The App Store
by Craig Booker
After roughly three years of working at Apple, I could tell this would not last forever. The grind of retail and the numerous product launches had started to take its toll. My position as Conceierge at Apple no longer existed and I had explored several other positions within the store. One of these included being a team mentor which I thoroughly loved. Another was teaching about Apple products as well as repairing iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The App Store had launched and I became enthralled in the world of apps. Working in an Apple retail store one typically becomes known for something, some specialty. I soon became known for two things. One was for helping individuals with accessibility challenges. I began having people come into the store asking for me by name. My managers were gracious enough to allow me to spend loads of time investing in this community. It was an utter joy to see the look on the faces of customers who never knew such things were possible.
It was as if I had given these individuals a new hope where they believed none existed. I was blessed to connect with so many individuals on such an increadible level. These individuals yearned to interact with others in ways people without accessibility challenges can not appreaciate.
Another thing I became known for at Apple was for my knowledge of apps in the App Store. The week of July 10, 2008 was one of the most exciting weeks I can remember while working at Apple. I was hooked on apps and I could hardly keep up with what apps had been released in the App Store. Not only that, but my church, Life.Church, had released YouVersion, the Bible app, as one of the first apps in the App Store.
The Bible was now available to download for free on my iPhone. At the time, I knew this was big, but I had no idea how big it would prove to be. As I began this journey into apps, I began to see a new path for my life. I desperately wanted in on this world Apple called the App Store, but how? What do I do to get started? Could I one day work at YouVersion?
This year would prove to be a turning point of sorts for my life. I knew the field where I wanted to work, now I just needed to gain some experience. Since I worked at Apple, I was not allowed to publish any apps in the App Store. So I knew this would involve leaving Apple or working directly for Apple making apps.
In 2011, I began pursuing my dream of building apps by attending Full Sail University Online. I started as one of the few(there were approximately 16 of us) new Mobile Development Bachelor of Science students. The program was completely new to the university and one of the few in the United States at the time. I knew the road ahead would be tough, but it is what I did not know which would proven to derail my career in Mobile Development.