An insider’s look at Aussie app development


blog Australian iOS and Android app development house Shifty Jelly has published an extensive and heart-felt blog post detailing what it’s really like to be an app developer in the cold, hard smartphone/tablet world. Some of our favourite paragraphs:

“You put an enormous amount of effort (and yourself) into every product you make. Sometimes you find people deriding it, or dismissing it after spending 13.2 seconds using it. People tell you not to take that personally. Good luck with that. When you invest 6 months of your life, day and night, creating a product there’s no way in hell you can’t take other people’s comments personally. Reading App Store reviews can be as much fun as slapping yourself in the face with an ice cold trout on days where you manage to ship a bug with your product.

Your decisions are often constrained by practical matters like ‘what do I need to do today, to feed my family in 2 months time?’ and silly things like keeping your company in business. You have to deal with IAS, BAS, Superannuation Insurance and tax up the wazoo. You invent words like wazoo just to stay sane.”

Shifty Jelly is the publisher of a number of popular apps, from Pocket Weather AU (which I use every morning to check the weather before I get out of bed), podcasting app Pocket Casts and Weather Watch. The quality of their apps is a cut above the rest — but from their blog post it sounds like they haven’t exactly hit the big time yet. Still, this post is pretty inspirational stuff, and I recommend you check it out if you’re keen on app development.

Image credit: Kakao Por, royalty free


  1. I don’t make apps, but I feel his pain. Try working on a project for seven years only to have everything torn to pieces a couple of months after it gets released ;)

    • If he can afford to feed his family some of the time he has it easy (he can afford a family?).

      Try giving 5 year to an open source project thats used on probably hundreds of millions of devices today, being called a ‘job snob’, having to leave the country to change ‘work for the dole’ project that was destroying your soul.

      Having to defend the copyright from greedy companies who are too tight to even read the license let alone employ someone who worked on it.

      Going to job interviews with companies who use your project and being told your not professional enough, or that they would rather employ someone who doesn’t give away their work, because they are getting your work for free already.

      Spending 10 years on a personal project and only within the last year knowing you definitely have found the right starting point.

      Living on welfare, with people trying to help you by telling you to give up your lifes work because its not economically viable to be selfless.

      Not being able to get research R&D grants from ausindustry because its not going to take money from foreigners.

      I dont invent words to say sane, i know its the world thats crazy.

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