Project Archive

For a summary of what I do, see my resume. What follows is a catalog of many of the things I’ve done so far. You could think of it as the world’s most disastrously long and self-deprecating resume.

Current Projects

Since we started Steamclock, I’ve worked on over 100 products, mostly for growing consumer-facing tech companies. We love working on our own apps, but client work can be fun too.

  • Writing: For a decade, I’ve published an article at least once a month. Topics often include product management, building teams, and the various things that go in to growing a software business.

  • It Shipped That Way: An interview series where I talk to leaders in product, design, and engineering about building great products and teams.

  • Fun Fact: A bi-weekly podcast full of incredibly important facts.

  • Two Spies, a turn-based iPhone game that proved more popular than I expected.

  • Consulting work: We help companies ship great mobile apps. Some of our interesting client projects at Steamclock have been:

    • an interactive 3D map of the internet
    • various personal finance apps, including “roboavisors” and a featureful stock trading app
    • a polished subscription commerce app built on Shopify
    • a really nice iOS app for a zero-waste startup that provides advanced recycling pickups
    • a UI component library for a very large enterprise’s suite of apps
    • a mountain conditions app for a global apparel brand and the mountain guides they support
    • a number of Bluetooth products, such as one for configuring solar-powered lighting, for which we built an open source Bluetooth framework
    • so many social networks (people love making new social networks)
    • some highly server-driven apps, including one for running hosptality businesses, and one for delivering curriculum
    • some realtime video chat projects, built on WebRTC and Twilio
    • a suite of audio tour guide apps
    • a JavaScript app for the Fortune 500 (like, the actual feature in Fortune)
    • an app that attempted security analysis on iOS and Android (hard to do, it turns out)
    • a couple Point of Sale app projects – one that went well and one that did not
    • an Android app for reporting commercial fishing activity (one of our rare “enterprisey” projects)
    • web apps for various verticals, including community management, real estate, and art exhibitions
    • a couple dozen early MVP experiments, for example a system for running valet businesses and an experimental recipe-video app
    • work on the webOS App Store, of all things
    • a bespoke iOS app for ordering bespoke suits.
  • Meetups: I started the Vancouver Javascript Developers group, and the Vancouver Xcoders iOS meetup.

  • Systems: Growing Steamclock effectively required developing and iterating a lot of systems, docs, and approaches. These included processes for hiring and onboarding, people management, compensation, finance, branding, project and product management, internal comms, and marketing.

  • Not being at a computer: I play guitar, play ice hockey, write music, and otherwise dabble in the world away from computers. There is nothing to link here, which is for the best.

Talks and Podcast Appearances

I love teaching and discussing tech and other topics. Sometimes, people record it.

Older Steamclock-era Projects (2010-2017)

  • Quests, a Mac menubar app to see your assigned issues and pull requests.

  • Up Up Down Down: A podcast about the craft of video games.

  • Party Monster: A queueing DJ app for parties and road trips. We made a funky video for it as well.

  • WeddingDJ: The best darn iPhone app for running music at weddings.

  • Prism: We shipped and later retired a photo browser for iPad that excelled at showing photos of kittens.

  • Unladen Follow: I created a tool to unfollow the most annoying people on Twitter. It was semi-broken by Twitter’s 1.1 API changes, but I’d love to bring it back one day.

  • Prototypes: Lots of interesting prototypes haven’t made it out of the Steamclock labs - for example an app for recording podcasts, an antisocial Facebook app, and a Git client for Mac.

  • CMPT 470: I’ve twice taught the 4th-year Web Technologies course for SFU’s Computing Science department. In doing so, I learned that I love teaching and hate grading.

  • Training: I’ve taught training courses and workshops for companies such as Mobify and Clio.

Apple Era Projects (2008-2010)

For reasons I don’t fully understand, Apple offered me a job right out of university. I never thought I’d make a detour into working for a large company, but it was a fun ride.

  • iWork for iPad: I worked on the iWork iPad apps, primarily writing Objective-C to support Having a secret iPad prototype locked in my desk was possibly the most ridiculous thing ever.

  • I wrote JavaScript, CSS, and Objective-C for rich web app that helped proof iWork documents. Lots and lots of JavaScript.

  • Prototypes: Working on product prototypes that don’t ship is as fun and frustrating as it sounds. Over beer you should totally not ask me for NDA-violating war stories on this topic.

  • Websites for Fun: I’m often making websites for fun, for example for a local theatre company, a WoW guild, and my wedding. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this, it’s to use a static site generator and not have to worry about updating Wordpress for the rest of your life.

Discovery Era Projects (2003-2008)

My first real tech job was at a small software company that builds apps for education. I’d been a friend of the company since the late .com era, letting me watch them explode, implode, and rebuild over most of a decade.

  • DiscoNet: My main job at Discovery was creating and iterating the company intranet and CRM system. I had a lot of freedom with this project, as evidenced by the fact I was somehow allowed to name it DiscoNet. Disco would later resurface as a theme in my software work.

  • Learn Faces: I built a game for school staff to learn students’ names and faces using JavaScript. Which is pretty random.

  • Principalm: Before mobile apps were cool, Principalm ran on Palm m500s off of 16MB SD cards. It was SO COOL. I did QA, branding and design work, and other product-related tasks for it, giving me my first taste of product management.

  • Just Ask Oldguy: I designed a Q&A site where my former boss answered random questions from the internet.

  • Budgetable: I built a financial management site, and then sold the domain to a team who is actually going somewhere with it.

University Era Projects (2002-2008)

I started university at UCFV, but I upgraded to SFU within a year to preserve my sanity. I learned something from my courses, but I learned more from the crazy side projects I would take on.

  • Altering Time: What started as a forum turned into a long-running community site. It included multiplayer strategy games and user-generated content - before it was cool.

  • Political Asylum: My first multiplayer game, Asylum was a rat’s nest of PHP and MySQL supported some wicked political machinations.

  • Engineering Faith: Excited by the success of Asylum, I built a second game about creating your own religion. It was very well architected, but I forgot to make it fun. Oops.

  • SFU CSSS: I spent time as the VP Operations, Acting President, and Secretary of the Computing Science Student Society. I have since retired from politics.

  • The Cascade: During my year at UCFV, I wrote articles for the university newspaper. This was the peak of my stint in journalism.

  • Gender Quiz: I built this somewhat better than random-guessing AI project almost entirely out of SQL. If that’s not a case of seeing a nail because you have a hammer, I’m not sure what is.

  • Modeling Plants with L-Systems: This project on generating 3D plants for SFU’s CMPT 461/761 class gets me both a crazy amount of traffic from Google and occasional emails from scientific journals. If you’re looking for a research topic in graphics, I suggest plants!

  • Other Project Courses: I took all the project classes I could in school. Besides the plants and bizarro gender quiz, I built a small distributed system, a pinball game, a raytracer, a student society website, a Java compiler, an STV voting system, and 3D fireworks simulation in C#. All of these were bad.

  • Freelance web development: For the better part of a year I did solo web contracting, and learned many lessons on the way. I built sites for my mom’s work (a credit union), a construction company, a venture investor, a project management startup, and my stepmom’s doggy daycare. It was, uh, world-class.

High School and Earlier (1990s)

  • Uniserve Intranet: Besides being a Customer Service guy, I built the intranet at the local ISP where I worked. I do not know why they let me do this.

  • Improv: In high school one of my favourite things to do was improv. The premise was to travel to other high schools and make an ass of yourself in a comedic and competitive manner. We got to the provincial championships, but suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of slightly more ridiculous high school kids.

  • ACSS Theatre Company Video: This ancient nostalgic video has a horror story attached to it that should have scared me off of taking on large projects in the future. It did not.

  • FantasyTech 3: I wrote a giant text-based RPG in QBASIC. How is this not on my resume?

  • WarTech: I was likely the only person ever to make a turn-based strategy in C++Builder. My friends lauded it as “kind of fun”.

  • So many games: I’m not sure what my most catastrophic failure to make a game was during childhood. It may have been the time where I tried to write an entire RPG in a 10,000 line C++ if statement.

  • The Essence: For some reason I designed my own (bad) trading card game, creating a couple hundred cards, many featuring (bad) art.

  • Spellbook: I ran a low-budget games ‘zine with my friends for a couple years. When I say low-budget, I mean photocopying at the 7-11. The first issue was taped with masking tape. I was like 12, okay?!

  • Street Vending: In elementary school I enjoyed putting a table on the street and failing to sell lemonade and hockey cards to passers-by. I even kept a ledger of the lemonade I failed to sell. This was all of the lemonade.

© Allen Pike. 👋🏼 You can contact me, or check out Steamclock.