Seven Questions for Developers: @marchitos

This is the latest in our weekly series Seven Questions for Developers on App.net, where we ask a different developer the same set of questions to learn a bit more about the people behind the apps. If you’d like to participate, contact @ben.

Our sixth developer is @marchitos, who lives and works in Setsu, which is Calgiari, Italy. He is in charge of innovative projects and side projects at Abbeynet, an ICT company who are experts on Voice Over IP.

Tell us about your App.net app. What are you looking to accomplish with it?

Flamingow is an App.net client which enables users to check all their activities in a single layout composed of 3 columns (2 columns in compact mode).

What stands out about Flamingow is the colour, and you can match colored labels to the users (as gmail filters do) so that you can quickly pick them out in the streams. Colour is used to distinguish different kind of message (sent post, mentions, favourites) and fun too: by adding a hashtag plus a colour at the end of your post or a hashtag plus a hex code (eg.: #red, # CC0066), your message will be written in the colour you choose (currently just for Flamingow users).

You can also check users and hashtags by using Flamingow Monitor.

What qualities make a great app?

In my opinion, a great app must be useful. A great app must also solve a problem or automate a process, be easy to use, and, last but not least, it must have a nice interface. All these features make the users attached to it, and the users will make the app successful.

What tools are important to you as a developer?

I use NetBeans to write html, css, javascript, php and java code. I use Fireworks for graphic editing, SQLManager to manage my databases, CaseStudio for database design, SecureCRT for my connections, SSH and a series of micro tools for designers like ColorPic, ScreenHunter, ScreenCaliper, etc.

Why did you decide to build something on App.net?

Two years ago I co-founded (with Luca Filigheddu – @filos) a startup called Twimbow, which is a Twitter client, designed from user feedback (Flamingow is the little brother of Twimbow). The users were enthusiastic about the project, but after a short time Twitter changed the rules for developers.

New Twitter rules led us to close Twimbow. We were disappointed and upset because we thought we had made a sort of a “little jewel”. A few days after we had decided to close Twimbow, I saw by chance the App.net presentation video by Dalton. His video gave me enthusiasm again, so I decided to take the Twimbow experience on App.net. Flamingow was born in that way.

What got you started writing code? 

I’ve always been interested in the interaction between humans and machines, and my thesis was titled “Interaction between Human and Machine – Interfaces design for mobile devices.” Since I don’t like leaving things half done, I also started developing.

Any advice for aspiring developers (all the young coders out there)?

The best advice is to never stop studying. When you start a new project always be informed about the state of the art, take the users’ feedback into high consideration, and pay attention to the details: details always make the difference.

When you’re not coding you’re…

…Sleeping. I like sleeping so much! Especially because when I wake up I always have new ideas for my projects. When I’m not sleeping or working, I like spending my free time with my family and friends and watching the matches of my favourite football team: Juventus!