Developer Interview: David Golden Of MetroTwit Fame

As today was a big day for MetroTwit — during which they dropped the major 1.0 release of the Twitter client — I had a nice chat with David Golden, the project’s lead developer and a friend of mine. If you aren’t already, you should follow him on Twitter @GoldenTao; he can be occasionally awesome.

Tell us about yourself. 

A Delphi developer for Business Fitness by day, I work diligently through the night on various projects, mainly MetroTwit.

How did you get into the world of technology and, more specifically, software development?

I’ve been a bit of a geek since my first PC a 286, right from DOS Batch files to Basic to eventually Visual Basic and Delphi 3 at high school.

What programming languages are you proficient in? 

Delphi (Pascal with extensions for the purists) and C#. I’ve also been recently brushing up my HTML5/JS skills.

What other projects do you work on beyond MetroTwit and your day job?

I have a few other start-ups I’m working on in my spare time, but most aren’t quite ready to be shown off just yet.

During downtime, what games do you like to play? I know you like Minecraft, for one.

Mostly Minecraft, I’m sure the other MetroTwit devs would say I’m fairly addicted to Minecraft, but I also play a lot of casual games (Minesweeper being something I play quite a bit of) and when time permits StarCraft 2 and Battlefield 3.

Moving on to MetroTwit. For those unacquainted with the client, can you briefly touch on its beginnings?

2 years ago, Long Zheng came up with a photoshop of what he thought a Metro styled Twitter client would look like.  That day I started screwing around with the UI in WPF (as I’d been wanting to learn WPF) and it took off from there.

What languages/technologies are used to develop MetroTwit?

MetroTwit is a WPF C# application for the .NET Framework 4.0 with some Win32 and Windows Forms extensions.

How has working on MetroTwit bettered your knowledge of certain programming languages? Has it been a worthwhile learning experience?

It’s been a great learning experience, I really only had a basic understand of C# as I was mostly a Visual Basic coder, but I now prefer C# and would struggle to go back to VB. I also learned how to work with WPF through this project.

What are the challenges of developing with Twitter’s APIs?

All 3rd party API’s have their issues of stability, changes and general bugs.  Twitter has definitely had its fair share of all of those but usually problems are fixed quickly and they don’t affect our app too much.

So, MetroTwit has been around for what, two years now? How is it doing in terms of growth?

Today is the 2nd birthday, and it’s been growing pretty quickly, we’ve been really happy with the growth but could always use everyone and their friends checking it out.

I know that many technology enthusiasts use and love MetroTwit. But, do you feel that it has already begun to cross the chasm to a more mainstream, less techie audience?

We’ve done a lot of work to try and help the non-technical people use Twitter and MetroTwit, especially with our new Wizard for new users in 1.0.

Is there a Windows 8 Metro app in the pipeline?

We’re already working on our Windows 8 version of MetroTwit but we don’t have anything to announce just yet on that front.

Any plans to bring MetroTwit to other platforms beyond Windows, more specifically Android and iOS?

At the moment we are super focused on Windows, but you never know what the future might hold.

In 1.0, a fair amount of substantial features have been added. What other big features are in the works for future releases?

We really wanted to have the Nest available in 1.0 but it didn’t quite make the cut, it’ll be out shortly, we’re also working on better keyboard shortcuts as it’s a fairly highly requested feature.

Thanks for taking the time to participate in this interview. Any final thoughts?

Thanks for the interview and thanks to our 400+ beta testers that have been helping us make MetroTwit better almost every night.

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Paul Paliath

Paul Paliath is a designer. You should follow me on Twitter here.