Happy Monday, everyone!
We made it to the 38th issue! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️
This week’s special shoutout is going to my wife ☺️ Tuesday is our two year wedding anniversary along with our 12 year anniversary of being together. She is my everything and has never stoppped supporting me all of the crazy things I try to make. Thank you for always being there for me. You are my one and only 🥰
📆 Today I’m featuring Nick Nikeforou.
I love this app and everything it provides. I love coffee but I don’t feel like I was very knowledgeable about coffee. But that all changed after spending just a few days with Cofee Cups. I’ve read about coffee in the news, learned about different roasts, and even got some ideas for new recipes to try 😁 I’m very much a creature of habit. I rarely change my coffee order around or the coffee I make at home. But Coffee Cups has given me some inspiration to try new recipes!
Nick did an excellent job with designing and buildng Coffee Cups. The colors and textures of the app really makes it feel like you are floating in a coffee cup. What’s even more amazing is that this is Nick’s first app 🥳 Congrats on the launch I’m really excited to be featuring you on Indie Dev Monday this week. Go download Coffee Cups today!
👉 Please make sure to follow them or support them anyway you can! 😇 I’m excited to share their indie dev stories.
1) What is your name? Where do you live?
I’m Nick Nikeforou, I grew up in London but now live in Essex, which is just outside the capital. I realise the majority of readers will be in the US so I apologise for my UK spelling 😅
2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?
I’ve taken a few different paths career wise, I’ve always loved tech and studied Television Production before doing some work as a film editor. I then took on an admin job at a University in London to have a regular secure income. I’m still at that University but I’ve had a few roles and now work as a Data Analyst, I managed to claw my way back to something technical! My other loves are fitness and sports; mainly football ⚽️, American football 🏈 & MMA 🤼♂️ . I love the idea of flying out to WWDC then heading to a Niners game!
Oh and I have a sick (albeit strangely common) fascination with true crime documentaries.
3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?
I can’t say I’ve given it too much thought but I like the idea of working independently and sustaining myself through my own projects. Will that pay the bills? I’m not sure that’s realistic but I’ll give it a go. I’ve always been inspired by people that back themselves and take a chance on building a career solo, so hopefully I can do the same.
4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?
I always wanted to get into coding, I didn’t know exactly what I’d be building but the idea of creating something has always excited me. I did my Masters in Information Systems a couple years back and did some work with R on data mining algorithms, which gave me an introduction into how to think about and approach code. The natural process would then have been to progress with R or Python so I could apply that knowledge to my data analysis work but I really wanted to expand my skillset and always had an obsession with Apple’s design and products, so I turned my attention to Swift 🤩. I’m 30 now and appreciate I’m probably coming into this a little late but I think it has its advantages in that I’m able to deal with hurdles with a little less sensitivity than I would have 10 years ago, fortunately I am able to recognise things like imposter syndrome and dismiss them fairly readily.
5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?
This is yet to be determined! It was when covid initially hit that I started learning and the limitations of lockdown have had their benefits in that there have been no distractions. At the moment it’s probably quite an unhealthy balance, I’d finish work then after a dog walk or workout, I’d code for the rest of the evening, at some point migrating to the sofa, still clinging onto my Mac. I guess it’s addictive because I enjoy it, so its moulded into a hobby for me. As restrictions ease and we’re able to do more, I will definitely make sure I devote equal time to my girlfriend, dog and side project!
6) Coffee Cups - Congrats on your recent launch of Coffee Cups! I’m a huge fan of coffee so I downloaded this on Day 1 😊 What motivated you to create an app 100% dedicated to coffee news and recipes?
Thank you for downloading it! 😊 The idea stems from my girlfriend investing in a bean-to-cup coffee machine but finding herself a little stuck as to the variations of coffee she could make. As for the coffee news, I felt it was important to offer as much content as possible and perhaps made the presumption that coffee obsessives may find the articles interesting, hope so!
7) Coffee Cups - The curated coffee news is so great! I can’t say I’ve actually gone out and looked for coffee news but I’m kind of into it now 😇 How do you search for the articles you want to put in? What kind of news are you looking for?
There are a few cool blogs/websites and I’ll do some general searches on different topics. At the moment there is a mixture of the history of coffee, its benefits and impact on health and the environment and some unusual articles that might surprise users. I don’t plan on sticking to a specific kind of news, I will try my best to keep it diverse but interesting and informative.
8) Coffee Cups - I think you mentioned that this is your first personal app you’ve released. How was this experience? What was the most fun part? What was the hardest part? 🙃
It was almost a practice project initially, I’d always hear that the best way to learn is to code, build stuff and learn how to research and find the answers along the way. There were definitely gaps in my knowledge which made it a little frustrating at times but the feeling once it eventually builds and runs successfully is oddly euphoric. The most fun thing for me is design, I loved putting a colour palette together and being able to get creative with the layout.
There were a few occasions where I’d be stuck on something for days, I’d exhausted stack overflow, apple docs, slack, twitter etc then realise the solution was a simple one and I’d been overcomplicating it in my head. That’s something I’ve always done and definitely need to work on. Maybe there is a little self-doubt in that I think I’m not comprehending something, whilst its actually pretty straight forward.
9) Coffee Cups - I’ve learned so much from this app already and I consider (or used to consider) myself a coffee person. How often do you plan to update information in the app? 😁 Will users get notified of when this happens? Curious because I think I binged a lot of this info already 🤣
I’m glad you’ve been able to learn something new 😁 I learnt so much when pulling the content together. I’m going to keep updating the existing content; more articles, more facts, more recipes, more custom icons, as well as implementing new features and content as consistently as possible. I’m currently working on integrating remote configuration to be able to keep the content fresh without users having to update the app to see more. Can definitely look at notifying users when content is updated 😊.
10) Coffee Cups - I don’t think I knew there were so many hot and cold coffee choices! What is your favorite hot and cold coffees and why?
And there are still so many more! I drink a Flat White most often and might treat myself to a Mocha over the weekend. I love the texture of a Flat White, especially if you have a steam wand to foam the milk 🤤. As for cold coffees, its between a Frappucino and an Espresso Freddo. The Coffee Cups Freddo recipe incorporates a hint of caramel syrup that makes it extra special 😍.
11) Coffee Cups - This is actually not super related directly to Coffee Cups but what kind of coffee making devices would you recommend? Do you have some favorite home devices for making coffee and espresso? This is kind of a personal question for me because I’m looking to get a new reasonably priced espresso machine 😉
We have the De’Longhi La Specialista and it is a little expensive but we’ve never regretted it for a second! It has all the tools you need and the quality of the coffee is pretty impressive. I’d definitely recommend it. If you’re able to spend a little more to get a bean-to-cup device, it’s worthwhile for sure. We previously had an Nespresso pod machine and the difference in taste is really noticeable.
12) Coffee Cups - What’s next?! Do you have any fun future features planned for Coffee Cups that you can share with us?
I’ve had a ton of great feedback from other developers and its opened my eyes in terms of things to consider. I’ve been working on UX improvements and have pushed a couple of updates last week.
Going forward there are loads of new features I want to implement, I really want to make this app the best it can be. I’m hoping to add a tab on products to give recommendations to users on coffee, machines and other tools. I also want to add a ‘stories’ feature that tells the journey of someone working in the industry. I recently met a coffee distributor in London whose coffee is produced by his father on a farm in Colombia and I’d love to be able to share his story and give users the opportunity to discover his coffee.
I want to keep expanding the recipes too, growing up my grandmother would always make greek coffee, which is quite bitter so is an acquired taste. I’d like to incorporate recipes like that and other international coffees. Right now I’m focusing on SwiftUI and looking to make the recipe views a little more dynamic.
13) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What the most fun part of being an indie dev?
I’m now discovering that the hardest part has nothing to do with code, its marketing! I’m new to ASO but it all seems relatively straight forward, however competition is fierce so I’m now trying to think of creative ways to promote the app. The most fun part is seeing an idea become reality. I’d visualise or draw mock views and to think I’ve built them and they’re now being downloaded onto phones all over the world is pretty cool. Another massive plus is the community, they have made this entire experience not only more enjoyable and less stressful but not once have I felt unsupported. There is always someone willing to help. If you haven’t already, please do reach out, they are a massive asset. I remember just starting out when the first iOS Dev Happy Hour was taking place, I decided to give it a miss, thinking it may be a little intimidating meeting established developers but its full of friendly welcoming people at all levels and I’ve not missed one since.
14) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?
Is this where I admit I like pineapple on pizza?
15) Do you have any other indie devs that readers should follow / lookout for?
A few devs that I enjoy following or interacting with;
- Chris Wu @museumshuffle
- Sam McGarry @sammcode
- Seth Sandler @sethsandler
- Donny Wals @donnywals
- Fernando @fromjrtosr
- Michael Lysons @lordmooch
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