Happy Monday, everyone!

We made it to the 24th issue! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️


📆 Today I’m featuring Renato Gonçalves.

I met Renato at an iOS Dev Happy Hour hosted by Allen W(@codeine_coding). I love Renato’s enthusiasm for networking and learning and I’ve been waiting for him to release an app so he could be in Indie Dev Monday. Well.. that time is now!

Renato is the creator of Roger. Roger is a habit tracker assistant that will help you hit streaks with your habits. This app is a really fun and refreshing take on a habit tracker app! Roger is the name of the app but Roger is also a personality/character that helps you along your habit tracking journey. Roger is an adorable dinosaur that asks you if you've completed that tasks you set for yourself. Most habit tracking apps have a streak feature. The streak feature is there to pressure you to keep doing your habit so you don't break it. But sometimes we have an off day and can't keep up with the habit. In this app, you collected cookies when you complete tasks. You can then feed Roger cookies to keep the streak going if you are having that an off day and miss one of your tasks. It's a really fun mechanic that I personally enjoy! I'm really bad at picking habits up again once I "break my streak". This app is totally meant for me 🙂 Give Roger a download today and get some new habits started!

👉 Please make sure to follow them or support them anyway you can! 😇 I’m excited to share their indie dev stories.


Indie Devs

Renato Gonçalves

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Full time developer and creator of Roger


Renato Gonçalves

Q&A

1) What is your name? Where do you live?

I’m Renato Gonçalves and I live in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?

I’m 23 years old and working as a full time developer for myself. I have a few clients around Brazil and I’ve worked with a lot of different projects. I started studying Web Development when I was 13 years old and sold my first website when I was 17. I’ve also attended to a technical school from 15 to 18.

Inside tech I’m crazy about AR, though I’m not working with it yet. I think AR glasses are the future.

Outside tech, I love reading and listening to music.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

Yes, of course!

4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?

I like making apps for companies, but I missed the feeling of having my own project as I used to have when younger and not working. So in the last few months I started studying ideas until I came up with Roger.

5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?

I’m still learning how to balance that. I like coding too much and sometimes side projects are my main hobby 😅 but I try to dedicate time every day for a quick workout, reading, friends & family and code.

6) Roger - Congrats on your first indie app! We’ll get to more specific questions later but what was the feeling like when your app got approved for the first time? 😁 I mean, I know what my first feeling was like but I like to hear others people thoughts 😩

Thank you! It was wonderful when it got approved, but waiting for the review made me really nervous 😣. I checked every 30 minutes and when it got approved I messaged all my friends that knew about the project!

7) Roger - Roger is so adorable! I love that the name of the app is cute character with a personality. It actually makes me want to not disappointment Roger 🙃 Where did you get the idea of Roger the dinosaur?

So… I have a couple of teddy bears (yes 🙈) and every time I have a new idea for a side project, I just look to my bed and pick one of my teddy bear’s names. It turned out that Roger ~ the dinosaur ~ suited the app very well and I decided to make it a thing.

My friend Gabriel (https://twitter.com/gabrieldocoart) is an amazing digital illustrator and I always hire him for my projects, so I messaged him like “I NEED A DINOSAUR” and shared all my ideas. We studied together a few poses/styles and in less than 15 days all the arts were ready.

8) Roger - The idea of using cookies to continue/forgive a a break streak is so smart! I’ve always struggled with streak apps because I have a fear a failing my streak and then I just stop trying 😝 But being able to forgive is so nice. How did you get this idea? Have you noticed this has improved your personal habit building?

I use a few apps with streaks and I love it, ‘cause it really helps me to keep motivated toward a goal. However losing a big streak can be very disappointing and I didn’t want the user to feel bad.

People should want to build a strong streak, but shouldn’t fear losing it.

So, when creating this feature, my goal was to achieve a balance between the possibility of missing a day, but without hurting the daily responsibility you need to have while creating a habit.

The 100 cookies limit prevents the user from having a ridiculous amount of cookies.

9) Roger - One if my favorite things in Roger is how straight forward the app is to use. I love that I don’t have to schedule specific times and can group into just morning, afternoon, and evening. Was this your plan from the start? Or did you have some other ideas you wanted to implement?

I wanted the experience to be as simple as possible. People should be able to add and keep habits without thinking too much about it, so that’s by design.

10) Roger - The color and the sound effects are so much fun! I’m so bad at coming up with these things in my own apps 🤦‍♂ Not really a question but more of a 🙌 for making a fun app!

Thanks! I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed it. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and I try a lot of things on Adobe XD before coding.

With Roger, I struggled a bit with the colors, ‘cause I didn’t want the app to be irritating, but at the same time I think the colorful cards would help to identify your habits. Plus, I needed to define different colors for the system elements.

So, I’ve tried a lot of variations to balance everything and I’m still testing and making fine adjustments. That’s also why I didn’t launch it with a lot of colors for the cards.

11) Roger - Getting your first app on the App Store can be a whole thing 🤷‍♂️ What were your experiences like with setting up and learning to use the Apple Developer account?

Well, I guess the best thing I did was preparing myself for it beforehand. A couple of days before launching, I registered my Developer Account and on “Prepare for submission” screen I checked everything I needed.

Apple requires a lot of stuff, like the Privacy Policy, support website, tags, short description, description, screenshots (🥲)… so it’s good to be prepared. I think this material is as important as the app and I had some experience from previous client’s apps.

12) Roger - What’s next?! Have any future plans that you can share with us?

Right now, I’m planning to implement custom notifications, more colors, charts (😍) and a better calendar.

13) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What the most fun part of being an indie dev?

As I live in a small town (without Meetups or something), the hardest part for myself is working alone all the time. The most fun part is the freedom I have to implement, test, modify and delete features for my apps.

14) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?

Not really “about me”, but I think one of the best things I did was starting to attend to every online event for developers I could, specially the small ones where you can talk with everyone. So that’s something I would recommend people to try!

15) Do you have any other indie devs that readers should follow / lookout for?

Adrian (https://twitter.com/swifteves) is an incredible person to follow (and just launched Couplet app), I also have a lot of fun with Angela (https://twitter.com/macaronique) funny tweets and Stefan (https://twitter.com/stefanjblos) always posts interesting content.


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