Happy Monday, everyone!

We made it to the 28th issue! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️


📆 Today I’m featuring Victoria Park and Makwan Barzan.

Victoria is the creator of Fraction Math Pro. Fraction Math Pro allows students to practice concepts that are needed for basic fraction operations. Concepts of Least Common Multiple and Greatest Common Factor are covered as well as addition and subtraction operations. It is such a fun and pleasant app to use! It's not only great for kids but also great for adults that want to polish their math skills 😉 You can tell that Victoria put a lot of time and energy into Fraction Math Pro. The interface is easy to use and the help sections are great for explaining all the concepts the app uses. Give Fraction Math Pro a download today! I know I'm going to keep using it myself 🙃

Makwan is the creator of Locale. Locale app contains every ISO 639-1 code that Apple has used on its platforms. It allows you to not only view the entire list but it provides Objective-C and Swift code examples on how to use the ISO code. This is such a handy utility and Makwan has done a fantastic job with the app. It's available on iPhone, iPad, macOS, and Apple Watch. You won't ever have to struggle with finding your ISO codes ever again 💪 I know I haven't! Give Locale a download today 😁

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


Indie Devs

Victoria Park

Irvine, California, USA

Database programmer, music teacher, and creator of Fraction Math Pro

Makwan Barzan

Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq

Computer science student and creator of Locale


Victoria Park

Q&A

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

I live in Irvine, California in US

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

Hello, my name is Victoria Park. I was a piano performance major in college but suffered nerve damage so I graduated with BA in music and got a masters in Music Education. I took some computer courses in college and worked in database programming for 2 years. After getting married, I’ve worked as a private music teacher and as a music teacher in an elementary school. Right now, I just have a few students as my kids’ school work and therapies take up most of the time after their school hours.

My interests outside of tech is obviously music. I love to listen to and to play music. My interest in tech is in iOS development. I love that you can create something at any skill level.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

I’m not 100% sure what being an indie developer is, but if it’s developing apps of your own accord, yes.

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

I have two children on the autism spectrum. One is 19 and is non-verbal. My first introduction to an app that is transformative was his communication app - Proloquo2Go. It has made picture based communication practical and affordable for most people.

My ambition is to create games that are easy, simple and appealing to him as most games are too complicated for him.

If I can say one thing, I’d love to communicate to game and storybook developers to consider making products available at different levels from very basic to complex. Many people are deprived of entertainment that most of us take for granted.

With my younger son who is mainstreamed in math and science, it’s been a natural progression from drawing pictures and diagrams for him to creating apps for him. His strength is in visual learning and interactive apps seem like perfect medium for him to learn.

I take inspiration from his excellent teachers who use wonderful web-based interactive tools.

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

It has been very tough, especially with the current situation but I have a very supportive husband who helps with the kids and is very proud of my new skills. My apps always cater to my sons’ needs, so there’s an overlap of their education and my app development.

I practice violin along with my younger son, so I am committed to daily practice that way. I don’t take lessons myself, so he has surpassed me a while ago.

6) Fraction Math Pro - Congrats on your launch 🥳 Fraction Math Pro is so much fun! I kind of got lost in the app that I forgot I was writing questions 😇 What was your inspiration for creating and releasing Fraction Math Pro?

Thank you so much! It has been so exciting to have an app published on the App Store. It’s like secretly knowing that you have a black belt or something like that. My inspiration for Fraction Math Pro was my younger son who at the time was struggling with different concepts related to doing basic fraction operations. I thought animation of the prime factorization tree would be helpful as well as categorizing Least Common Multiple problems into three types w distinct ways of solving. My son also enjoyed the peaceful and colorful background. With many of the apps there was no way for parents to check if a child had actually done the work or what problems the child missed, so I implemented those things in my app.

7) Fraction Math Pro - I love how pleasant the designs for the app are! I felt at ease while doing the math exercises. Was this in your initial plans? Did anything change along the way?

Thank you so much. Yes, my plan was to make it visually appealing to children. Many children enjoy friendly and colorful backgrounds while they work, so I tried to create something that made them feel more relaxed.

8) Fraction Math Pro - The chalkboard feature is so great! I initially wanted to do all the problems in my head but some weren’t working out for me very well 🤣 Writing out my work definitely helped. Was this changed in your original idea? How fun was it implementing this feature? 😇

I love the PencilKit! I pictured the app with the chalkboard initially. After testing it with my son’s iPad mini, I saw that the area was too small, so I added an expand button to enable the writing area cover most of the screen. My son loves using the Apple Pencil and the new feature that translates scribbles in textbox into text is just incredible.

9) Fraction Math Pro - The help menu is super cool! This is great for both children and parents. Do you happen to be a teacher by any chance? 😇 These concepts are converted really well. It seems like the way it’s presented is good for both teaching and reviewing. Is that what the goal was? 🙂

Thank you! Yes, I have a strong interest in visual representation of math concepts. That’s how my son and I learn the best and I think many others do too. For me, even text, if organized in a certain way, is easier to digest.

10) Fraction Math Pro - My son is only 7 weeks old right now but I’m really looking forward to using this app with him when he’s older 🙃 Do you plans to make a math app for younger children so I don’t have to wait until my son is in 5th grade?!

You are so kind! How cute your son must be! I hope you are enjoying every minute, they grow so fast! I want to create simple games for my older son, maybe your son can enjoy them as well!

11) Fraction Math Pro - What’s next for Fraction Math Pro?! Have any future features you can share with us?

I’ve updated the app last week to have feature to check solution for individual questions instead of just general heuristics. I think I’d like to add more interactive features to individual solutions as I did with the general help. I’d also like to add multiplication and division operations, which in my opinion are easier.

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

I guess the hard part is not having a guaranteed income. The fun part is being free to create whatever you imagine and the wonderfully welcoming and inclusive community.

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

My big philosophy is that everyone should have a dignified life with opportunities to explore intellectual and creative pursuits. Many people are discouraged and bullied into a lesser life.

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

So many, it would be unfair to name but I’m loyal to my friends. My friend Johan Delgado @EsMoscu has an app called Petulia coming out that facilitates pet adoption from local shelters. He’s is a Spanish teacher in Moscow and a great person. My brilliant and kind mentor Jeff Rames @jefframes I think has an app coming out, I don’t know when.


Makwan Barzan

Q&A

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

My name is Makwan Barzan, I live in As Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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

I’m 19 years old, Kurd, Muslim, a computer science student, and a self-taught iOS developer. Currently, I’m studying computer science and got one more year to graduate and get my diploma computer science degree.

I started learning Swift and iOS development back in earlier 2019 as a hobby that I’ve had for a long time. Since then, I’ve created many side-projects and worked on a few client projects for Apple projects.

Because I haven’t a job yet, most of my daily time has dedicated to learning more about iOS development and its frameworks and new features, creating side-projects, and watching WWDC videos. But I currently looking for an intern or part-time iOS position to grow my skills and gaining more experience.

Inside of tech, I’m interested in reading any news and articles related to Apple things. Outside of tech, I enjoy hiking, reading books, and watching Sci-fi TV shows.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

Yes, many times.

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

I haven’t ever had a “normal” job, but I wanted to know the feeling of having and publishing my own application.

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

Every morning after I wake up and drinking a cup of coffee, I create a To-Do list and fill it with the things that I will do on the day. That’s where I balance between them; my work and family is always on top of the list, then my hobbies. But there’s very little time for friends because I usually hang out with them partially.

6) Locale - I love this utility! I don’t look for codes often but I also struggled to find all of them when I did. I’m so glad I have this is my back pocket now 😇 When did you start creating Locale? What was your motivation?

I’m so happy that you love it. I started creating Locale on November 8th of the last year, and it took a week to complete everything, thanks to its simplicity. Before start working on it, I always struggled with finding language codes for my localized apps. It found it a bit hard to find an up-to-date source with all of the codes on the net. And one day, I looked at the App Store but there wasn’t any app for that. So I didn’t think more and started creating it immediately.

7) Locale - It’s pretty cool to see that apps are available iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch when viewing them in the App Store. Did you have any challenges making the app available on all platforms? Do you have a favorite platform that you like to build for? 🙂

SwiftUI and Catalyst saved me a lot of time to make Locale available for all the mentioned platforms, and I don’t really remember if I had any challenges with it. My favourite platform is macOS.

8) Locale - I think I first discover Locale while browsing Airport 😁 I love finding fun new apps on Airport. How was your experience with Airport as a developer?

I’m always amazed by how useful the Airport is for us (developers). I had a quite good experience with it, and I got some amazing feedback from testers which I believe some of them found the app from there.

9) Locale - What’s next for Locale?! Do you have anything else you are working on besides Locale that you want to share? 😎

Locale is may soon gets a new feature to let the users fetch language codes of the apps by URL. Besides, I will work on the feature requests if I get any.

I want to tell you here that I currently working on a new app to manage your learning tasks, something that I believe some of you are gonna like it.

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

I have always found marketing and designing app icons super hard. The most fun part of being an indie dev for me is that you can do whatever you want to do with it and you’re the only one who sets and manages the schedules.

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

Not really. But if you’re about to build something, don’t leave it to someone else and just do it.

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

Shibab is a genius developer and I’m sure he inspires you by his posts as much as I inspired. James Saeed, Khoa, and Wessley are also incredible indie developers and human beings that you should follow as an indie developer.


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