My name’s David Webb, and I’m an independent Android developer from Australia. I started this site to document my journey with Android. Starting from scratch, my aim is to eventually reach $1000/month from Android development.
I first touched a computer in 2001 – promptly disassembling it and hanging up the pieces in neat categories on the garage wall. Amazingly, when I put everything back together a few weeks later it still worked! This began my journey with DOS – installed off a floppy disk onto a huge 4GB hard drive. Somebody showed me how to list directories & format a drive (“what does it mean ‘formatting C drive?”), but that’s about all. Everything else was trial & error. Needless to say, I never became a DOS guru. But the discovery of QBASIC and the ability to draw colours on the screen led to many interesting hours in the garage writing brilliant splash screens with synthesized police sirens playing in the background. My favourite project was an attempt to emulate the Windows XP log-on & log-off sounds – it actually turned out quite recognizable!
Moving forward a year or so, I started playing around with Visual Studio – started with Visual Basic, and then moved on to Visual C#. At about the same time, I installed my first Linux box (Red Hat 3, I believe), and took an introductory C++ programming course. I never actually built any production apps, but just experimented with the different languages and platforms – built simple things like a user session timer for Linux, or a master lock screen for Windows. The interesting thing is- I didn’t have internet at the time, so everything I learned was from textbooks, or help manuals that came with the software (ha!).
Alongside these desktop programming activities, I read about how you could make your own web page, using a thing called HTML. Now I was quite a late-comer to the web, and didn’t know much about it at all. I managed to use Notepad to write a short page – using the <html> tag, <h1> and <b>. That’s all. I was so proud when I finally got Apache up and running, discovered that my IP address was “10.0.0.10”, and rang up a friend (across the other side of town) telling them “just type in 10.0.0.10, and you’ll see my website!”. Well, I very quickly learned about private IP ranges.
Step forward another couple of years, and I finally got a decent internet connection, switched from MSN to Google as my main search engine, and took a crash course in PHP. That was what really got me excited. Finally I saw how you could develop an app, run it on one machine, and have it distributed across the web to countless other users. I realized that’s what I wanted to do. Not develop static, desktop apps to be distributed in an enterprise environment. But work on something more living, vibrant, and global in scale.
By the time Android came out in 2008, I had been playing with quite a few web technologies, and was already something of a Google aficionado. The concept of an open-source mobile operating system from a this company sounded amazing. But when I checked out the SDK, and first version of the Emulator, I was a little underwhelmed. It looked quite ugly, and the underpowered devices at the time didn’t do the concept justice. I decided to wait a few years, see how things panned out.
So after following Android’s progress for some time, I took another serious look at the SDK late 2010. This time the Android API and community had developed significantly, and it was starting to look much more promising. Plus, smartphones in general were taking off in leaps & bounds, spurred on by Apple’s success with the iPhone. This looked like the platform of the future (at least medium-term).
The turning point came early this year (2011), when I started to read the account of developers such as KreCi, and decided this was something which I could actually do for a living. Android development is definitely something which I enjoy, so why not take it up more seriously?
About this blog
I started this blog to combine two of my favorite activities – web development, and Android development. Hopefully the stories I share here can inspire other developers, as their stories have inspired me. The title & focus of this blog is based on making money, but for me that’s not really the point of it all. Yes, money is a great metric I can use to measure success, and it helps pay the bills. But I wouldn’t be doing this if it was just about the money. The real reason I’m doing this, is because I love it!
So I’ve set a goal. Goals are important things to have, and I need something to aim for, a metric to measure my progress. Android’s a pretty new platform, and there isn’t a great deal of info out there about building a business around Android development. This blog is focussed as much on the business side as the actual development. And the metric I’m using, is dollars earned. I’ve set the goal at $1000 per month, which I think is definitely achievable. It make take months, or even years. But I’ve got something to aim for.
Community is something I think is really important with Android, and I’d love to hear from you! If you have any thoughts or feedback about this blog, please drop me an email or add me on Google+ or Twitter.
All the best with your development endeavours, and hope to hear from you some time!