DevFace – Roger Leblanc from Canada (English)


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Hi, my name is Roger Leblanc, I’m 33 years old and I live in Canada. I bought my first BlackBerry device on Z10 launch day and never looked back since, I’m totally in love with the hub and the flow, like how you can invoke a card from anywhere in the OS to do something while never really leaving the app you were in. This is key for productivity!

I’ve started coding last year, when I wanted to add some new features to my Pebble smartwatch. First, I began playing with C language to make a new watchface for the smartwatch, which came out nicely, it’s still my day-to-day watchface until this day. Then, I had an app idea that involves both my BlackBerry device and Pebble smartwatch, so I started to look at Cascades samples to try to learn coding by myself. After a few months, my first BB10 app was born, Watch2Watch, an instant messaging app for Pebble users that uses the Pebble to send precanned messages or the device to write personalized messages.
I really liked my experience and decided to code a few Pebble related apps, and then began to do standard apps too. While learning Cascades, I’ve spent a lot of time reading BlackBerry sample codes that they provide for developers that want to learn some new stuff, but one thing was bugging me : those sample apps doesn’t always focus on one thing only, they build the sample app so it does stuff beyond what you were looking for. Let’s say you want to learn how to initiate a call in Cascades, you look at ‘Call A Pizza’ sample code. But this sample app also use animations, ListView, Custom Component, etc., and a lot of those things are hard to understand when you start coding. So I decided to write some sample apps too, but I try to focus on the main thing that my app is showing, so if it’s an app showing how to invoke an email card, the app will focus on that thing only. That way, it’s easier for new developers to learn how to add that particular feature to their existing app.
I try to be involved as much as possible in the BlackBerry developer community, by publishing sample code, writing blog posts on Cascades development, offering help and support to other devs on BBM, CrackBerry developer forums, BlackBerry developer support forums or StackOverflow forums.
Writing BlackBerry apps is an hobby for me, I do it part-time, mostly during evenings and weekends. Having 2 young kids at home, it’s hard to find quality time to code, that’s why I rely on a good planification of the work that needs to be done for completing the app, I’ll usually write a lot of stuff and logic on paper way before starting any work on the computer. I find it easier and faster to build an app if all the logic and details have been written on paper first, and most of the time, I can spot problems before starting to code and fixing it is easier on paper than on computer. Fixing a problem on computer sometimes means patching more than fixing, because it’s cumbersome to rewrite the whole app to fix something that should have been done differently in the beginning.
If you want to learn more about my apps or my sample codes, you can follow one of those links :
BlackBerry World  :
Blog :
GitHub :
Hope to see you coding a new app soon!
Roger Leblanc
#VinaBerry
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