As a young boy Quinn Damerell enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together again.
What started with ‘monster creations’ using Lego many years ago, has lead to an acclaimed Windows Phone app called Baconit that was recently voted app of the year in the inaugural Community App Awards.
The app is a mobile client for Reddit, a popular social and user generated website that provides links to articles around the web that other Reddit users have liked.
According to its developer, Baconit is the first Reddit client on any mobile platform to have full synchronisation between the website and a phone.
Quinn, 23, was born in Indiana and has just graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Computer Science. In August he will be moving to Seattle to start a new job with Microsoft on their Windows Phone team.
He spoke with Conversations about Baconit, why he prefers developing for Windows Phone and why he can’t make up his mind between the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Lumia 900.
Where did your interest in programming and computers come from?
I’ve always liked to take things apart. As a kid we would walk to the park and one time we found this old radio that someone had put out. I would make use of anything that was broken with all kinds of buttons that you could push and play with. So I’ve always saved things and taken them apart.
Growing up, I think that all translated to computers. I liked messing about with them and got really intrigued by programming.
Before I even started on mobile, I programmed a few apps, which I enjoyed but no one ever got to use them because they were just on my personal site that no one knew about. With a mobile platform you can get your work out.
How would you describe Baconit?
It’s a Reddit client, but a lot of people don’t know what Reddit is and that’s a hard thing to explain on its own.
Reddit is a website where people send stories and submit content, and other users rate them. So the stuff that people like gets pushed to the top.
Then when you have your own account you can create subreddits for things you like, for example Windows Phone, technology or programming. People can then submit stories to those as well.
Your front page becomes a culmination of all the subreddits you like – your personalised news feed of sorts.
Baconit is a full featured, completely integrated WP client for Reddit. It displays everything that you see on the Reddit website but on a nice mobile interface. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to subreddits, check messages and do all kinds of stuff.
What was the inspiration behind Baconit?
I got my Windows Phone and the first thing I realised was that there wasn’t really a Reddit client that I enjoyed. There were three on the market already but they were slow and they didn’t work on Mango yet.
So I was using them but I told my friends that I bet I could make a better client than this because you couldn’t upload or download from the list of stories.
I made a mock up real quickly one night in October or November last year and everyone said, ‘oh, that’s pretty cool, you should make it’ so I made Baconit 1.0, which came onto the Market on December 25th. That was a very basic version and from there I have been improving it and rolling out new features.
What is the future plan for Baconit?
I’m really looking forward to porting Baconit to Windows Phone 8 because I love the Live Tiles and I can’t wait to use them for Baconit.
I love the new start screen because I have always wanted to change the size of the tiles. So I’m really looking forward to all the potential of WP8 and to make Baconit that much richer.
What Windows Phone do you have?
I have a Lumia 800 and I really like it. My girlfriend has a Lumia 900 and I really want one too but I love the curve glass thing on the 800. I really want the big screen on the 900 though so I’m really torn between the two.