Getting Ready to Celebrate: The Son House Trail App

Son_App_Launch_Icon-1242-x-2208Journey to the Son, our four-day celebration of blues great Son House, kicks off in just two days! We’ve been doing our best here on GevaJournal to prepare you for the festivities, but if you still want more – or if you just want an easy way to keep all the important information at your fingertips – check out the FREE Son House Trail iPhone app! The app includes the festival schedule and a map of festival venues, along with lots of background information on Son and his music.

Multi-talented though Geva’s staff is, developing apps is outside our areas of expertise, so for the Son House Trail app we called in developer Skye Freeman. In addition to all his hard work on the app itself, Skye graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his work and give us a glimpse inside his creative process:

How long have you been developing apps? What kind of training did you need in order to get started?

I’ve been developing iOS apps professionally for about a year and a half.  Before that I had been programming since my freshman year of college while i pursued my computer science degree from Long Island University-Brooklyn.  My education was useful in gaining the core computer science fundamentals, but I consider myself self-taught when it comes to mobile development.

What were your goals in designing the Son House Trail app?

My main concern was making the app as easy to use as possible.  Since the core features surrounding the experience revolve around reading and learning, it was essential that there were no barriers between the user and the content.  Once the app is opened, all the information is just a click away. From there the look and feel of the app sort of just fell in to place along the way.

How long did the project take? What part of the app required the most work to get right?

The planning part of the project began about a month ago in mid-July.  In terms of development it was a two-week sprint.  Because the app is 100% data-driven, the hardest part was finding the best way to organize all the information under the hood in a way that makes sense to the user once presented—while at the same time making it simple to add and remove data as the app evolved.

What are you working on next?

This app was built alongside a couple of other projects that I’m prevented from speaking about due to NDA [non-disclosure agreement] obligations.  Recently I’ve become fascinated with the open-source software community, my next goal is to lend a hand in maintaining and improving the open-source developer tools that I’ve become accustomed to using—should I get some free time in the coming months.

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3 thoughts on “Getting Ready to Celebrate: The Son House Trail App

  1. Hello, nice job on the app but I wanted to point out a factual error regarding Son House’s residence in Rochester. It’s stated that House lived on Atkinson St from 1955 until 1964, but as stated by Daniel Beaumont, the Son House biographer, House lived at 86 Adams St, a house that is actually still standing in Corn Hill, from probably about 1957 until 1964, when he moved to Grieg St.

  2. Also, the photo of the Black Candle just looks like an old photo of the regular restaurant/genessee co-op. The black candle was up on Stutson St, not where it is shown on your map…

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