Developer Interview: iOS app developer Steve Troughton-Smith

Steve Troughton-Smith

Steve Troughton-Smith is  a twenty-two year old developer and founder of High Caffeine Content, and Mobile Architect at Tethras , a company that specializes in translating apps into other languages. In short, he make things. You can follow him on Twitter   @stroughtonsmith  .

Me:  When did you start learning how to program and how did you learn?

Steve Troughton-Smith (SS):  To be honest I can’t remember a specific timeframe. I remember, as a really young kid, programming with QBASIC on a DOS computer; nothing more complex than ‘Hello World’, or making colors appear onscreen, but I think it was the initial kickstart for me. By the time I was nine or ten I had discovered a program called REALBasic (on a demo disc that came with MacFormat magazine) and was starting to use it to learn how to write Mac OS 8 and 9 programs. REALBasic was very much like Visual Basic for Mac apps, and at the time (up to version 5) was the simplest way to get into Mac development – you could drag and drop to create your app UI and it was really learner-friendly. When Mac OS X came out, REALBasic even allowed you create Carbon applications that would run on it, with all the amazing new UI that Aqua brought. I used REALBasic up until I was 15 when I literally ran into a performance wall – I wanted to create really graphical and animated things, and it just didn’t cut it. Apple had just announced Xcode 1.0, and I decided to delve straight in and not to stop until I figured out how I could remake the stuff I was making in RB in Cocoa. In the end it turned out to be much easier than I thought, and I’ve never looked back.

Me:  What’s your work setup like and workflow on a given project?

SS:  My development machine at home is a 27″ iMac (i7, so ‘8’ cores, and an SSD); most of my development I do on that in Xcode (Mac, iOS), Eclipse (Android), or Qt Creator (MeeGo/Symbian). I have a custom built gaming PC beside it on the desk which handily doubles as a Visual Studio workstation for when I’m working on Windows Phone 7 apps. When I’m away from home, I work exclusively from an i7 MacBook Air.

I sync all my projects across computers through the cloud so that I never have to worry about copying from one machine to another. I just pick up where I left off on whatever machine is nearest.

Me:  How many electronics do you own? Why so many?

Steve Troughton-Smith:  Loaded question; I own everything I need to to make sure I can test everything I build on the widest variety of hardware/software versions. And then I own a little more for devices or OSes I love, or that intrigue me.

If you’re looking for a full list…(x) = number of devices

(2) iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, (3)  iPhone 4, iPhone 4S ,  iPod,  iPod 2nd ,  iPod 3rd,  iPod 4th,  (2) iPad ,  iPad 2,  Nokia N9,  Nokia N950,  Nokia E7, (2)  Nokia N8,  Nokia 5800,  HTC ADP1,  Nexus One,  Nexus S,  HTC G2,  HTC Sensation,  Dell Streak,  NOOKcolor,  Galaxy Tab 7,  XOOM,  Galaxy Tab 10.1,  LG Optimus 7  Samsung Wave,  PrÄ“,  PrÄ“ Plus,  PrÄ“ 2,  PrÄ“ 3,  Pixi Plus,  Veer,  TouchPad,  BlackBerry PlayBook,  Samsung Windows 8 Developer Tablet, and  Countless Macs & PCs, and probably some I’ve missed from the above.