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 interview, we are talking to John Wycoff of Adepture.
Name: John Wycoff
Developer Name: Adepture
Country: United States
Website: Official website
Social Media Profile/Page: N/A
How many people on your team? 1
About your company?
Company? No company here. Just a developer making apps in his spare time.
What level of experience do you have with coding and development?
I have been coding now for 19 years which is a little more than half my life. I started back in 1996 with a friend’s broken IBM computer that I had to learn how to fix before I could even get started. Once up and running I quickly found my way to geocities and made a free website. At the time, knew so little about computers that I actually wrote down (on paper) the long html snippet given to me to add a hit counter to my website. Felt pretty silly when I figured out copy/paste.
Back in 2010, I was introduced to a pet insurance company needing some help moving a development project along. It was supposed to only be a three month stint but turned into permenant employment where I am currently the Director of IT and Marketing.
What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?
What level of experience do you have with design?
Design is huge! Far too often, websites, mobile apps and desktop applications put design to the bottom of the priority list or improperly implement it. I have always put design first. It doesn’t matter what your app does or what great problems it solves if the design is not inviting or is so complicated the average user can easily figure out how to operate it.
What apps have you made?
I have one “successful” app and that is The Daily Bible Verse. Before this app, I made two others, ElectroCosts (measures electric costs of running an appliance) and Catfish Tactics and Secret Baits. ElectroCosts was my Hello World project into the Android development world. Catfish Tactics was another test app to get some more real world experience in app development.
After the initial two apps, I wanted to make one that had some value and would get daily real world use. That is when I created the Daily Bible Verse.
How do you monetize your apps?
Right now it is 100% mobile ads. In-app purchasing looks pretty interesting but I will need to make another app for that.
Do you consider yourself successful?
Yes. I am not making an app development firm here. I wanted to make an app that would have a large user base and I did. The icing on the cake was that the Daily Bible Verse’s sole purpose was intended to create a daily connection between its users and God. Considering it does that well in excess of 40,000 times a day, yeah, I would say I was successful.
How difficult is it to make money as a developer?
It is not hard at all to make money has a developer. The easiest way by far is simply working as one either as an employee or as a consultant. Making money as an app “developer” is the easy part. The hard part is inventing an app that has enough value to get people to actually download/purchase and use it.
What can Android do to improve?
Not sure that I have enough experience with Android to where my opinion would hold much weight but they could certainly streamline the development process better and improve their “guidelines”.
Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?
What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?
Meh. iOS is definitely in the future for me. It obviously has a lot of value with these apple toting hipsters running around. Windows 8, not so much. I would have to see a lot more progress in their share of the market before it becomes a possibility for me.
What do you think of the Android design guidelines?
For the most part, the Android design guidelines are great and are a very useful tool. However, in a lot of cases, they come up short or completely skip over important features.
What are your favorite apps?
What has been your experience been like working with Google?
Love/Hate. As I mentioned before I am a huge Android (and Google) fan but as I also mentioned the development process could be a little cleaner and more streamlined.
What does the future of development look like?
How far into the future are we looking? The development space is going to get more crowded with developers, languages, tools and methodologies. The devices that are created in varying sizes and resolution to more complicated it is going to get.
What tips do you have for aspiring developers?
Don’t get caught up in new tools or plug-ins unless you have a specific need for them. Keep things simple and functional above all else. Test your apps for usability. A user should be able to mindlessly navigate through your app with seamlessly flowing actions.
Keep It Simple (for the) Stupid
Developer interview wrap up
We want to thank John for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! 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!