Happy Monday, everyone!

We made it to Issue #74! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️

Today’s Spotlighted Indie Dev

📆 Today I’m featuring Neyts Zupan.

Neyts is the creator of Pareto Security. Pareto Security is an app that regularly checks your Mac's security configuration. It helps you take care of 20% of security tasks that prevent 80% of problems. Security is important and there is no arguing that. It's seeming even more important with remote work and co-working spaces. We need an easy way to make sure our machines (and our co-workers machiens) are secure as they can be. Luckily we have Pareto to help us! Pareto is the most low effort way to make sure your machine is secure and I love it 🥰 It warned me of some system settings I had turned off or misconfigured and some important apps that were outdated. Within minutes I was all good 🙂 Pareto is even built with teams in mind. With the team plan, you can invite your co-workers and see that security status of their computers to make sure everyone is up-to-date. Neyts and team did a great job with Pareto. Download this on your Mac today!

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

Indie Dev

Neyts Zupan

Slovenia

Owner of development shop and creator of Pareto Security


Neyts Zupan

Q&A

1) What is your name? Where do you live (city or general area)?

I’m Neyts, I am from Slovenia, a teeny-tiny country between Italy and Austria, but I spend my winters on the Canary Islands.

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

I started coding in primary school, and it is still my greatest hobby and joy to this day. For the past 15 years I have been running a small development shop Niteo. We used to do consulting and similar agency work, but have since transitioned into a multi-product company, i.e. we find a problem worth solving, we develop the solution, find customers, and move on to the next interesting thing.

I am most comfortable with Python and backend web development, but do lots of DevOps and some frontend too. Very passionate about code quality, testing and continuous delivery.

Lately, I’ve gotten really interested in functional programming, besides Swift I dabbled with Elm on the frontend and Nix for systems stuff.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

Absolutely! Since day 1 of Niteo, I wanted to build products. Small, bootstrapped, profitable, independent products. It took us a few years to really get going, to generate enough (passive) cashflow to support full-time building, but I’m so happy I endured the grind!

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

In my student years, I was active in a pan-European electrical engineering students organization where we were always doing something: rebuilding our website, organizing a jobfair, planning a trip to a workshop abroad. These things all happened beside the “normal job” of attending classes and such. I built my first web apps back then, and just never managed to stop.

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

I actually gave a talk on this a while back. The key is not to focus on being productive and efficient, but on being effective.

6) Pareto Security - This is probably bad but I think I got very relaxed with my computer security since the pandemic started 😬 I didn’t leave my house so I didn’t keep a password on my devices or lock my devices because there wasn’t really a need. But now that I’m leaving a bit more I should probably secure things 😅 Pareto is so great for helping me with that! When did you start working on Pareto and what problems were you facing that led you to create it?

My buddy Janez and I started working on the app this July. I wanted someone to build the app for years. I even gave the idea away on several occasions, hoping someone would do it and I could just pay them to use the app. I didn’t know any Swift, I’ve only ever done Web apps, never anything native. But noone wanted to build the app for me.

Then just before summer, I was fiddling with my macOS settings and realized in horror that I did not have FileVault enabled 😱 . Buckets of cold sweat later, I was telling this to my coworker and we both laughed at what a n00b I was. Only to find out moments later that he too forgot to turn on his Firewall.

At this point, I knew we needed the Pareto Security app. Even if I were the only customer, I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to be sure that I never ever again forget to turn on FileVault!

7) Pareto Security - Pareto’s team ability is awesome! You definitely want all team/company computers to all be locked down as much as possible. Pareto seems to make this super easy for the individual to install and secure their own computer but also provides a nice team dashboard to show everyone’s statuses 🙌 Was this team plan in the original scope for Pareto? Have you seen a higher demand for easily usable security tools with the shift to more remote work?

Yep, the Team Dashboard was definitely there from the start – I was scratching my own itch of wanting to know that all my coworkers have the basic security hygiene sorted.

8) Pareto Security - I love name and icon but I have no idea if they mean anything or just sound and look cool 😎 Is there a story behind the name and app icon?

Haha, sure there is! Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian scientist back that postulated the “80/20 rule”: 80% of effects arise from 20% of the causes. Which can be applied to security like so: 80% of problems can be prevented by 20% of effort. I.e. if you take care of the basics, just enabling the security features that Macs come with, you are preventing the majority of attacks. Hence, the name – Pareto Security.

Coming up with an icon was easy when we had the name, just use Vilfredo’s portrait.

9) Pareto Security - What’s one of the neatest things you’ve learned while making Pareto? I can imagine you’ve come across a lot of interesting things 🤷‍♂️ What’s been the most difficult part of making a security app?

I was surprised how easy it is to create a MenuBar app. Janez and I had zero experience with Swift, but we had a working prototype withing days of starting.

The most difficult thing we’re still struggling with is automated testing of the app. From my Web dev experience, I’m used to having scripts that fire up a browser and click around my app on every commit, to make sure I didn’t break something. I’m still figuring out how to have the same level of QA automation for a Swift app.

10) Pareto Security - Oh my goodness, I just realized Pareto is open source… I love open source 🥰 I’m curious why you decided to open source Pareto and it’s been a positive experience 😁 Have you faced any issues of people trying to release a competitor? But now that I know this is open source… I kind of want to add. a commit or two 😈

Please do!

Like you, I am in love with open source. I’ve done code contributions, published my own projects and even organized open source events. So choosing to open source Pareto was natural to me.

Then there was the security/privacy aspect. If I am telling you that you should install my app that will check for security on your machine, I want you to be able to check what the app does.

Finally, there’s the Team Dashboard. That’s a Python Web app, that is closed-source (but built on top of an open source framework that I authored), and hosted on our servers. If your Pareto macOS app is linked to the Team Dashboard, it sends information about your computer to our servers. This is even more privacy critical and even more of a reason that people can verify what is being sent.

11) Pareto Security - What’s next for Pareto? Do you have any future features that you can share with us?

We have a number of additional checks we want to add. For me, personally, I really want Pareto to check that all my Time Machine disks are encrypted.

We have another thing in the works for Pareto: a shareable profile page that freelancers can use to land better gigs by proving to the Big Client LLC that they are a solid developer that knows how to take care of security. If you are reading this and want early access, please reach out via https://paretosecurity.com/contact!

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

Now that we have several profitable products out there, it’s not an issue anymore, but for several years I was making way less than my peers in big corpos. Definitely not fun, but an investment that had to be made.

The best part about being a full-time indie dev is always getting to play with interesting technologies and finding new communities to be part of.

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

If at all possible, find a recurring revenue model for your apps. It’s amazing to go away for a few weeks to travel, attend a conference/training, or just chill at the beach, but still keep earning money, month over month, without those stress inducing big spikes and drops in revenue.

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

https://twitter.com/tylertringas is a fantastic source of ideas for small profitable apps.


Newly Released and Updated Indie Apps

Here are some newly released and newly updated apps from this past week! If you would like to possibly see your app in this list, please submit your app to the look at me form 👀

Version 1.15 brings a biometric lock option, filter options for the Live Log, support for iOS & iPadOS 15.2, bugfixes & more! Enjoy the final weeks of 2021 and stay safe! 😊
Track your tempo in real-time with Beat Mirror. This update is a colourful one. Play too fast and the screen goes red! Time to ease back the tempo. Or maybe it went blue? Better speed up. Finally, you lock on to the beat. Beat Mirror goes green.

Thank you to everybody who made it to this footer! You either spent the time to read or took the effort to scroll 😊

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