Mushometer Retrospective


Over the last few days I've been wrestling with Xcode to properly setup the necessary framework to begin working on the Apple Watch features for Mushometer. I'm getting nowhere fast, but that's another post all together.

I got to thinking about how much time I've spent working on Mushometer over the last five years. I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of the history behind the app.

It was 2010 and I had recently left my job as CTO of Bug Tracker. I had spent the previous four years working my way up the ladder in the world of Video Game QA. I started with a 2 month contract testing games that kept evolving into bigger and better things. I learned a lot and worked with many great people but it was time to move on and put my university education to better use.

After that I did small freelance jobs for a few months while sending out resumes but I knew I wanted to start making software for the iPhone. The attraction of having this amazing tiny computer in your pocket was irresistible to me. It had been a while since I had done anything other than HTML, CSS and Javascript. Fortunately there are some excellent course materials from Stanford University available on iTunesU that anyone can download for free. I was able to follow the then current spring session of classes and I soon caught up with the course material since I didn't have anything better to do.

I already had the idea for Mushometer in the back of my mind. I had experimented with some GPS enabled apps but they were all for running or mapping. There were no apps for mushers with the features I wanted. As soon I completed the course work in iTunesU, I was ready to start working on the app. At first my ambitions were modest as I didn't even have an iPhone to test on. I borrowed an iPod Touch from a friend so that I could test on a device, but since there was no GPS in the iPod Touch my original plan was to release a version of Mushometer that only allowed manual entry of run information.

That really didn't seem very compelling to me. After using a few other GPS enabled apps I knew I had to get my hands on a real iPhone. It didn't take long before I found a friend selling a used iPhone 3G. Once I got my paws on that, Mushometer really started to get interesting.

I began working on the app in February 2010 and the first version was available in the App Store in May of that year. Mushometer launched when iOS 3 was current and has been continually updated since. The app now supports iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6+, and soon the Apple Watch if I can beat Xcode into submission.

The rest is history. Not only has Mushometer allowed me to track my own team's stats and meet people from all over the world who share my passion for mushing, but it helped me get hired at a small start-up that has now become one of the top developers and publishers of Apps for Kids - Budge Studios.

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