Hello World. Anyone Still Out There?

Sunday, 04 September, 2022

Wow, a blog post - must’ve been a while since I wrote one of those… In fact, I had to go back and revisit my old blog to find the last one was from September 2016 - six years ago!

Someone call pest control, cause we’ve got a serious infestation of Time Flies! 🕰 🪰 🪰

Seriously though, as I’m typing these lines and chuckling about my brilliant joke (sorry not sorry; the terrible puns are gonna be a thing ‘round here 🤷‍♂️) while enjoying a fresh morning brew and watching the sunrise from our balcony, I’m thinking to myself that I’ve really been missing this whole blogging thing and I definitely don’t want to wait another six years to write the next post - I promise (more to myself than anyone else because at this point I expect my regular readership to be… nil)

A view of our balcony in our Bonn apartment where I'm watching the sunrise and writing my first blog post for the new website. There's a cup of freshly brewed espresso next to my Laptop.

Quick Intro

So, you’ve not only somehow stumbled on this post but for whatever reason are still reading despite the time flies pun? Well, I have a feeling we might get along pretty well, so let me introduce myself 🤓

Background, Interests and Experience

My name’s Manuel, I’m originally from Germany (where I now live again) but have lived in Scotland, England and California over the last seven years. I’m a software engineer and designer but also a hobbyist musician (guitar, singing) and like to dabble in “the arts” and explore the outdoors (especially hiking and mountain-biking).

Some of the topics I’m most interested in are “Tech” in general (both hard- and software; specifically iOS, macOS, watchOS, smart home, automation and app development) but also “lifestyle topics” like outdoor adventures, travel, mindfulness, productivity and many more. Expect random posts about all sorts of things on this blog but rest assured I implemented a category filter so you can only read what’s interesting to you and ignore the rest.

For the five years prior to my relocation back to Germany, I’ve been working as a software engineer at Apple, where I had the exciting opportunity to help build some of the software that I personally use on a daily base and learn so much about software development in general and the Apple ecosystem in particular. Most importantly though I got to work alongside very kind, passionate and brilliant folks - many of which I have the honor to call my friends today. If one of you is reading this, I really miss y’all 🥲

The Road Ahead

After moving back to Europe, I decided my next step will be working as an “independent iOS & macOS developer” doing a mix of freelance work and my own app projects. So far this has been a lot of fun and quite a wild ride to say the least. Starting a business for the first time can be challenging, starting one in Germany (where we love bureaucracy) even more so, and doing this while still dealing with the aftermath of a transatlantic relocation with all that it entails? Well, let’s say, there’s been a bit of “admin overhead” going on over the last half year and I cannot wait until the dust has fully settled so I can really get into my groove and have a bit of a “routine” again for a change 🙃

I will say though that I have been spending more and more time doing the things I love (building cool stuff) lately, with this new website being one of them! Expect more to come going forward; in particular, I am hoping to launch a beta test for my first app Zenitizer on TestFlight soon. Stay tuned for Appdates.

Why the Radio Silence?

You might be asking why it took me such a long time to write a blog post? Well, “it’s complicated” and ultimately due to a number of factors, but in a nutshell mostly because Apple had fairly strict policies around any kind of public speaking or publishing of content related to Apple itself or “The Tech Industry” and while there was not a blanket ban on blogging/social media, I definitely would’ve needed to be careful about what I write online and how it’s worded so I decided to play it safe and just not post anything for a while.

About This Website

If you are reading this, it means I have finally published my redesigned website 🎉 As I pointed out above, I’ll be blogging about a number of topics and, of course, this will be the primary channel to learn about My Apps and get any Appdates about them.

Feel free to reach out (via Email, Twitter, Mastodon, or LinkedIn) if you have any thoughts or questions, whatsoever. And please let me know if there are particular topics you would like me to blog about. I will certainly follow up with a more technical post about the design and architecture of this website in the coming weeks.

For the curious and impatient: I’m still using a static site generator but I switched to Hugo in the meantime. This time, I completely designed and implemented the theme myself using the lightweight and highly flexible CSS framework Bulma which has been a joy to use.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here… Coffee’s empty and the sun is up, so I’ll stop writing for now.

Until next time ☕️ ☀️

“A view of our balcony in our Bonn apartment where I’m watching the sunrise and writing my first blog post for the new website. There’s a cup of freshly brewed espresso next to my Laptop.”