Outer Level Welcomes New Developer to the Team

As I mentioned in my 2010 End of Year post, it’s been a crazy year for Outer Level. Adding two new products (Knapsack and LicenseKeeper for iPhone) and jumping in to Apple’s new Mac App Store has kept me really busy. So busy that I’ve been struggling to get everything done that I need to.

I’d like to welcome Kirby Turner to the Outer Level team. Kirby will be helping out with new development on Knapsack, our travel app.

I met Kirby about a year ago when he first started joining us at the Boston CocoaHeads meetings and we got along right away. As I started considering the need for help, Kirby seemed like the perfect guy to help since he was always asking me about new Knapsack features and when the heck was I going to make an iPad version.

Kirby is an outdoorsman, long-time programmer, and even a budding author: “Learning iPad Programming, A Hands-On Guide to Building Apps for the iPad”

Happy 9th Birthday Outer Level

Today, I realized that I’ve been in business for myself for nine years. It took a minute for that to sink in.

Roughly nine years ago I quit my last full-time permanent job and went out on my own to do consulting. This was a decision based more on unhappiness with my situation than any drive to run a business.

My first big client told me that they couldn’t hire me for their project unless I was incorporated. So, after several hundred dollars to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a couple of hours of consultation with a lawyer and accountant, my company was born.

Having no idea what I was doing and certainly no long-term plan, that decision lead me to slowly morph from a one person consulting company into an indie software shop.

Just amazing where seemingly small decisions in life lead you.

Promotion Time

As an experiment, I thought it would be fun to try a small cross promotion with our friends over at Zarra Studios.

For a limited time, we’re offering a 20% discount off iWeb Buddy when you purchase LicenseKeeper. You’ll receive a secret coupon code with your registration that you can use towards a copy of iWebBuddy.

iWeb Buddy is an extension to Apple’s popular iWeb application. Where iWeb leaves off, iWeb Buddy starts. Manage multiple web sites, add RSS Feeds, track visitor stats, and take advantage of social bookmarking.

See you at WWDC 2008

Every year around this time a mass migration occurs around the world. Large numbers of Mac developers make the long arduous journey to San Francisco to gather, learn, network, and socialize.

This year I make my own way to join this strange ritual for the first time.

It’s time for Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). A solid week of full emersion in all things Mac and iPhone.

I’m looking forward to finally meeting many people I’ve previously only known through following their Twitter feeds, reading their blogs, using their software, or chatting with them in IRC. It’s a strange business we’re in where most of our contacts are strictly via electronic means.

With MacBook Pro, iPhone, and code in hand; I’m off.

VoodooPad 3.5

Developing software requires a ton of tools. The better the tools, the more efficient you can be.

One of the most important things I do, day-to-day, is keep track of ideas, thoughts, and design details related to projects I’m working on. It’s not enough to just log tickets in a my bug tracker system to remember what I’m doing, but I also need to keep track of why and how I’m doing things.

My tool of choice is VoodooPad by Flying Meat. It’s a desktop wiki application for the Mac that is easy to use but has all the power you need to do the job.

You put your brain in it.

Flying Meat just released version 3.5 of this great application, introducing a bunch of new features.

Story of Stuff

I typically reserve my political feelings for my private life. But, this short video on The Story of Stuff makes a very powerful statement.

It doesn’t matter whether you lean right or left; or what country you live in. There are steps you can take every day to improve the world we live in.