Matt Gemmell

My new book CHANGER is out now!

An action-thriller novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

2008 in review

Development, General & Work 1 min read

When did it get to be 2009? I have a vague memory of it being January 2008, then an extended blur of work, and now my iPhone informs me it’s an entire year later. Accordingly, I wanted to post a quick retrospective on my 2008.

It’s been a pretty good year. Instinctive Code, my business, has really taken off. The first year (2007) was difficult, but last year really delivered on what I’d hoped to achieve when I decided to start out on my own. I’m earning comfortably more than I ever have as an employee, and I’ve formed and strengthened professional relationships with some excellent people. I’ve been pleased to be involved with the development of some very cool Mac OS X and iPhone software, and I’m looking forward to continuing to do so.

When I started out on my own, I had three goals, or even dreams:

  1. Get some of my own software out there, and not just freeware.
  2. Maybe, possibly, ideally do some HCI/UI development work for Apple.
  3. Get to the point where I can comfortably support myself via sales of my own software.

The third point there remains just as much of a dream as it was two years ago, and I’m still just as determined to make it happen. The other two, I’m pleased to report, came true for me in 2008.

Instinctive Code released its first iPhone app, Favorites for iPhone, in October to a positive reception. It hasn’t made me rich, but it’s paid for a couple of new Macs with change leftover and it’s been a wonderful experience for me; indeed, it’s been validation of my choice to start out on my own and build things that I think are beautiful and useful - for myself and for others.

I’ve also just finished a 6-month project with Apple, and whilst I can’t disclose any information about the work I can say that it’s been a great few months. We’ve done some very cool things, and I have the utmost respect for those I’ve had the privilege of working with.

Despite the dreaded Current Economic Credit Crunch Downturn Climate, I think 2009 will be a great time to do what I do. Demand for Mac and iPhone development services is at an all-time high (if you’re in the market, please drop me a line via the Instinctive Code site, hint hint), and I have plenty of plans for the upcoming year - including interesting client projects lined up and in-house apps in the works.

It’s probably never been a scarier prospect to start out on your own, but it really is possible. It’s bloody hard work and periodically terrifying, but it’s easily the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.

To my fellow Mac and iPhone developers (new and old), here’s to 2009 being another great year - I really think it will be.