Developer Interview: Red Badger

This weekend we have the delight in publishing an interview with Cain Ullah from Red Badger, the team behind Birdsong. Being among the top rated social apps on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, Birdsong is a simple, quick and good looking Twitter client. Cain quickly runs us through how focus and deployment is everything and how he views WP7.

Fly on past the break for the interview. 

Tell us about yourselves and how you all got into software development.

Of the 3 founders, 2 have worked as developers on large scale software developments for tens of years – it’s always been our passion to solve challenging problems in creative ways.

How did Red Badger come around?

We’ve all been in the industry for years and spent a lot of time talking about how we think things should be done, so thought it was time to stop talking about it and do it.

Birdsong is rated among the best social apps on WP7, what's your secret?

Good UX and making sure that if we’re going to do something – we do it right. Our focus is on quality and style rather than cramming in as many features as possible.

What’s next for Birdsong in future versions?

We’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves for Mango... but you’ll have to wait a little while long for the low down on that.

Cheeky question, what phones/devices do you all use?

Between the 3 founders of Red Badger we have 2 HTC Trophy’s, a Samsung Omnia and a HTC HD7. The HD7 is not so popular :)

What do you guys think of Microsoft's platform (from a user perspective) and how do you compare it to competitors?

For a v1 it’s pretty impressive and it’s refreshing that they’ve gone their own way with the UX rather than copying Apple et al. That said, it has a way to go before it’s at the same level of performance and stability as the iPhone. Hopefully Mango will be a huge push in that direction.

How is the development process on WP7?

Pretty great, we’re .Net dev’s with a lot of Silverlight experience and so for the most part bringing our engineering practices to the platform is straight forward. There are a few things that could be better (the page navigation system, performance, no handler for the hardware search button etc) but on the whole, it’s very good and the emulator is great. Again, Mango looks to be bringing further improvements.

What other projects are you working on?

Red Badger is a full service digital consultancy, so Birdsong was a nice project for us to get up to speed with Windows Phone 7 and give us an excuse to try out Azure. Besides Birdsong we’re busy with a number of exciting and innovative client projects [that we can’t really talk about just yet!]

What advice would you give to other developers?

Plan more time to tweak performance than you had planned :)

Thank you for your time. Any closing words about WP7's future?

WP7 is a very promising start and the Nokia tie up could be killer. MS need to keep pushing the platform forward and iron out a few kinks – but Mango certainly seems moving things in the right direction.

There you have it guys, you can follow Red Badger on Twitter, download Birdsong (Zune link) from the Marketplace and find out more information about both the app and the company on their website.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.