Nguyen Long

Quick Facts

  • First prize in the inaugural BlackBerry® App Challenge, Vietnam, 2012
  • Built SayIt, a voice recognition app, using the BlackBerry® Java® Plug-in for Eclipse®
  • Leveraged BlackBerry® WebWorks™ APIs to help build a unit conversion app
  • More than 50,000 combined downloads on 17 BlackBerry apps since September 2011
  • First app for BlackBerry PlayBook, Handy Scanner, became top two paid app of the week

BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Nguyen Long

Nguyen Long is proof that a full-time student can make full-time money developing for the BlackBerry platform. Long, a student at Bach Khoa University in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, has already developed seventeen BlackBerry applications, including SayIt, an acclaimed voice recognition and assistance app. Long has been able to leverage his past Java experience by using the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse and recently started working with BlackBerry WebWorks and HTML5, tools that he believes will help push his apps even further.

Long talked to us about his success developing for Research in Motion Limited (RIM®), the tools he uses and why he believes the Vietnamese BlackBerry developer community is growing stronger each day.

Q: How did you get started with developing for the BlackBerry platform?

Long: First, I have to admit that app development is a hobby for me. Being a full-time university student this is something I enjoy doing on the nights I'm not studying.

Anyway, the first smartphone I bought a few years back was a BlackBerry. At the time, I was also taking Java development courses in university and was immediately interested in how I could apply my skills to my BlackBerry smartphone since its OS was Java based as well.

I went online and discovered the downloadable BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse on RIM's developer website. I found the tools very straightforward and there was a large variety of useful Java API's that allowed me to create my apps in a short amount of time. For example, SayIt, which won the BlackBerry App Challenge that took place in Vietnam in early 2012, took me less than a month to build using many of the Java tools provided.

Q: Are you using any other developer tools?

Long: Besides Java, I work with Java Micro Edition (JME) for most all of my apps. JME tools actually helped me create my own speech recognition API's for SayIt. I've also just recently started to develop with BlackBerry WebWorks and HTML5, which have been very simple. In less than a week I was able to understand BlackBerry WebWorks enough to create a simple unit conversion app.

I'm really interested in using BlackBerry WebWorks and HTML5 to build a version of the SayIt app on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. While I'm still learning the differences in what API's are available for BlackBerry WebWorks compared to the BlackBerry Java SDK's that I typically work with, the RIM development team in Singapore has been fantastic in answering any questions I have.

Q: What are some other impressions you have developing for the BlackBerry platform?

Long: Overall, developing for the BlackBerry platform has been very profitable for me. BlackBerry users recognize quality applications and in my experience have been more willing to pay for applications than other platforms.

Also, I have definitely benefited from the help I've received from the RIM developer team along with the BlackBerry World team. They have provided me with a ton of great advice on how to better develop and distribute my apps. In my experience, this level of commitment is something you just don't see with other platforms.

Q: Can you tell us about the developer community in Vietnam?

Long: I'm a member of the RIM-sponsored developer community here in Vietnam. Although the community is relatively small, it's been really growing fast, and as of late, I've noticed a lot of Web developers and HTML5 developers joining. It seems they are very interested in creating apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Besides myself, I know of a few Vietnamese developers that are starting to have a lot of success as well developing for the BlackBerry platform. It's definitely going in the right direction.


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