How to hire me!

A rare moment away from my desk.

My name is Rick Strom, and I live and work in Santa Monica, California — a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier and the promenade.

I am a mobile developer, platform architect, and freelance CTO with over 20 years industry experience, and over 10 years experience developing for modern mobile devices (iOS and Android) and helping startups take their idea from concept to production.

I have degrees in Mathematics (B.S.) from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a graduate degree in Computer Science (M.S.) from CSULA, and even started work on a CS Ph.D. at UCLA before stopping to focus on my first company — a very large scale, highly scalable social network and media sharing company, which was growing too fast for me to run and continue my studies. My consultancy grew out of that original company, and I went on to successfully help many, many dozens of companies both small and large do what I did — build a technology company or product from the ground up.

While I have built software and led teams for companies like Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Accenture, CBC, Sonos, and many, many more, I also help small companies and startups — in fact, building apps from the prototype phase is what I am most passionate about!

Although I have built just about every type of app you can imagine, I am particularly experienced (and passionate) about social networking, social media, and media sharing platforms. If your app has users, and those users connect, communicate, and share with one another — well, now you’ve got my attention. This is the space I got my start in, where I’ve had the most success personally as an entrepreneur, and where I have the most experience — which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the popularity of these types of platforms since the beginning of the modern mobile era.

In terms of my technical skill set, the majority of my projects leverage my experience in iOS development, Android development, and server-side development (back-end platforms, web apps, and REST APIs). I have even built four very large scale games in Unity.

Specifically, I am a master of Objective-C/Swift for iOS, Java for Android, and Javascript for Node.js based technologies for the web — and that includes administration for several BaaS platforms like Google’s Firebase and (my personal preference) the open-source Parse Platform. On the web front-end, I find myself often working with Angular, although React is popping up more and more often.

By extension, I work quite a bit with MongoDB databases and deploy almost every project on AWS services — typically a combination of EC2 or ElasticBeanstalk instances serving Node apps and S3 for storage.

But languages and technologies are just tools, after all, and I am a generalist! I’ve been working in C and C-style languages (Objective-C, C++, Java) for over 20 years. Indeed, my favorite language is C# — although outside of the game projects I work on in Unity, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to use it.

The point is, there are a lot of technologies out there, and I’ve used most of them over my career. And the first thing you need to do before setting out to develop quality software is figure out what you’re going to use. And that’s why its extremely helpful to have someone on your team who has used many, many technologies and knows the up- and down-sides of each.

It’s absolutely crucial that any new company looking to launch a serious mobile product have an experienced  technologist on the team as soon as possible — not only so that you have someone to start building out your technology, but also so you have someone to help guide you as you make the critical decisions that will impact the future of your company.

If you are looking to hire a freelance developer, need an app built, or are in need of my consulting services as technical strategist, pro tem CTO or platform architect, you can contact me through this site.

If you are in need of a full team, you can engage my consultancy, Glowdot Productions, Inc. — through Glowdot, I am able to bring up a team as large as 15 — including developers (iOS, Android, web and desktop/tools), project managers, UI/UX specialists, graphic designers, and even game industry talent if you are building a game: voice actors, sound designers, character artists, animators and other game creatives.

Be sure to check out my partial portfolio here, and contact me if you have any questions.

Let’s build something incredible together!

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