Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 1 of 30

Ben -  Well the big day is almost here and I am a bit nervous.  I am also pretty excited to get a new App submitted and added to the Zenerdgy line of Apps.  Family Bank and Letter Rain took up more time than I expected, so we decided to keep this app simple.   I also think that it should be a Universal app, which means it will be designed to work on both an iPad or iPhone like device.

- Geek side note - someday I probably will tinker with the Android toolkit again and port some of our apps, but at the moment, I am swamped learning all I can about iOS and Objective C.   My previous development background includes a strong Java background and the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) uses Java as the programming language.  Yes, the irony has not escaped me.

Today I am trying to fix an icon problem with the latest release of Family Bank on the iPad in iOS 7.  One of the small glitches that keep this type of development interesting.   After this, I will start to design a product statement and initial screen design for the new App.  Eventually, I will need to name the App, but that can be challenging with so many App names on the market today.  For now, it is just getting the concept defined and the product design tested out on family and friends.  The official name will come later.

So what is the App idea?  I got the idea from a friend of mine, Amee, who wanted an App that could record the scores of games while you play.  For example, you are playing a card game, like hearts, and you need to keep the player scores recorded.  Pull out your device, record the player names, and get to playing.  Is there an App like this already?  Probably, but I refuse to check.  Will it be the same App?  Very doubtful.  App design is really tied to the whims and design decisions of the development team.  Although it would be useful to see another similar product, I don't want to influence my design with someone else's design.  This adds an element of trial and error to the process, but it much more fun and creative this way.  Who knows?  Maybe this will become a popular utility App?
We shall see.

- Geek side note 2 - I want to have icons next to my posts to indicate if I or Rebecca are writing.  I haven't figured out how or what the icon would look like, but I like the cartoon/character drawing look.  Kind of like my friend, Jaime's Blog picture at   It adds a face to the writing.   I will have to look into it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rebecca: Ben's experiment

Ben wants to try an experiment - write a simple Apple app in 30 days AND blog about it.  He has asked me to share my perspective on this experiment.  I am Rebecca Bruhl, the other half of this relationship and company (trust me, I am not the better half).  The experiment starts October 1st, and I am trying out blogging before the official start date.

Besides sharing this blog and company with Ben, I also share two kids, a smelly dog, and a mortgage with Ben.  Ben and I have been married a long time, and we thought the blog would spice things up.  I work full time in sales for a large corporation.  Ben is the lead developer for Zenerdgy, and I am the lead marketer for our company.  Marketing and sales are very different, and I am starting at the beginning trying to figure out how to market effectively...thus, my willingness to blog.

Before we officially start this experiment, I want to go on the record about a few things.  Firstly, I am very thankful that Ben has started his own company and that he is creating apps that are useful and family friendly.  It takes a lot of courage and faith to walk away from a stable job and start an endeavor where success is not a given.  Secondly, I am thankful for my job.  My corporate job keeps the lights on.  It has also given me a ton of experience and confidence.  Lastly, I am thankful for Ben and the kids.  Ben started Zenerdgy a little over a year ago, and we have all adjusted.  Money is a little tighter, but Ben is here when the kids come home.

I have absolutely no programming or technical experience.  My blogs will reflect the perspective of a non-technical, overwhelmed, and mostly supportive partner.  Hopefully, it will be entertaining...we shall see.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

30 Days to Build an App.

Hi, I am Ben Bruhl and the App developer for, our small app development company.  My wife, Rebecca, and I have decided to try out creating a blog to record our latest company experiment.  We came up with the idea of creating an iPhone/iPad App and getting it submitted within 30 days.
Yes, beers were involved in the initial decision to document this, but Rebecca pointed out that it is a new way to get some publicity.   I think it would also be interesting to detail all the different decisions and work that goes into creating a simple App.   Rebecca thought it would be more interesting if I did not 'Geek out' and let her do some of the blogging so everyone can relate to the effort more.  That sounds good too.  :)  This means it will be more of a high level blog and not dig into the geeky details of programming an iPhone App.
So what we are planning is to create an App from the initial idea to the finished product and submit that app for approval within 30 days.  Given that most of our Apps have taken a bit longer to create, the timeline will be a nice challenge.  It also means the App will be a simpler one than our existing Apps like Family Bank or Letter Rain.

- Ben