Today, we crossed 500,000 (half-a-million) downloads for our kids apps in total. I am overjoyed with crossing yet another milestone. I thought I’d be celebrating. I thought I’d be writing a blog post with pictures of fireworks. But, oddly enough, I feel more like reflecting and remembering the humble beginning. I counted down the days to half-a-million since the start of the month. Today, I am starting a count up – to 1 million.
It’s surprising to me that the kids apps should reach half-a-million downloads, when none of the websites I built did. When I first started on these apps, I resisted being associated with building kids apps. I was a serious server-side programmer. I should deal with large-scale distributed systems, not kids stuff. If it wasn’t for my daughter loving and asking more of a little hacky game I built for her, I never would’ve started building kids apps.
Going with the flow
I built and published Kindergarten Math. Within days I received great reviews & encouragement from parents of kids. It was more successful for me, personally, than anything I had done before. I had always been told – keep your work and home life separate. No-one ever said that the things I know and learnt as a mother – define who I am as much as software engineering does. By denying them, I was putting myself at a disadvantage. My kids taught me how to explain things to them. Once I recognized that my talent lay not just in building things, but, in explaining how to build them, I started teaching programming at University of Washington as well. With GDI coming to Seattle, I hope to get more chances to teach, and learn.
Doing what I was meant to do
All my work life, I hopped from job to job, always thinking that the next one is where I’ll reach my potential. I had been sprinting from one job to another to get to the end. In a company, if you are good at something, they just want you to keep doing that again and again. I got bored quickly of doing the same thing. But now, building kids apps with my daughters – I feel its something I can do for the rest of my life. I can still keep learning, keep challenging myself to do better – there’s no-one to tell me not to. I can also slow down when I need to. I can win this marathon. I am loving what I am doing – thanks to the kids and a great business partner. Perhaps, this is what I was meant to do.