It was July of 2009, my contract with EMI had just ended and had planned to take a few weeks off. I was unemployed a full 13 hours before being contracted by Line 6 to work at their Simi Valley Branch for a sort of SkunkWorks division. For a month I would drive out to Simi Valley to work on Line 6’s alpha prototype of a MIDI implementation. This is way before iOS 4.2, which included CoreMIDI. Line 6 had to create their own SDK make it work. It was a great learning experience for someone my age. What I worked on went to become MIDI Memo Recorder which is usually paired with MIDI Mobilizer. I worked on their MIDI implementation for the iPhone.
This was not my area of expertise. I went to school for Audio Recording and Music business, I took online classes from Berklee College of Music in Music Business & Management and Mastering. I had worked from the age of 15 in studio and live audio mixing. Doing software debugging was a steep learning curve for me. But just a few years back I had done something similar, I had foolishly installed Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on my Mac Pro. At the time I was taking an advance audio recording class that required the use of Pro Tools and to my luck Pro Tools was not compatible with Leopard. I did what any normal geek would do, I tinkered. I edited .plist files, went through its code… hacked things around, all the time trying to get in contact with DigiDesign (Avid). After much pleading with anyone and pulling strings I was able to get beta builds and I became an unauthorized beta tester. I wrote detailed crash and bug reports. When it was over I remembered saying, “I’m glad I never have to do that again.” Little did I know. In 2008 while still working for Capital/EMI I became a beta tester for SoundCloud. It wasn’t the same as testing and debugging native applications but I enjoyed it. Since then I’ve been part of many beta testing cycles with various websites and applications.
After my brief time at Line 6, I wasn’t able to find work for months. I had to settle for work demolishing old recording studios. I started to learn Objective-C in my spare time. I later worked at a Lowe’s as a temporary worker in early 2010. It wasn’t until late spring, when I got an email from an Apple recruiter asking me to attend one of their hiring events. I showed up, talked and met Apple representatives. After about a month and a half of interviews, I finally was hired to work at Apple Retail.
Apple gave me a job. I got paid to talk to people about and play with Apple products. I met great people at the store. I was able to assist many celebrities- some big, some not so much. I met Adam Lisagor, a well know figure for making great video walkthroughs of start ups, such as Square, Flipboard, and Jawbone. He even gave me an opportunity to work on a video or two.
It was great I enjoyed the time there but part of me wanted more to do with music and at the time there wasn’t any opportunity for me to move into the corporate side of the company. I left the Apple in late April not really knowing what do.
I did freelance work and used the tools I owned. Some of those tools are software, some are hardware. As anyone that has used a computer can tell you, programs crash. As I saw applications and plugins crash I started to write detailed bug reports, to Apple and the manufacturers, one of them being Line 6. A few months later I was contacted by them. I was being offered a job as a QA Consultant because of my previous work with iOS (previously known as iPhone OS) and the bug reports I had filed in the past few months. Since then, I have worked on the new MIDI Mobilizer II, MIDI Memo Recorder, the upcoming Mobile In, Mobile POD, and other unannounced products.
I never got the chance to meet Steve Jobs, but his company gave me a job when no one else would. I met great people, coworkers as well as costumers. Now have a job because of products that his vision brought to fruition. On a daily basis I use my iPhone, iPod Classic, iPad, Macbook Pro, Mac Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode.
Again, thanks for everything Steve.