TiPb's developer spotlights are like DVD/iTunes Extras for the App Store -- a weekly look behind the scenes at the programers and designers that bring you the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games you love. This week Rene talks with David Ashman from dab Technologies.
What's your name? David Ashman
What's your company's name? dba Technologies
Where are you located? Washington, DC
What's your website address? http://www.dba-technologies.com/
How long have you been a developer? I started tinkering with programming on the Apple II with basic. I studied computer science in college and have been a working developer for the past 15 years.
How long have you been an iOS developer? I've only been developing in Objective-C and specifically on iOS for the past three years.
Do you develop for any other platform in addition to iOS? If so, which one(s)? I've been a Java developer for the last 15 years, mostly server-side, but some applets in the past. I also tinker in PHP (enough to be dangerous).
What primary computer setup do you use for your iOS development? My primary setup is a MacBook Pro i7 with 8GB of RAM. I generally plug that into a 30" Apple Cinema Display but I like the portability of the laptop when I want to sit in front of the TV instead.
What iOS device(s) do you personally use most often? I use an iPhone4 as my primary personal device (also for development). I use an iPad (1st gen) nearly daily for watching videos, note taking and general web surfing. I have another 4 iPhones that I use for development. I also have an AppleTV at home (does that count? ;-)).
What mobile devices, other than iOS, do you currently use? I don't. Everything I have is iOS at this point.
What's your favorite thing about developing for iOS? The challenge of a tough problem to solve and the adrenaline rush from solving it. That holds true for any language or platform, but iOS has been particularly rewarding because it's new and different from the server-side work I've done in the past.
What's your least favorite thing about developing for iOS? Non-deterministic memory bugs. These are the bugs that are nearly impossible to reproduce, but when they happen, all hell breaks loose.
What feature would you most like Apple to add to the iOS SDK? I'd love to see Apple open up the Mail database APIs. The iOS mail app is fine, but I think that other developers could really come up with some great apps if they could get into there. I'd also like to see a widget API that would allow for more than static app icons on SpringBoard and a more usable lock screen natively in AppStore apps.
What feature would you most like Apple to add to the App Store? I'd like to see alternate profit-sharing models. The flat 30% Apple cut doesn't work for some projects.
If we were to eavesdrop on you while you were coding, what curse word would we hear you use the most? I prefer the f-word, personally.
What do you do when you're not coding iOS apps? When I'm not working on projects, I like to spend time with my family. I'm a bit of a TV addict and also like to go to concerts.
What should we look for from you next? I'm going back to my roots and spending some time on weather tweaks again. There's also quite a bit still to do with LockInfo. I'm also thinking about some official AppStore app ideas, but nothing concrete enough to really talk about at this point.