Forum member Tkf1 has interviewed David Ashman, the creator of LockInfo for iPhone – a jailbreak tweak that gives notifications and other important information on the lockscreen. The app is currently being updated for iOS 5 to include integration with Notification Center.
In the interview, Ashman talks about his history in the world of development and gives a few tips for new developers who are just getting started. Check out the interview below and after the break.
What would you like to be called?
My name is David Ashman, so call me by that. Generally, I’m known by my Twitter handle online: @Stimpy5050.
Do you have a website that people can visit?
Sure. http://www.dba-technologies.com/ is my main site. It has information about my projects and allows users to purchase LockInfo if they prefer to purchase it through their browser instead of their phones.
Are you on any social networking sites?
I’m also on Tumblr at blog.dba-technologies.com.
What App(s) have you made?
My primary application is LockInfo, which opens up your information to see it anywhere on your iDevice. You can see your mail, SMS messages, missed calls, voicemails, and much more on your lock screen, home screen or in InfoShade (soon to include Notification Center customizations too).
I also have several smaller jailbreak tweaks like Popup Blocker (works well with LockInfo to block extraneous popups), WeatherIcon to put live weather on your weather app icon, and many others.
How long have you been into developing?
I’ve been developing professionally for about 15 years. I’ve focused a lot of that time on enterprise Java applications. I’ve been developing for iOS for the last 3 years, though and it’s a nice change.
Was this the career path that you always wanted?
Yes, I knew very early on that software engineering was where I would be. Originally, I thought I’d be more on the hardware side (double majored in electrical engineering for a while), but software was where I felt most comfortable. 1s and 0s just make sense to me.
Do you only make Apps for iOS?
In the mobile space, yes. But I’ve been developing enterprise Java applications for 15 years, so I have a few out there.
What is the most difficult part of being a developer?
Non-deterministic bugs. Those are the nasty little bugs that are impossible to reliably reproduce, which makes them nearly impossible to solve. They are the most difficult, but also sometimes the most interesting.
Were you impressed by iOS5 and Apple’s new fall lineup?
Yes, I was. iOS5 is a nice release. I think they got a lot of things right, but as usual for all iOS releases, got many things wrong. That’s where the jailbreak development community comes in.
What’s you’re favorite snack when coding?
Beer and cashew nuts.
What do you do in your free time?
You mean besides code? I play with my son, spend time with my wife, read, watch TV, go to concerts.
What got you interested in technology?
My father. He owned every computer that has existed and so I was introduced to them at a very young age. Plus, I have a very logical mind (sometimes to a fault) and technology makes sense to a logical mind.
Are you big on iOS theming? If so, what are your favorite themes?
Not really. I played with themes early on, but ultimately was much more interested in developing new functionality for iOS rather than changing it’s design.
Got any tips for people wanting to become developers?
Start simple. Get a basic C or Java book and learn how to program the easy stuff. Once you have a good handle on that, start looking at something like iOS or web applications. And remember, it’s not always sunshine and roses and programming can be difficult and frustrating at times. You need to love it to do it.
What’s your next project?
Updating LockInfo and my other products to iOS is my top priority. I have a couple ideas for official App Store apps that I’d like to work on. And maybe some sleep.