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While at the BBM Hackathon event I took some time with the developers to sit down, get to know them a bit, and figure out what their experience with BlackBerry has been thus far, and why they continue to support it like they do. Earlier we posted a behind the scenes view of what takes place in BlackBerry developement, but this time we sat down with Michael Barnes of Nickel Buddy LLC and got to ask him some more questions and see his own take on it all. Hit the jump with me as we ask Michael some questions and get a little more into his mindset on a daily basis.
Tell us a little about yourself, and the company you work for.
My name is Michael Barnes and I work with Nickel Buddy LLC developing a variety of BlackBerry applications. The company currently has three employees, nearly all the work we do is in house, from coding to testing, and even our graphics. The focus of our applications for BlackBerry are in both the fitness and games categories, and we are very excited to continue to bring new applications to the BlackBerry community.
What are your favorite applications, besides your own?
Personally I find the most use for BBM to keep in touch with coworkers, friends and family at any given time. Having them always connected and easily reachable at any time is a great feeling. Google Maps is the other application I find myself using all the time, for a variety of different uses, but it has come in handy quite a few times for me.
What keeps your interest in developing for BlackBerry verse trying out other platforms?
Personally I like the platform, and find plenty of great uses for it. RIM is also very supportive of the developers, giving us lots of resources and lots of access to various levels of the platform and different API's which you would not see on other platforms. BlackBerry devices are very personal, the users tend to grow attached to their device, and being able to develop applications that can bring them even closer is a great thing.
What are your thoughts on the BBM Social Platform?
I think it is quite phenomenal. Just about any BlackBerry user who tries out BBM is bound to be quickly addicted to it, who doesn't love instant communication at your fingertips at all times? With the ability to tie in games and other applications right to BBM, making them social and fun for all of your contacts, the possibilities are nearly endless. Updating your status, sharing information with your friends, and inviting them to download the application, which they may have never heard of brings much excitement to many developers and we are very excited to tap into this functionality.
Will you be updating your older applications to integrate into the Social BBM as well?There will be a mixture of both, some applications we plan to update to include some features, others we are not sure of at this time. Adding the additional coding, and testing can be a time consuming process so we need to weigh the options, see if it is something that truly adds value, and then we will update as we see fit.
What have you been working on at BBM Hackathon?
I have been working on integrating BBM support into our work out application which will allow users to share when they have started and finished a workout by updating their BBM status. The support will also allow users who have the application to click on the routine, and see what exactly you are doing, for how long you did it and what phase you are in of the workout. We hope to be able to add challenges, and some sort of achievement system, but that is all still in the works.