Hi, I’m Reinder. I help people play with code.

Some of my work and projects:

  • I have more than 10 years of experience as a professional software developer, and I’ve been coding for more than half my life. I’ve studied media technology and user interaction design at Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • In 2007 I started as a freelance web developer, building websites for Dutch brands like KWF Kankerbestrijding, Bayer and AFAS.
  • In 2009 I started working on my first professional app, a barcode scanner, and since then I’ve built more than 25 apps for iOS, Android and the mobile web, for clients such as Tommy Hilfiger, Philips and SBS Broadcasting.
  • In 2010 I built my first indie app, a dating app called Match Around, that we pitched successfully to Heineken. It got picked up at summer festivals, where it brought people together.
  • In 2011 I built another indie app, a creative collaboration tool called Sporous, and enrolled in a business incubator called UtrechtInc. I learned the practices of lean validation, networking, and business development.
  • In 2014 I started LearnAppMaking.com to teach app development and marketing to app developers, and to help them create better, more profitable apps.
  • In 2017 I started working on Crest, a goal planning and journaling app. I write about its development and insights here on LearnAppMaking.com.
  • I taught a class called “ActionScript & Phidgets” at Hogeschool Utrecht, and I’ve given guest lectures, workshops and courses at CocoaHeads, Design by Fire, Willem de Kooning Academy, Technoport, and various meetups.
  • Over the years I’ve worked mostly remotely, coding and writing in coffee shops in Bangkok, Saigon, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Oslo, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York, Berlin. I’m currently working from my home office in Utrecht.
  • I religiously wear two different socks every single day. I meditate and practice Krav Maga. I like espresso and AeroPress coffee. My laptop is a 13” MacBook Pro from 2018.

Check out some of the apps I built:

How I Became A Developer

At 11 years old, the first computer program I wrote was a fake virus in BASIC. It would first tell you that the computer was infected, that it had deleted everything on the disk, and then asked you jokingly for your shoe size.

I showed it to my father, who thought it was real, and told me to fix it myself. It was then that I discovered the value of solving problems. The fake virus quickly made way for text-based games, little Visual Basic programs, a Wolfenstein 3D mod, and later HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript.

Even though entrepreneurship is in my DNA, it took me a while to figure out that solving someone else’s problem is worth money.

A classmate gave me $10 to build a website for him, an assignment that he had gotten but couldn’t complete. I should have asked twice that, but value-based pricing isn’t something I learned until much later.

I turned 18, got a copy of Paul Arden’s “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be”, and figured out what ambitions I had in life. I wanted to make an impact on the world by solving problems for people.

Then came the iPhone, the App Store, and I traded the mobile web for mobile apps in 2009. Demand was high, so I dove in as a freelancer for hire.

That’s how I became a software developer.

Why I Became A Teacher

I’ve never had a “real” job in my life, but as a teenager I worked in a department store close to my hometown. It was hard, boring work, but the one thing I liked about it were the people that came into the store.

I enjoy connecting with people, because each and every one of them has a different story. Once you’ve made that connection, taken the time to listen to someone, you get so much back in return.

As a freelance developer I often faced the cold hard reality of business. Problems needed solving, and I got hired to do just that. After a while, building the same kinds of apps gets boring.

Even though my clients lauded my communication skills, open-mindedness and empathic posture, my freelance work lacked what I so enjoyed earlier in life: real people and their stories.

So, I took a trip to Thailand, far away from home, and got together with a bunch of digital nomads. It was there, in December 2013, that I registered the learnappmaking.com domain and opened for business. Here, I said, you can learn how to code iOS apps.

And people came! Helping people become what they aspire to be, their greatest story, is what I love to do. That’s why I became a teacher.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs, 1997