Christina Moulton develops custom iPhone and iPad apps as Teak Mobile Inc, based on Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. She does every part of the process: starting with initial concepts then designing the interface, writing code, and submitting apps to the App Store. When she's not sailing Georgian Bay, she's wondering why more companies don't see the potential for mobile apps to make a real difference in their day-to-day business.
1) Tell us about your early beginnings, how did you get your start?
I fiddled around with computers as a kid and through university but I really didn't get into software development until grad school. Once I had a problem with enough data for programming to be useful, it was suddenly worth learning about. I found that I enjoyed it and have been fortunate enough to work on some interesting applications since them.
2) Can you share with us your latest project?
Most people want to build apps that are used by millions of people but my favourite client project will only ever be used by one person. My client makes props for movies, so he's built a replica R2D2 robot for demos. I'm creating an iPhone controller for it, so he can use the robot by remote control: driving it around, turning on the projector, and playing the classic R2D2 sounds.
3) What do you think is the biggest challenge our industry faces right now?
We always seem to have difficulty clearly communicating why people outside the industry should care about our work. It's so easy to get caught up in our own bubble and forget how much value we can bring to people and businesses who aren't deeply familiar with what we do.
I'm currently working on a few apps I'll release under my own company. Two of them are iPad apps that are designed for realtors. One is an open house sign-in and lead tracking app. The second is an app to create, share and print feature sheets and home sales flyers. It's been interesting having design freedom on these apps just as iOS 7 came out with huge changes in the interface.
5) For those new to the industry, how do you recommend they break in?
Find work and do it. I started with a small contract in my spare time and I couldn't be happier to have gotten in to mobile app development.
6) If you had one superpower (or wish), what would it be?
The source code for iOS so I can figure out more easily when I'm doing something wrong and when there's actually a bug in their code. It doesn't happen often but it's terribly annoying when it does.
7) Favourite music to work to? Any specific artists?
I've been loving Songza's playlists lately. It seems so much easier to pick a mood than to figure out what I really want to listen to. The Contemporary Blue-Eyed Soul playlist seems to fit a lot of my working moods though.
Probably sailing. It doesn't pay well but it's more enjoyable than just about anything else I've ever done.
Thanks for sharing with us Christina!
Christina Moulton presented Should We Have an App For That? The Value of Apps For Businesses at SCREENS 2013.