‘Do­ing some­thing you love’

Queens County na­tive cre­ates Apollo app to make Red­dit mo­bile-friendly

The Queens County Advance - - COMMUNITY - BY AETHNE HINCH­LIFFE

Chris­tian Selig spends his days work­ing on Apollo, but the Liver­pool Re­gional High School grad­u­ate isn’t study­ing Greek mythol­ogy or aero­nau­tics.

Apollo is an IOS app Selig cre­ated for Red­dit - a “source for what’s new and pop­u­lar on the In­ter­net,” ac­cord­ing to the Red­dit help site that was re­leased Oct. 23.

“I wanted to cre­ate the best ex­pe­ri­ence for con­sum­ing that con­tent on your iphone,” Selig ex­plained about his re­cently launched app.

Selig said he’s been read­ing Red­dit for a long time. While it worked well on lap­top and desk­top com­put­ers, the user ex­pe­ri­ence wasn’t great on phones, he said. Walk­ing home from class one day, he thought it might not be dif­fi­cult to cre­ate some­thing that would work well on a phone.

“De­sign work is prob­a­bly the hard­est part, and it’s what I would say what sep­a­rates a good app from a medi­ocre one,” said Selig from his par­ents’ house in Liver­pool.

Cre­at­ing an app takes a lot of prep work, said the Halifax res­i­dent. Apollo took about three years of work be­fore it was re­leased. Selig started that work af­ter re­turn­ing from Cu­per­tino, Cal­i­for­nia, where he’d done an in­tern­ship with Ap­ple.

“I had cre­ated an app the pre­vi­ous sum­mer that did OK, and I kind of wanted to take an­other swing at some­thing else,” he said.

The app Selig ini­tially cre­ated is called Syl­la­ble and is a speedread­ing app for iphone. The app’s web­site de­scribes it as be­ing built to “make it re­ally sim­ple to learn to read faster.”

Selig also re­al­ized if he was in­ter­ested in us­ing an app like Apollo, there would prob­a­bly be oth­ers in­ter­ested as well.

The start

“I got an iphone early in high school, and I was just re­ally en­am­ored by the de­vice. I thought it was pretty cool, and then they made it so you could de­velop apps for it,” said Selig about how he be­gan to de­velop an in­ter­est in com­puter sci­ence.

He wanted to see how dif­fi­cult it would be to cre­ate an app, and in Grade 10 he bought a book about Ob­jec­tive-c. That’s the pro­gram­ming lan­guage for IOS de­vel­op­ment, ex­plained Selig.

He hoped the sub­ject would in­ter­est him, and it did. Fol­low­ing high school, Selig stud­ied com­puter sci­ence at Dal­housie Univer­sity. He grad­u­ated in 2015. What’s next?

Selig’s job with Apollo is far from over.

He said peo­ple have pro­vided lots of feed­back on how the app could be im­proved, so that’s what Selig will be do­ing next. He’ll be fo­cus­ing on con­tin­u­ing to de­velop and work with Apollo.

Selig rec­om­mends the field of com­puter sci­ence to any­one in­ter­ested in com­put­ers.

“If there’s any­thing I’ve learned in the few years, it’s that there’s a lot of ad­van­tage in do­ing some­thing you love,” he said.

Sheena Mas­son will be one of a few lo­cal au­thors read­ing an ex­cerpt from her short story as part of a book launch set to take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at Lane’s Pri­va­teer Inn.

Sound­ings is a col­lec­tion of 16 South Shore short sto­ries. Three of the au­thors who con­trib­uted to the an­thol­ogy are from Liver­pool.

Pat Thomas, the book’s edi­tor and pub­lisher, pitched the idea for the an­thol­ogy to Awe­some Foun­da­tion South Shore.

“I never ex­pected to win that pitch and come away with the money,” she said.

That was a year ago.

“I mulled over ex­actly how I was go­ing to do it for about two months un­til just af­ter Christ­mas last year, and then I put out a call for sub­mis­sions through the Writ­ers’ Fed­er­a­tions,” said Thomas.

Ad­di­tion­ally, she put posters up as nearby as Shel­burne and as far away as Peggy’s Cove. She got a num­ber of sub­mis­sions and chose the 10 she thought were strong­est or fit the scope of the an­thol­ogy best.

“In the end, I also in­vited six other peo­ple that I knew as writ­ers to also con­sider send­ing in short sto­ries,” she said.

Thomas has been a full-time edi­tor for 12 years.

“Mostly deal­ing with se­ries au­thors – so best­selling au­thors from Aus­tralia, the States, Canada and Bri­tain,” she said.

Mas­son, a clerk at the Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary, will read from her story called Fooled by Felix about a pad­dling ad­ven­ture to the La­have Is­lands. Mas­son wrote a se­ries of sto­ries about pad­dling on the South Shore and picked her favourite from that se­ries for the col­lec­tion.

Mas­son said work­ing on her story with Thomas re­ally helped to im­prove the piece.

Af­ter the read­ing, there will be a ques­tion and an­swer pe­riod, a book sign­ing and re­fresh­ments. Peo­ple can buy books that evening at Lane’s. Fol­low­ing the launch, books will be avail­able in Queens County at Lane’s and in the gift shop at White Point Beach Re­sort.

SUBMITTED

Nate Kil­lam and Kiefer Huskins, who play for the Western Hur­ri­canes, helped with the Queens County Mi­nor Hockey Atoms dur­ing de­vel­op­ment week at Queens Place Emera Cen­tre.

AETHNE HINCH­LIFFE/QUEENS AD­VANCE

Chris­tian Selig, a grad­u­ate of Liver­pool Re­gional High School, cre­ated an IOS app that was re­leased Oct. 23.

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