Today I built my first React Native app for both Android and IOS. I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to create web front-end applications with React, so being able to use that same knowledge to build mobile apps is extremely helpful. And the best part is, with React Native I can reuse most (if not all) of the code with either IOS and Android apps. As I have mentioned previously, reusability is key to profitability Reactive Native enables the same codebase to be used without having to start from scratch for each different platform. That makes it extremely flexible for use on real customer projects, who usually require both an Android and IOS implementations.
Now I’m going to go and implement a couple of app ideas I have. It should be fun!
So I now have a business name: BSharp Technology Pty Ltd. (ACN: 627 016 317) I must say it’s been quite an exercise in frustration just getting a name. Because I’m concentrating on a technology company, it was essential to find an available domain name to go with the business name. It was easy enough to think of a name available to register with ASIC, but then I found the domain name wasn’t available. Even now there are derivatives of bsharp out there that could potentially mess with my brand, but I’m not too concerned about that yet, and it’s probably more important to keep moving forward for now. I figure that as I create products and services that will require different names that more align with their offering and these could be trademarked.
I will slowly build this out with content and features as my business evolves.
So about 1 month ago I took a redundancy at my workplace of 17.5 years and instead of heading straight into another similar position with similar pay and similar problems to solve, I’ve made the conscious decision to establish my own business. A few years ago I finished studying for my MBA and I’ve been itching to take it for a spin. What better way to utilise everything I learnt by building a business from scratch.
So….I’m going to devote this blog to write about my experiences as I head out into the unknown and the problems/issues I face. Maybe it will be of some help to people and encourage others to take the plunge – assuming I’m successful (of course I will be – no room for negative thinking now!)
I have a firm belief that nobody has any business running a software team (or entire company) unless they can get down and dirty with their team and write real production code. This was a source of frustration in my previous employment where directors, general managers, CIO’s or even CEO’s would be making decisions and leading large software development houses, but they had little or, no experience in actual coding. They talked about DevOps (or DevOpsSec), AGILE, extreme programming (XP), Continous Delivery, Continous Integration, Automated testing and every other buzz term or phrase you can think of, but I always had strong feeling that many of them have never even written a ‘Hello World’ program or maybe that’s the extent of their coding skills. By the way, all those things I mentioned are essential, but I always prided myself on the fact that even though I was a manager that I could genuinely code something when the need arose. It helped me bring a sense of legitimacy to my leadership role and made me a more authentic manager to my team. I could empathise with their struggles to solve complex issues, as I would have past experience doing the same thing.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own software cobwebs and just like any well-oiled engine if you don’t use your skills, over time you get rusty. So over the past six weeks, I’ve been oiling my coding engine and getting it back into shape. I’ve done little else, as I believe the foundation of a truly world-class software company will start with a founder with strong coding acumen. I’m also going to make it company policy that everybody from the cleaners to the CEO to the CFO has some experience coding and actively keeps their coding skills current. I want to keep managers and leaders in particular in touch with the code that will become the foundation of the company. Not to just know about coding, but to actually actively code.
Some of you maybe be thinking to yourself at this point in time – ‘holy crap, he is talking about me’. If so, I suggest you check out Codecademy as your first step. They have some great interactive courses for free and some (not free) intensives to help build further more advanced skills. I’ve recently completed the Front-end Web applications and Web API’s intensives and they were a valuable learning experience.
I finished my 2nd Node.js React Web App today (well yesterday seeming it’s 12:43am!). This is an assignment completed through the codecademy Web Front-End course and the app connects to your Spotify account to enable you to search for songs and create a new playlist. You can also play a preview of the song. You will have to connect your Spotify account (assuming you have one) for it to work though.
I’ve used surge to publish it here temporarily –> http://jamming-grill.surge.sh/