Darryn Ten

Mobile Developer & UX Specialist

Deeply passionate about Mobile. Fanatical about User Experience.

For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with technology and had an insatiable thirst to know everything I possibly can about the topics that interest me.

I get a great deal of joy out of solving problems and understanding how things work. It comes as no surprise then that Technology, Software Development, Mobile and Usability are the kind of topics I find captivating.

Picking apart a problem from every conceivable angle and striving to completely solve a problem is crucial in my mind. Understanding the needs of The User and keeping these at the fore throughout the software development process is also very important to me.

Most of all, I enjoy being creative just as much as focussing on the finer details.

Career

2010-NOW Grow Digital

Owner

I started this company in 2010 after I attended a Google Conference in Cape Town that featured a hack-a-thon. My team developed an application using the prescribed tools (Google APIs and GWT) and came second with our mashup of live webcam streams geolocated and overlaid on a Google Map. This was later developed this into a full product (http://geocam.tv) and later a native Android application was created to compliment the site.

I have also worked and consulted on some interesting projects, and this is where I get to really experiment with new toys and technologies, like node.js and Raspberry Pi, and where I get to implement best practices such as distributed version control and play with things like cloud computing.

Recent developments include completing a revamp of the Madame Zingara site (http://www.madamezingara.com) and bringing Webtickets (http://webtickets.co.za) on board as a customer for Security Consulting.

I have been doing a lot of work in the native Android Application space, having launched 8 applications between January and March 2013. My personal Android application portfolio is available here.

Applications have been developed for Chapmans Peak, MuthaFM, Assembly Radio, Kirstenbosch Gardens and The Labia Theatre, among others.

2009-NOW ViaMedia

Mobile Developer, Technical Product Owner

ViaMedia is one of the largest Wireless Application Service Providers (WASP) in South Africa. They connect directly into all the cellular networks and offer all forms of SMS billing, MMS, Web and WAP, Location Based Services, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology.

I was made Technical Product Owner of the companies WAP offering after 6 months of service. I also drove the development of the companies Web and WAP advertising platforms, and have engineered internal management tools that allow the business to configure and customize new offerings and services centered around these products. I have recently begun introducing Android application development into the workplace.

I work closely with the C++, Java, Delphi, SQL and Infrastructure teams on technical solutions, and have recently driven the internationalization of the company's product offerings.

I'm well known for being user-centric and value-oriented, and am often challenging businesses ideas and concepts from a fresh perspective. I have been awarded Higher Achiever 3 years running.

2008-2009 Madame Zingara

IT Manager, Developer & Occasional Roman Guard

Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams is a travelling dinner cirque extravaganza housed in one of the world's last remaining antique mirror tents.

I was in charge of all their IT requirements, from Website to Online Booking, VoIP, PABX and Cellular needs, Infrastructure, Point-of-Sale and all Support requirements that needed to be met.

The biggest challenge was moving location every few months ‐ this ensured that there was always a string of interesting and unique problems to solve, which is something that I really enjoy.

During my time here I also replaced a fair amount of proprietary software with open-source alternatives, travelled the country and got to meet some of the most colourful and genuine people in my life. It's a time I will always cherish and remember fondly.

2007-2008 Immigration Unit

Web Developer & Designer

Immigration Unit was a UK based Immigration company with offices in Cape Town and London. I worked at both offices. This was where I started using Linux (specifically Ubuntu) as my primary development environment, and I haven't looked back since.

2003-2007 Fishfinger

Developer & Designer

I started out as a web designer and developer at FishFinger and eventually started to also dabble in fashion, clothing and product design. The company expanded into import/export, and after some time I felt the need to get back into pure tech.

< 2003 Before that...

I was the kid who the neighbours would call when they had a computer problem of any kind, and this was how I would make extra cash on the side. My computers were (and still are) the window to my world, and I've taken them apart and put them together more times than I can remember. I remember the day a friend gave me his 9,600baud modem (he had upgraded to a staggering 14.4k) ‐ I immediately proceeded to tie up my parents phoneline every chance I could so I could get onto BBS, IRC and The Internet. I guess you could call it my first love.

I studied computer science in High School and received a dip.comp.sci from CTi in 2002. I have recently completed courses in Entrepreneurship and User Experience.


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Technologies & Passions

Mobile

Android, WAP, XHTML-MP, HTML5, jQueryMobile, Sencha Touch, PhoneGap, SMS, USSD, GeoLocation, XML, WURFL, DeviceAtlas ‐ I have used all these technologies in various combinations.

Responsive Design

LESS, CSS3, Media Queries, Templating, XSLT, SASS, Fragments, jQuery & JavaScript ‐ Responsive Design allows for sites and applications that align and adapt themselves based on the users device. My philosophy here is to design for Mobile first, and scale up from there. I have used LESS to easily make this site responsive. Resize your browser window to see what I mean, or visit the site on a mobile device.

Development

PHP, JavaScript, Java, SQL, bash, even some python ‐ I can pick up new things fairly quickly. Object Orientation and certain design patterns are common across most languages. I'm a big fan of using the right tool for the job.

Supporting Technologies

Linux, bash, vim, ssh, apache, Eclipse, git, memcached, sql, JSON, REST, UML, Wireframes & the humble RegEx - the tools of my trade.

The User

User-Centric Design, HCI, Interaction Design, Multi-Channel Interaction, Multi-Platform Interaction, Mobile Usability, Responsive Design, Adaptive Design, Interface Design, Wireframing, Prototyping, Profiling and Caching for Speed ‐ I use everything at my disposal ensure delivery of a solid user experience by putting The User first.


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