Matthias Gansrigler of Eternal Storms Software

20 May 2019

Today, we interview Matthias (an independent Mac/ iOS software developer) from Eternal Storms Software - makers of Yoink, ScreenFloat, Transloader, Glimpses etc. I use Yoink daily and love how small apps can improve the way one works!

Matthias ><

Location: Austria, Europe
Favorite gadget: I recently acquired an Apple Watch, and I love it. I also adore my AirPods :)
Start your day with: Getting on my stationary bike. And coffee.
Favorite time-saving trick: I usually get eMails out of the way while I drink my coffee, and then only skim over new ones and attend to those needing attention right away. Others I’ll get to in the evening. This helps in staying focused on my programming work without too many distractions. Not launching Twitter during most of the day also helps ;)
Daily reading: I’m currently into Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels. I also recently read “Your Code as a Crime Scene” by Adam Tornhill - it was eye-opening.

Matthias ><

Describe an average day at Eternal Storms Software? What does your morning routine look like?

I get up at 6 AM (give or take - I do like to snooze from time to time :P) and get on my stationary bike for half an hour. Then I take a shower, get some coffee and check my mails. Afterwards, I quickly plan a rough schedule of what I have to do that day (which app I should work on) and start working. At around 2 PM, my girlfriend and I will have lunch for about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes, and then it’s back to work until the evening, at around 8 PM. Depending on my workload, sometimes I’ll get back to work at 10 PM until 1-2 AM (this is where the snoozing comes from in the morning - coming full circle in a day in the life of Eternal Storms Software :D

How do you juggle between being a founder (and running things) as well as being a developer?

It can be difficult at times. What I love doing is work on my apps - it’s what I wish I could do all day long, without interruptions. Having to do support, PR, bookkeeping and all the other stuff that comes with running a business is necessary, and I enjoy doing it, but sometimes I wish I could hire somebody to take that off my hands.

How did you get into programming? Do you focus on a few languages or try to learn new things going along? Any tips for newbie programmers?

I’m not sure how I got into programming. I got started with HyperCard on a Macintosh Classic. Nothing serious, obviously, as I was maybe 6 or 7 years old at the time. When my dad bought a Macintosh Performa 5320 CD a few years later, I moved on to realBASIC and wanted to write a soccer manager game (I never got far :D). After that, I moved on to Xcode and Objective-C and took over an iTunes helper app (sadly, I forgot from whom and what the app was called before I took it over), and soon thereafter released GimmeSomeTune, my first real public app, that would display the currently playing song in iTunes and automatically download artwork for albums and lyrics for songs.

As for learning - I try to learn things going along, as they pop up, “as needed”, if you will. I’d love to learn more about Swift, for example, but with about 5 apps (all still Objective-C only), I currently don’t have the time to learn the language or even switch to it. But I’d love to do it some time.

I only have two tips for newbie programmers:

  1. Do not give up! It can be frustrating some times (and even when you’re no longer a newbie programmer, you’ll get frustrated) - but keep at it, you’ll get better and better.
  2. Start learning with a real project (it doesn’t matter if it’s “only” an app you use yourself) - I found that learning by “isolated” tutorials didn’t work for me. But - in my example - with having GimmeSomeTune to work on, I had a goal, something I wanted to achieve and work towards. It’ll do wonders.

What is your dev setup look like? What apps/tools do you use to help you aid in your development work?

I work on a 27’’ iMac and a 15’’ MacBook Pro.
I use Xcode to develop my apps, and CodeRunner for PHP stuff for personal projects.
For blogging, I use MarsEdit.
For communicating with clients, I use Slack, Skype and Trello.
I plan and schedule appointments using Calendar and Reminders.
A not necessarily developer-related tool I can only recommend is BetterTouchTool.

What does your wind down routine look like?

I usually check emails one more time, and then either relax on the couch reading, watching some TV show, or, more often, playing something on the Nintendo Switch with my girlfriend ;)

A big thanks to Matthias for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you are a developer and love to be featured here please get in touch with me.

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