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. In this week’s developer interviews, we are talking to Redirect Dev.
Name: Xavier Tobin
Developer Name: Redirect Dev
Google + Profile/Page: Redirect Dev Google+ Page
How many people on your team? 1
Tell us about your company
I don’t have a company, just a single dev!
What level of experience do you have with coding and development?
I started software development early last year at school, learning only the most simple of Visual Basic – If I remember correctly the first program I made was a basic average calculator. I keep a close eye on news to do with Android, and when Android Studio was released I decided I’d download it and give it a go.
I was honestly terrible when I started back in June 2013, I wouldn’t stick to any naming conventions or have a good understanding on Java.
After getting a stronger grasp of Java, throughout last year I spent many free hours (and many hour where I should have done schoolwork) working on my first app, an automatic file organizer (which was admittedly a huge first task), by the end and after a few updates I now consider myself a fairly experienced programmer – although I have a long way to go and more to learn.
What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?
I’m 16 years old, so I’m currently doing Software Development at school where I’m learning Visual Basic. Last year, when I decided to make the app, I learnt Java in my spare time at home.
What level of experience do you have with design
Apart from some Visual Communication at school and some study into apps that I’ve used that were pleasing to the eye, none. I’m pretty happy with my apps design at the moment, although the next update brings a huge UI overhaul and a new icon.
What apps have you made?
Just Redirect File Organizer, which will likely be my only app for a while – I need to focus on my final year of school next year.
How do you monetize your apps
My app isn’t the type of app that would make significant money from ads. Because the app is automatic there isn’t much time for the user to see ads, so I made the decision to not to have ads in either the free or the paid version. I have a free and a paid version which a few features limited to the paid version.
Do you consider yourself successful?
For someone of my age and still doing Software Dev at school, definitely. But I still have a long way to go!
How difficult is it to make money as a developer?
I don’t have a mortgage, don’t pay rates and don’t own a car, so my opinion will be very different to other developers, but (at least to earn side money), I didn’t find it overly hard. However, to earn a reasonable wage as a single developer would require a lot of effort – but definitely not impossible.
What can Android do to improve?
Syncing/Backing up data! I have an iPad, and it is so easy to backup. Also, get that new Camera API out already!
Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?
Honestly: because I was already invested in the platform (with my S2) and I don’t have a Mac. I never actually considered developing for iOS, I was immediately drawn towards Android development because my first app idea (Redirect File Organizer) couldn’t work on iOS.
What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?
I really like iOS, it’s an extremely polished platform that (from what I’ve heard) is a pleasure to develop for. One of the strongest points of iOS is the consistency of app design, as soon as iOS 7 was released most of the apps had an update available that immediately brought them to the look and theme OS iOS 7.
What do you think of the Android design guidelines?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with the guidelines – when followed and given a unique twist android apps look incredible. The problem – in my opinion – is that they are enforced inconsistently. I’m certainly not an expert in the topic, but the adoption rates for UI change on iOS destroy that on Android. All this being said, there are thousands and thousands of brilliantly designed, consistent and update Android apps.
What are your favorite apps?
- Aus Weather Australia
- Facebook Messenger (Chatheads are such a pleasure to use)
- Google Keep
- Reddit is Fun
What has been your experience been like working with Google?
Overall, really positive. Particularly with Android Studio, they are very responsive to fix bugs. And although Gingerbread is still on 16.2% of devices, they have done a great job with the support library.
What does the future of development look like?
I’m really looking forward to when Android Studio becomes the recommended IDE. It’s a little rough around the edges at the moment, but having used eclipse, it is so much easier and more versatile.
What tips do you have for aspiring developers?
I’m still one myself, but I made a development guide here: Step by step guide on how to get started.
We want to thank Redirect Dev 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.