Seven Questions with Developers: Climber’s @rrbrambley and @derelk

This is the latest in our series Seven Questions for Developers on App.net, where we ask  developers the same set of questions to learn a bit more about their apps and the stories behind them.

Our next developers are @rrbrambley and @derelk, who make Climber. Back in October 2011, they started Always All The Time and began working on a game called Destroy, which is currently available on Android. Climber is their first app on App.net. They both live and work in San Francisco.

photo (4)Tell us about your App.net app. What are you looking to accomplish with it?

Climber is a video-sharing app for iPhone. The first release is dead simple – record a video, add a caption, and post it to your followers on App.net. Each post has a climbr.co link where the video can be viewed.

All files are hosted in your personal App.net file storage, so we don’t keep your content on our servers. We did not feel that it was especially important to have a video consumption component in the first release because there are already plenty of high-quality ADN clients that can serve this purpose.

We just wanted to build something for video sharing on App.net that would allow people to express their creativity and thoughts in a way that is different than the traditional text and photo posts.

What qualities make a great app?

A fast, intuitive interface. And, on mobile – tapping into the native features that you’d expect to see on the platform.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 1.51.11 PM

What tools are important to you as a developer?

@derelk: Vim and a Vim plugin for every IDE, mitmproxy, and curl.

@rrbrambley: IDEs that provide all the most basic (useful!) code editing features, in addition to the fancier ones (e.g. refactoring). I just forced myself to delete my long Eclipse vs. Xcode rant that was originally here. :)

 

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

We had decided to go to the App.net Hackathon, so we were just brainstorming ideas and eventually came up with Climber. @rrbrambley had been toying with the API on and off in spare time (and was maybe the first to post from an Android app? #humblebrag), and we had both just believed in principles of the platform, so it seemed like a great opportunity to force ourselves to build something real while teaching ourselves some new things (iPhone development, Node.js, CoffeeScript, and Redis are all new to us).

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 1.50.00 PMWhat got you started writing code? 

@rrbrambley: In the ’90s, I would spend a lot of my free time on IRC, and I used a client called mIRC that had a pretty sophisticated scripting engine. People would write and market scripts for mIRC that could provide both utility functionality and aesthetic customizations. So I learned to write mIRC scripts, which led me to BASIC, and HTML. Though, it wasn’t until college when I actually felt like I knew what I was doing.

@derelk: Since I was a super cool adolescent, I naturally spent a lot of time playing text-based RPGs on AOL. That led me to MOOs, where I first learned how to make a computer do something I wanted it to. I was hooked. I also got really into an ancient Mac game-making system called World Builder.

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

Take the time to learn and understand the principles behind what you’re doing. There’s a lot of value in hacking until it works, but if that’s all you do, you’re doomed to write inefficient and insecure code.

When you’re not coding you’re…

@rrbrambley:

  1. Seeing live music: http://climbr.co/4199693
  2. Drinking delicious beer: http://climbr.co/4144058
  3. Wandering the streets of San Francisco: http://climbr.co/4217804

@derelk:

  1. Watching movies, making movies, reading snobby magazines.
  2. Sometimes I even go outside: http://climbr.co/4186018