When it rains it pours!

So I’d been looking for my next opportunity for a while, being quite picky about the opportunities I pursued. I found several very interesting opportunities, and one in NY (which has numerous posts on iphone/cocoa dev lists) that seemed really positive but after the interview experience I’m glad never happened.

As it happened, and which is a reoccurring theme in my experience, I found a great gig only to get offers from three others I was very interested in the next day! I want to send my thanks to those companies, esp. Gendai Games. I think it would have been great to work at any of those companies had the timing worked differently.

Funny how that works, eh? When it rains it pours, as they say!

So, where did I end up? What have I been doing these past couple weeks?

I am now working from my home office as the Lead Consulting Engineer (first time I’ve ever held that title!) at Digital Fish, Inc. where I am working on the Mac OS X version of a major application that, until recently, was thought to have been abandoned on the platform. That application is Quicken Essentials!

This title is of particular interest to me, as I recently completed an exhaustive search for a replacement to Quicken Home & Office 2010 under Windows, without success. There were some decent candidates, but they all had limitations (mainly with regard to online banking, and not interfacing with all my financial institutions) that prevented me from switching. I want to move off Windows completely, and Quicken is the only software that prevents me from doing so, plus the 2010 update moved the software even more toward a web 1.0 user interface (cells are not clickable, you have to click the text links? How…retro), has became extremely sluggish, didn’t solve any of the online banking problems as promised in their sales material, and introduced a host of online banking bugs (like unlinking transfers, ie: savings->checking became savings->savings and the checking entry was not linked to anything anymore).

As for the Mac OS X version, since the last release for Mac, Quicken 97 I believe, the entire project was re-engineered, and as such the current product is very much a solid 1.x release, meaning that it has all the required main features but not ever feature possible (or even all the features in the last version). On the code front, all the previous code dating back to System 6 days was replaced with modern Mac OS X 10.5+ code, so once again I am working 100% in Objective-C / Cocoa. It is great to never have to fire up Windows or Visual Studio, although I will admit to missing a few features in Visual Studio I wish XCode had, and I really miss TortoiseSVN!

If you haven’t tried Quicken Essentials yet, I encourage you to do so. The product is under active development, has solid support from management and is improving all the time with frequent updates. I still can’t replace Quicken Home & Office (as Quicken Essentials doesn’t deal with the “Office” portion at this time), but it is exciting to be working on a product that I actually need and can thus poke, prod and guide toward becoming that product 🙂

Plus, it’s a great team with developers that are not only knowledgeable but also easy to work with. I’m looking forward to helping both the project and the team over the coming months, and hopefully even years.

About Lane Roathe

I make my living designing, producing, and programming computer software. I have done work on numerous platforms, including MacOS, Win95/NT, Apple //, Super Nintendo, Sega, and others; writing mainly games but also operating systems, applications, utilities, etc. I have started and run several companies, currently operating Ideas From the Deep and working at Quicken, inc on Quicken for Mac.
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