Few years ago, when I was building my android portfolio, I
worked on some essential apps which can be found here, here and here.
Obviously, the servers related to them are currently switched off, and the app
themselves removed or not function in the google play store. Of course, those
apps helped me get the assignments I was looking, so the investment made in
those (now) defunct apps have been recovered many times over.
However, some benefits much deeper than just return on
investment, both time and money. As I was building those apps (2 to 3 years
ago), I felt that something was missing. I was developing apps, but the bigger
question was this. Where do these apps live? If apps were people, then where do
people live. Earth is where we live, and we thrive because of the ecosystem.
Of course, this is something which is known to most of us,
but I realize that now, back then, I always thought of myself as an app
developer. Obviously, even back then, I never thought of myself as a lowly
programmer, so I was always thinking of ahead of many of peers. Now, as the
years have gone by (hopefully, a little more mature) and over the last few
months, I have been thinking about updating my portfolio. Replacing them with
newer, and hopeful better (but not necessarily useful apps, because, that is
not really the industry I am in) apps.
However, I realized over time that (and this thinking
process is what has allowed to work as a solution consultant instead of a
simply being a trainer or a developer) that when I rebuild these apps, the
focus should be on building an ecosystem rather the apps themselves. Apps don’t
work alone. They interact with the user. They interact with other apps
installed on the phone. They interact with the operating system that acts as
the platform on which they run. Not to forget that apps also interact with the
hardware underneath the operating system, and there is the issue of performance
and optimization. Then, there is the part about data. There is data storage
which happens (or should happen) online as well locally. When it comes to
online data, it could be cloud services that enable the app to do its own job,
while also integrating with cloud services that provide additional facilities.
As I took time off from android to work on dot net, these
thoughts have been consistent. Whether it is a web app or a mobile app or a
desktop app, all apps (big and small, huge and tiny) are part of an ecosystem. Interacting
with elements that have come before them and with items that come after them.
The keyboard I am typing on was probably designed before computers even
properly invented. Yet, here we are, living in a magical world where I can talk
to a person literally on the other side of the universe.
It’s a wonderful world we live in, and it is finally time
for me to absorb this understanding into any and all things I develop. No, I am
not a app developer. In fact, I haven’t been an app only developer for a few
years now. I am now an ecosystem developer and that is what I should do.
Of course, all talk and no walk is not something anybody
will appreciate. Going back to what I said (and have done years ago) about
those three projects, the app related to restaurant tipping is the one that is
closest to my heart. Mostly because I eat out a lot, and love leaving generous
tips. That is where I will start. If all goes well, in a few months from now, I
would have built a proper tipping eco system. If not, I would have learnt some
really cool stuff and would be even more prepared to restart the eco system
Either way, it will be awesome and win-win
situation for me.
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