What is your current professional role and how did you get here?

I’m a freelance iOS and macOS developer.

 

For me, it all started almost 10 years ago during the Web 2.0 era. It was all about aggregation, social, stupid company names and crazy high valuations. I guess not too much has changed. Back then, I watched a show called Diggnation. In the early days of the show, the hosts used to drink beer and give a short review of it. My first ever project was a Ruby on Rails app that documented all the reviews and let the user search by beers, episodes or ratings.

 

I kept programming, dropped out of sixth form (high school(?)) and got my first job as a Rails developer at Do The Green Thing. I’m eternally grateful to James Smith and the rest of the DTGT team for that opportunity.

 

Later on I worked with some great companies like Railslove, 140Proof and also did quite a bit of work with machine learning, before it was cool.

 

From there I started Riot, a small studio, with Hector and Elliott. Here I started to learn Objective-C and iOS development.

 

I then freelanced for a few months before joining the team at Togethera for almost 3 years and at the start of this year (2017) I went freelance.

What was the first app you worked on and what did it do?

The first app I ever created was an internal app called Showreel. Looking back, Showreel was a pretty ambitious first app but with help and advice from Joe Ricioppo, we managed to pull it off. Showreel was featured by The Next Web, Beautiful Pixels and App Advice.

What went well? What could have gone better?

We received great feedback and reviews about Showreel. It also looked great which made it a great portfolio piece.

 

We had originally wanted to populate the app using the Apple Trailers feed, but Apple basically told us that we weren’t allowed to. We decided to build our own backend and populate the data ourselves. The problem was that this became a bit laborious after a while. If we were to build Showreel 2 now we’d definitely look into other data sources.

At App Camp, we emphasize that it’s important to have interests outside of tech and to take breaks from looking at screens. What are some of your interests outside of tech? What do you do when you need to take a break from work?

Yes definitely. I remember when I first started getting into programming, I wanted to fill my whole day and nights with doing it. I looked up to many incredible programmers and always had that feeling that there was so much to learn and that I needed to catch up with them. Now I realise it’s a marathon and not a sprint, so I’m very strict with not working too much. Just listen to you body, if you’re feeling tired or ideas that you understood yesterday no longer make sense, take a day off.

 

Outside of tech I run a football club for local creatives. We meet up every week for a kick around and a beer. Earlier this year we also got a dog so nowadays I go out for walks with her when I need a break.

Why do you support the goals of App Camp?

How can you not support a organisation whose mission is to get kids excited about technology and improve gender equality in our industry

What do you recommend to those who want to support more diversity in tech?

  • Don’t be racist
  • Don’t be sexist
  • Don’t be ageist
  • Don’t be an asshole
  • Be nice
  • Donate to good causes. e.g. App Camp 😉

You can find Red on Twitter and at red.to.

Help more girls learn software development. Contribute to the App Camp For Girls Indiegogo fundraiser, get a cool perk, and enjoy the feeling of having helped the next generation of software developers.

Myke Hurley, Relay.fm
Ish Shabazz, Illuminated Bits