As employees at a mobile development consultancy, we are filled with learning opportunities every day, and our iOS and Android software developers and UX/UI designers credit many talented individuals who have paved the way for our industry. Here’s a list of our 10 favorite developers and designers who we turn to for insights, guidance and inspiration.
Every iOS developer should know this guy, and if you don’t then the time is now. Chris Lattner was an Apple guru with more than 10 years in software development. He is most known in the industry as the mastermind behind the Swift programming language and one of the leads on Xcode. “Chris wrote LLVM for his Master’s thesis, and then started Swift as a side project. The guy is clearly a genius,” says Alex Nachlas, software engineer at Stable Kernel. Now he is VP Autopilot at Tesla, so we will be watching his every move to see what amazing things he will accomplish next
Jake Wharton is a well-known Android engineer at Square. Most developers know him for his well-engineered, open-source software RxJava, Retrofit, Butter Knife, OkHttp, and Okio. “Jake is one Android developer I keep up with on a regular basis,” says Stable Kernel software engineer Erik Rahtjen. “He has a gift for explaining the ins and outs of Java, Android, and the multiple open-source software he makes.” Dive into one of his open-source software projects on Github and check out his blog for Android insights
Natasha the Robot is one of the most well-known names in the industry. She is an iOS engineer who has truly mastered the art of sharing consistent, quality content with her community. She puts together weekly roundups of the best articles from developers around the world. Natasha also runs a yearly conference called try! Swift NYC that our iOS engineers love to attend. She’s a boss, and we know any article she shares will be worthy of our attention.
“I really enjoy reading Natasha’s thoughts on Swift; she always gives me good ideas to think about. She often writes on how to maneuver through unexpected bugs, and it really helps me avoid similar issues,” says Marcus Smith, software engineer at Stable Kernel.
Roman Nurik is a brilliant designer at Google. He’s had many previous roles at Google as a web developer and developer advocate, but his current design efforts are ones that the stable|kernel design team turns to for inspiration. He’s designed several high-profile Google apps including the Google I/O conference app and has set the UX standards for designing Android applications followed by designers around the world. Can’t get much cooler than that. Check out his dribble here.
“Since released, I’ve admired Google’s Material Design UI for Android, and Roman Nurik was one of the masterminds involved. Nurik has a development background and has created Android Asset Studio that helps designers make sense of the many graphic densities required by wildly varying Android devices,” says Sloan Smith, senior UX/UI designer at Stable Kernel.
Seth Ladd is a Dart enthusiast, Google thought leader, and Android expert. He has a passion for advising and teaching Android developers around the world about the Google Dart language and Flutter, Google’s cross-platform technology for building mobile applications. He is the product manager of Flutter and someone we follow closely at Stable Kernel. “Seth’s built exceptional software and written books on the many facets of software development,” says Stable Kernel CEO Joe Conway. “That type of experience gives him a strong perspective on best practices and shipping to real customers.” We are excited to see what new things he will bring to the platform. Check out his work on Dart and Flutter here.
Luke Wroblewski or “LukeW” is another Google geek we love. He joined the Google team after the startup he co-founded, Polar, was acquired by the tech giant in 2014. He is currently a Google product director and has a hefty amount of design experience at large brands including Yahoo!, eBay, and more. While most of LukeW’s experience is from leading brand’s UI/UX design projects, he also spent a lot of his time advising companies on their internal design processes, and product development and design recruitment. His industry-leading design books have been a popular tool for thousands of designers around the world.
“LukeW is constantly publishing bite-sized insights generated from real research that affect the way I and many other UX designers work,” says Matt Michelson, senior UX/UI designer at stable|kernel.
Chiu-Ki Chan is a fierce, intelligent Android developer with years of experience writing software at Google. She now owns her own mobile development company and also speaks around the world about all things Android. If that isn’t enough, Chiu-Ki is also one of the main organizers for 360 AnDev in Colorado, a fantastic conference our developers enjoy attending every year. As one of our Android developers puts it, “she’s an expert because she shares and shares well. She is clear, concise, and empathizes with those she shares with.” Check out her blog.
Erica Sadun can be best described as the kind of developer that “when she talks at conferences, people’s eyes light up because of her deep knowledge and understanding of iOS development.” She has her hands in the actual development of Swift, and she is someone our iOS developers turn to for answers to a lot of questions. She also speaks at tons of conferences. Check out her blog here.
Kelly Shuster, or known in the developer world as Kio Krofovitch, is a Google Developer Expert who is a passionate advocate for diversity in the developer community. Kelly is the director of Women Who Code Denver and is one of the strong voices in the community that is creating positive change. With an extensive background in building hardware and firmware, she recently switched her expertise to mobile development, and her sweet spot is working on interesting Google hardware projects like Google Glass that incorporate her software knowledge. Let’s see what new gadget she gets her hands on next.
“Besides keeping up with her hilarious Twitter feed, she has been featured in a few podcasts recently and always has interesting things to say,” says David Mays, software engineer at Stable Kernel.
Mike Ash is another iOS favorite. He currently is a programmer at a mobile development company and is well-known for his popular iOS and macOS development blog and weekly in-depth Q&A Friday sessions discussing interesting topics like Swift, Xcode, and more. In addition to sharing his expertise through his blog, he leads iOS development workshops. “Mike Ash is pretty cool. He publishes awesome blogs that are in-depth about topics developers need to know more about. I’m a big fan,” said Jesse Black, software engineer at Stable Kernel.
So there you have it! I hope this list of devs and designers will help drive some inspiration for your current projects. Comment below if there are any more who deserve a shout-out!