Some people call me a developer. A programmer. I guess that's the title that helps my parents understand that I have a proper job.
Personally, I think it's more accurate to say that I'm a problem solver, a tinkerer, and that I'm just interested in how exciting things work enough that I'll learn new things to try and make stuff myself.
But 'programmer' is nice and specific, a more accessible and widely understood term for the CVs and the parents of this world. More specifically, 'Objective-C programmer' or 'Apple fan-boy', I guess…
When I was a kid, I remember experimenting with our first computer. Nothing crazy, just pushing the envelope. I learned loads by trial and error – especially error. When trying to get my head around DOS commands, I stumbled across
del *.* and wiped the machine. Sorry, Dad, but hey, look at me now!
Okay, so I don't break as many things these days but the thirst for learning through simply doing persists and found its roots in those old machines.
Apart from RobotWar, I didn't really do much actual programming as a kid. I played with matches and listened to music. You know, cool stuff. I got into making music, acoustic and electronic, and went to university eventually to study Music Technology. It was here that I realised for the first time that programming was actually useful. Not only that, but I seemed to have a knack for it. But could I really make a living being creative?
Coming to the end of my degree course, a very exciting shift was brewing: mobile. We had mobile computing for decades but Apple changed the landscape. With the App Store still in its infancy, nothing was certain and no one knew how events would unfold. Either way, the idea of a handheld device, crammed full of sensors with a budding distribution ecosystem was mindblowing. It drew me in. I was hooked.
Years on, I'm still writing apps. Except now I get to write them with Belfast's awesome Rumble Labs. It feels good to be part of the dreamteam. Now when my mum says she thinks I work for Apple and play games all day, she's not far off.