The big deal in mobile apps is to understand the users, and questions such as, What the user expects? What the user needs? How they need it?
What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?
I haven’t used them much as I am an Android user and I haven’t had the chance to use them enough to give a real opinion, although I am pretty sure that the possibilities to customize an app that you have when developing for Android is not even near in iOS or windows 8 platforms.
What do you think of the Android design guidelines?
I think they are pretty OK although sometimes they are difficult to follow. As developers we need some guidelines to base our work in, but in my humble opinion Google could do the guidelines much more attractive to follow.
What are your favorite apps?
Some of them are:
What has been your experience been like working with Google?
Google is a company that I really like because of the way they create apps and products that answer my needs as computers’ and smartphones’ user. As a developer their SDK for Android is really good, although I would really appreciate a bit more of documentation for some aspects.
There is something that really they should work to improve; the support service. I have needed several times to write to the support service and I haven’t received any answer from them so far.
What does the future of development look like?
I think the future will be more and more challenging for developers as new products like “smart houses” or wearables are now in a early age phase, but in some years they will be even more of them than smartphones nowadays. It will really bring a new era both for developers and users.
What tips do you have for aspiring developers?
I will enumerate them:
1. First and the most important one. Work hard, work harder and then even harder.
2. Listen to the users, you must care about them.
3. Create sketches before developing, so you will not waste your precious time.
4. Last one and not less important. Learn to create your own solution from different solutions that you might find in the internet for a specific problem during the development process
We want to thank Carlos for chatting with us! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you.