Despite firmly insisting in my college years that I wouldn’t get stuck working on little plastic boxes with blinking lights on them, I’ve spent every year since college doing pretty much just that.
I initially worked on embedded systems at AeroVironment, who now call themselves AV Inc., writing software for fast charging systems for electric vehicles.
I took a year-long break for more school, and then spent about a decade working in web application software development with a lot of system administration thrown in. On the side I taught myself basic Objective-C programming so that I could experiment with writing native apps for OS X (not that I’d ever be able to use that skill).
About the time that the first official SDK was released for the iPhone, I started putting together a few simple apps, partly as a hobby, partly for my day job, and partly as a series of contracting gigs. Eventually I joined a startup to take over their iOS app from a series of contractors, which led to my current position.
By day I’m the Lead iOS Developer in the Mobile division of Bally Technologies. We publish apps for about eighty different clients, mostly hotels and resorts.
By night I develop and distribute a handful of products under the Laika Systems name. As part of that I’m working on a programming blog dealing with various technical gotchas I’ve uncovered working on iOS.
I have a few projects on github as well.
I’m still having a lot of fun with iOS. It scratches my itch for pixel-by-pixel fussing over UI elements and animations, while possessing a combination of demand and technical challenge that allows me to make a decent living at it.
In the longer term, someone is eventually going to figure out how to make developing mobile apps a task with roughly the same technical complexity as creating a spreadsheet. At that point I might have to look for something new.
I also keep coming up with crazy schemes for hardware projects. Maybe one of them will make it through the prototype phase eventually.