Christmas in code: Android meets Silverlight *Interview series*

By | December 14, 2012

Meet Tsvetina Hantova, Silverlight developer at Melon, Inc

What do you love and what do you hate the most about Windows Phone OS?

There is lots of criticism surrounding this platform, and everyone says it is not going to work out. I actually enjoy these statements because they motivate me, and I take my job as a real challenge. I like showing people that things can work out, even if someone considers them impossible.

One of the things that irritate me the most is that unlike the other OS, the version for which we are currently developing (WP7.5) doesn’t have access to many of the APIs, even the sensor options are locked. For instance, earlier this year we were developing an app called Hot Coffee and the phones didn’t have a gyroscope and we encountered a ton of security restrictions.

If you had to compare your team to a mobile app, it would be…?

So far I have mostly worked alone on appa, meaning I was the only developer. However, for each project we form a cross-department team and I am currently working together with several people from other departments (quality assurance, marketing, design) on GPS Voice Navigation. So this team would have to be one of the top apps, definitely an entertaining one, but also very helpful.
How do you see your platform developing in five years?

Microsoft is aiming pretty high. We have recently started looking at the new SDK and there certainly are many questions to be answered and problems to be addressed, but everyone knows Windows Phone 8 (WP8) is one of their last chances to show they can do something great. Their initial expectations for WP7.5 were to enlist many top apps to the Windows Phone Market, but this didn’t happen because Android & iOS are still preferred by developers and publishers alike. There are many things that can be done now with WP8 and if Microsoft keep all their promises, then I am sure they will achieve success.
What app would you really like to work on?

As I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, I have an idea for some hybrid between a robot and an app. This concept for me is different, new and quite intriguing.

What is your favorite app?

There’s one little game called Kinectimals; very simple, but with beautiful animation, which to me illustrates how the simpler an app is, the better it is in the end. The game itself is centered around a little tiger, which you teach to play, jump, etc.
What is the highlight of your day?

It’s always the emotion and the discomfort of thinking that any moment now the app we have been working on for the past three months will crash and everything will disappear. I felt that yesterday when we were releasing the update for GPS Voice Navigation. Fortunately, everything went well.
What’s your biggest challenge, at work and beyond?

My only goal is to be calm and balanced, as it is hard for me to achieve this state. But when I do, everything just goes pretty well.

Tell us one funny reason to be a developer.

That you can wake up in the morning and realize that the things you have studied for years will soon no longer be of any practical use and you have to start everything from scratch.

This doesn’t sound too funny

Well, if you don’t take this the funny way, you shouldn’t even think of becoming a developer. There’s lots of stress involved, and not everything you do can be perfect, often because of reasons beyond you. So, you either take it the funny way or suffer from eternal stress. And that’s no good.

Your Christmas wish for the world in code:

While(true) //Do not do this at home

Meet Alexander Angelov, Android developer at  Melon, Inc

What do you love and what do you hate the most about your platform?

I hate how device-specific Android is. If you writing an app for an HTC device, you have very slim chances to see it working properly on a Samsung. But I love how functional and user-friendly the platform is. There are so many things you can do with it, access to thousands of libraries and rich functionality.

If you had to compare your team to a mobile app, it would be…?

Google Search. Any time one of us has a problem, someone always helps find the solution.

How do you see this platform in 3-5 years?

I think in five years, Android will control 90% of the mobile market. Apple started making mistakes and in five years’ time they will be in decline. (chuckles) As for Windows Phone, I think the current OS is prone to bugs and they will have to work harder if they want to share the market with Google.

What app would you really like to work on?

I’d enjoy making a game in the platformer genre – something like Doodle Jump. I find them very addictive and fun.

What is your favorite app?

I don’t really have a favorite app, but I use WhatsApp a whole lot. Almost all of my friends have it and it saves us time and money, while we keep in touch. I think VOIP is the means of communication of the future.

What is the highlight of your day?

Meeting with friends, both at work and afterwards.

What’s your biggest challenge in and out of work?

At work, my biggest challenge is creating an application that performs consistently on all Android devices.
Personally, my biggest challenge at present is to get back in good physical shape because I haven’t been exercising for some time. (We heard that Alexander is now doing crossfit workouts and he is enjoying it quite a bit.)

Tell us three funny reasons to be a developer.

There are no funny reasons to be a developer. (He was laughing here so perhaps there are reasons to be a funny developer.)

Your Christmas wish for the world in code:

public class WishHappyHolidays{public void christmasWish(ArrayList people){
for ( Person person : people){

–Interviews by: Milena & Nora

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