A Decade on the App Store

I can't believe it's been ten years

7 Dec 2020

Today marks ten years since my first app hit the App Store. It was my last day of the school year1 for the 9th grade, I was 15, and I didn’t own a Mac.

That first day I got 119 downloads. The following day; 188. Six months later, over 50,000 people had installed a product I’d built. Code I’d written. I was hooked.

This wasn’t my first exploration into programming, I started in MS Bash and for a while built little iPhone Web Apps2 that only worked inside my home LAN. This was, however, the first time someone who wasn’t myself, my family, or my friends could use something I built. It was wild, and daunting, and frankly magical.

I released a few other apps during the following years, with little-to-varied success. Each one taught me a lot. From 2013 to 2015, I took hiatus from programming to focus on my studies and filmmaking, but I was continuously drawn back to the world of using code to make stuff for other people to use. So in April 2015, I quickly threw together a “personal resume” app submission for the WWDC Student Scholarship program. Which I got.

That first WWDC is impossible to encapsulate in words. Many of friends today I met that week. It landed me my first professional software job. It showed me that this is absolutely what I want to do. I had the privilege of attending WWDC from 2017 to 2019 too.

From 2015 to 2018, I released a series of iOS apps, some that started to get press coverage3, one that elevated my profile considerably (🌎) , and some web tools that made me fall in love with web technologies again. One of those web tools, got so much positive attention that some nice folks in Cupertino noticed. (I also made some very dumb things.)

For more than a third of my life I’ve been published on the App Store. In 2012, my friends threw me a party for crossing 100,000 downloads. Today, I get to work on some very special stuff that I’m really proud of, with a team that challenges me constantly.

Between my brother4, my mother5, my father6, and my friends who pushed me, I don’t know how I would be where I am today. Thank you.

  1. Southern Hemisphere 

  2. Sweet Solution 

  3. Live Memories took me over a year to make, I learnt a lot about video frameworks. I’m still really proud of the engineering work that went into it, and some of the solutions I came up. 

  4. I remember that time we built quadratic equation calculator in C 

  5. There’s too many to list, but mum definitely paid for my developer account for many years. And copy edited all of my bad writing. 

  6. Dad helped me set up a hackintosh in early 2010, I vividly remember him sitting with me while we sent step by step through the provisioning profile and certificate signing dance late one night in Novemeber 2010 trying to submit Gibbs’ Rules to iTunes Connect.