Interview: Malte Götz, app developer

bild2He has a talent for app development, which was the reason we reviewed his app 10 min recipes here. I am talking about Malte Götz, a young app developer from D’Dorf, Germany. We agreed to meet in Cologne and we asked him a few questions about his work as a developer and about himself. Since developers are very important for a mobile OS’s ecosystem, young developers are even more so, as they have their while career to contribute,  and Malte demonstrates well that being young does not mean you cannot have a lot of  experience and skill already! Find the interview after the break!

  • How did you make your way to Windows Phone?
    • I needed a new phone and was looking what there is at that time. I saw a Windows Phone and I somehow liked it best as it was something different and fresh. I already thought about making apps for my new phone but Windows Phone seemed different to me and that was what I liked. So I got myself an HTC HD7.
  • What are you doing in your free time when you are not developing new apps?
    • I am studying media computer science and this takes quite much time. Other than this I am working on many projects as I am registered as self-employed so I have a trade. I am working on mobile apps but also on web development and at the moment I am doing so for Ecosia, which is a green search engine that donates 80% of its income to environmental projects in Brasil.
  • What are your next projects?
    • I am continuing developing the german/Austrian cafeteria apps for Windows Phone. The first version is in the Windows Phone store since mid-January and now there will be an app for Windows Phone 7 also. Additionally there will be a cafeteria app for Austria. [Released now: http://windowsphone.com/s?appId=939d45b0-93bd-42f1-94f7-a178c644c50c] Then I am working on the “Deutscher Bundestag” app for Windows Phone. We already developed the Bundestag app for Windows 8 together with the agency of the Bundestag (= house of representatives in Germany) which means it is an official app and not registered as a 3rd party app. Now we’d like to work on a Windows Phone app as well. Besides I am working in a team of four on the mySchool project, where we try to digitize school with mobile devices. So students can make their notes with a stylus on a Windows 8 tablet, teachers can hand out worksheets through an app and the students can view their timetable. We already attended the AppCampus in Finland and a currently participating in a competition organized by unitmedia (a German carrier). We would be pleased, if you support the project with a vote (Facebook Like): http://microsite.made-in-de.net/?projekte&id=145
  • What was your biggest success as a developer so far?
    • First of all the browser extension ProxTube (helps to view region-locked videos on YouTube), which has been downloaded about 8 million times. Regarding Windows Phone it is that my 10 minute recipes app was downloaded 50,000 times, but that is ok for me as it is GER, AU, CH only, so it has a much smaller audience than international apps.
  • What are you looking forward to?
    • That is a hard question actually. Normally I am letting everything happen and I am not really thinking about the future that much. But I am sure I will continue development for Windows Phone.
  • Are your friends/your family also using Windows Phones and Windows devices?
    • So my sister is using a Windows Phone. My dad unfortunately can’t because the company he is working for does not offer the choice to use a Windows Phone. Also, many of my friends are Apple fans but I always think everyone should use what he or she likes and what they are happy about.
  • Does your university do anything to support you, e.g. trainings or seminars?
    • No, my university does not help me with Windows Phone development, but as a Microsoft Student Partner I am holding lectures myself. The key point of this program is that students get to know new things and teach other students about it. It is an international project and so far only Microsoft is doing it; Apple or Google do not have something similar.
  • Is the German market large enough to support a Windows Phone developer?
    • The German market is pretty small so far. Still, this also has an advantage: Many local apps are not released on Windows Phone so far which means there are tons of apps a developer can work on. Also the probability of getting downloads is higher on Windows Phone than on any other platform as the store isn’t filled as much as on iOS or Android.
  • Is there any difficulty in expanding to the rest of the world?
    • First of all you need to add several languages which is hard. Of course you can ask someone to translate your app but then it won’t be as professional as it should be and signing up a professional company to do so is very expensive. Then, let’s take my recipe app as an example, changing the units would be a pain of work. You would need to go to every recipe to change the units manually which is just too much. Also, when there are new recipes added, you need to do it over and over again.
  • Who is your Windows Phone developer hero?
    • I actually don’t have one, but there is one app I always tell people when they ask me this question: Cocktail flow. It has so many cool details built into the UI which make it so unique and beautiful but also functional and fast. This is an app which is really well made and it shows what one can do with the Modern UI. It’s not just flat and boring, it can be really interesting and full of little, playful details. I really like this app.
  • What do you think about Windows Phone 8.1?
    • Honestly, I didn’t look at the news regarding Windows Phone 8.1 as I did not have much time, so I know a little only. But I am very excited about Cortana and the Action Center and I am curious about the developer tools here, e.g. if everything will be listed in the action center by itself or if developer need to integrate into it.
  • Are you also planning to develop for Android and/or iOS?
    • Actually I don’t have any plans developing for other platforms than Windows and Windows Phone, but if one of my apps is being very successful I will maybe port it to get a bigger audience on this app.

Thanks Malte for answering our questions!

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