Terminal Apps Are The Future?

I LOVE the idea of taking modern web apps to the Terminal. As a heavy user of ssh, tmux, screen, etc… the idea of seldom leaving the terminal seems very romantic. There was a recent Show HN Post about a small app called lists.sh that really caught my attention. The first very interesting aspect of this technology is it uses Public Key Cryptography to establish user accounts. No emails, no passwords, high security. Another really...
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Apple Removing Apps Older Than 2 Years

Apple says they're removing my game because it's more than 2 years old This HN thread really resonated with me. I have been building and publishing iOS apps since the dawn of the App Store in 2008. In those 14 years, I have shipped over 200 apps, and do you want to know how many are still in the App Store? Zero. Some of these takedowns are due to startups failing or clients deciding to...
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Programming Languages Are Only Tools

Some young punks overheard me talking about JavaScript at lunch today. They felt it necessary to come to my table and tell me “typescript is waybetter”. They don’t realize that this sort of thing screams “I’m a junior developer! I know very little about the tech industry!” If you are a newer developer, learn early that you are greatly limiting your potential by marrying a subset of programming languages. You will greatly increase your value...
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We Instead Of I

When I first started consulting, I had everything tied to my name. My company name was Treb Studios, my email was brandon@brandontreb.com, and my whole business was tied to me. This was fine for a while…until I started growing. I hired contractors with the intention of replacing myself on my existing projects. This proved to be very challenging. Clients didn’t want other developers, they wanted Brandon, because that’s what they were promised. It wasn’t until...
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Dev Blinders - Failing To See Things From A User Perspective

The other day, I was having a conversation over Slack with my development team. They were working on a client project (and doing a killer job), and there was a particular UX pattern that seemed very unintuitive to me. This app was designed by the client, so there was little the dev team could do beyond making suggestions, so they went ahead and implemented it per the spec. After fiddling around with it for a...
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No One Cares About Your Clever Code

As developers, we spend so much time perfecting our craft. We are always on the hunt for hacks, tips, and tweaks. We always set out to write the most clever and reusable code possible. This is all great…until it’s time to ship. I have seen it time after time. Developers over-optimizing their code, writing protocol after protocol. All the while, they slip further and further behind schedule. When the client asks the dev about the...
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Prototypes Usually End Up In Production

“Just hack a quick proof of concept, we’ll rebuild it when we get more funding.” These are some words I often hear from clients who have minimal budgets. They generally want my team to build something small/quick/cheap to get their concept across in hopes of securing more funds down the road. What I have learned by saying “yes” to these types of requests in the past is, those quickly hacked prototypes often end up in...
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Client Deliveries Are Hard

I have been building software for clients for over a decade now and have come to one solid conclusion: deliveries suck. Maybe I'm just the worst developer in the world and have worked with the worst teams and have had the worst clients… but I doubt it. I have delivered early, on time, late, with more functionality, exactly the same, and in some cases less functionality (usually due to lack of funding) and still…rough deliveries....
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It's A Good Time To Be A (Good) Mobile Developer

If you are a mobile developer in 2018, and are not consulting (at least on the side), you are missing out on a huge stream of revenue. In the early days of mobile app development (2008/2009), it was fairly easy for an iOS or Android developer to get a gig with large companies (Food Network, ESPN, huge list of other names…). At that time, mobile was so new, that none of these companies had internal...
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How To Lose $300K In One Conversation

Will you work for equity? After you have been consulting for any amount of time, you are bound to get asked this by a client.  You may find yourself struggling to decide whether or not to take some equity or just get paid to work on the project like you normally do. I had one such scenario a while back that I wanted to share. One day a few months ago, I was approached by a...
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Why Start Software Consulting

Want to jump ship and be a software development consultant? This post will detail why this path is a much more fulfilling and safer path than a traditional job. Diversifying Income Early in my career, I worked for a software consulting agency.  I was in my early 20’s and getting paid way more than I should.  One day, my boss called me up and let me go without notice. After interviewing quite a few developers in...
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Being An Indie Software Developer And Signing NDAs

Very frequently, I receive emails that go something like this: “Hey Brandon, I have a killer project idea. Do you want to work on it?  Please sign the NDA so we can talk.” Early on when I first started consulting, I would have responded with something like “Sure send it over!” and signed the thing without hesitation.  As of late, I have changed my view on NDAs; at least in this type of situation. For...
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Becoming A Software Consultant: My Backstory

I recently published a post about my first year of being an independent iPhone development consultant.  The feedback from my readers was incredible, however there was one important thread on Hacker News that I wanted to address.  The issues were: One of my common hangups with these kind of posts is the lack of history as to what lead people to these consulting gigs. Where were you before, and how long were you there? I found...
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What I Learned In My First Year Of iOS Consulting

Wow, I can’t believe it has already been a full year since I struck it out on my own.  Last year, I published a post after my first month on doing contract iOS development.  Needless to say, I have grown and learned quite a bit over the past year and I wanted to share some of those experiences. Income While I won’t share exact numbers, I left my 6 figure/year job to pursue the indie/consulting...
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