What I done did in January

Another year older, probably not any wiser

My birthday was online this year

Turned 33

It’s birthday on the 12th. This year it was on a Tuesday which meant that I was working so I decided to push back any celebrations to the weekend.

I got some pretty good meme related presents from my girlfriend and I finally grabbed to buy a copy of Taiko no Tatsujin (which randomly was £70 at Argos but £200 elsewhere online).

The neighbours hate me but it’s so fun

Launched JiffyCV

At the start of January JiffyCV went live on the app stores which was a massive achievement for me, as I’d spent the previous 7 months working pretty much non-stop on it.

Initial numbers aren’t amazing but we’ve not really advertised it anywhere so I wasn’t expecting anything huge.

As it’s a paid app it’s been interesting to see the difference between iOS and Android in terms of the willingness for people to pay for apps, especially given the size of the markets.

Realised some mistakes I made building JiffyCV

Before I went back to work after the Christmas break I finished reading The Lean Startup which was a bit of an eye opener to some of the ways that I set about building JiffyCV.

With JiffyCV being the first app I’ve built I was anticipating a fair amount of mistakes but I think the biggest was not doing enough work to identify a set of early adopters up-front and instead validating my plans with people who weren’t in that cohort.

Other things that I’ve come to realise is that it’s important to have analysis in place to identify behaviours of users and use this to build up a picture of what works and should be further developed. This is something I wanted to avoid as I don’t like data collection but I think it’s justifyable if that data is anonymous and used for product development.

Started building another React Native app

While I took some time away from JiffyCV after launch in order to reflect and prevent burn out I started playing around with another app idea I had.

While it’s nowhere near completion this new app gave me an excuse to see how I could build an app with all the lessons learned from building JiffyCV (localisation, analytics, remote config) into it from the start.

This ultimately led me down the path of using the bare workflow for Expo and that’s been a really important learning point for me as not relying on Expo’s build service and being able to use libraries that Expo doesn’t support has allowed me to work with tools that I’d otherwise have to avoid.

I’ll be doing a write up on some of these lessons in February.

Started planning a web app

I’ve also been working on a web app that solves a set of problems I’ve been experiencing in my day job.

This app is still in the very early stages but the biggest difference is that it will be a web app instead of a React Native app like the majority of my projects have been to date.

My hope is that by targetting the browser I can ship experiments for this app quicker and understand what’s valuable to users without the need to submit new versions for approval.

Started on my goal to complete my Pokedex

I set myself a goal for the year to complete my Pokedex in Pokemon Home.

This month I’ve transferred over a number of Pokemon I had in Pokemon Go and have completed my Kanto, Johto and Hoenn Pokedexes.

The next regions are likely to be harder to complete due to mythicals not being released outside of events but I think if I can get to a point where all non-mythical entries are added that will put me in a good position.

Technical Lead at BJSS. Interested in Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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