Homey Community Forum

How community developers get awarded by Athom


#21

Im going to re-post what I wrote for the #developers channel on slack yesterday, I feel that it sums up how i feel.


Its hard to comment on the current discussion with out sounding like I’m ungrateful or I don’t understand that you have limited time/resources or a hundred people seen/unseen all screaming for different things.

But you are developer, so it should be pretty easy, treat us as you would like to be treated. No doubt you have used undocumented, incorrectly documented api, people throwing the “beta” word at you, being asked “why would you want to do that” rather then helping, public repos suddenly going private with out notice. being told “we want easy to use apps with a great ux” but then being restricted in what you can do to accomplish that. I get it your trying to help and stick to your goals. I believe that there is one really simple thing you can do to help us with out you feel like you are compromising … communicate.

Through documenting your apis, writing examples, giving us access to repos so we can see working examples, letting us know how to use the cool new features (new templates, if it’s not already to late), telling us what’s changed in the “beta” web api. Documenting that there is an example of a “homey-outh2app” module, or even the homey compose - which saves a bunch of time in some cases.

We are not the enemy here trying to create security holes in your product. We are instead spending our free time, testing and creating apps … for your product … for free. Help us create new and innovative apps that the community wants/needs.


A couple of things I would like to add,

a) I think that the community would also be happy to help with the documentation, and a possible solution would be a curated wiki by athom which community developers can contribute to.

b) I have a lot of respect for the dedication some people have to pay for a device, in order to do testing for Athom. But that’s not something I could personally convince my wife of.

c) My entire house is ‘down’ while get deviceGroups running on v2, but this won’t be happening again. Once v2 is stable I will be switching to the stable branch and remaining upon it. Taking a page from @robertklep book.


#22

Same as @2Be I am not a developer. Same as him, I would like to send best regards and respect to all developers that made Homey an almost complete HA controller.

Every now and them I have donated to some you devs for the incredible work. I will continue to do so for those that apps make my life easier.
But I can imagine the incentive you guys could have to carry on developing your apps if there would be an app store for devs only as @TedTolboom mentioned long time ago. I did also mentioned that somewhere on the old forum.
Look at @DaneedeKruyff post and learn that less than 1% of users of his apps actually donated something for his work. Pity. Yeah, all people are used with free stuff, aren’t they? The guy put so much work and passion on Heimdall and now he even puts more work to make it compatible with v2.
So go for the app store, I won’t buy and use an app if it would not work!
Love your free work? Because lots of people including Athom (and myself :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) love your free work devs, bring it on!

A highly discounted Homey for devs? Good one maybe for the tyre kickers type of devs, but no brainer to give a free one to those that really proven during the past 2 years in their efforts and those that gave this community awesome and useful apps. Even if a refurbished Homey, simply because this would pay in the long term for Athom as it would attract users to purchase its product. It won’t break the bank since there are only a bunch of you.

At the end of the day, we all do free work because either we are learning something or because we are passionate about something. But if you set no limits, then either you are rich, have no wife and kids, or live on Earth 2.
Love and respect you devs, very seriously!


Developer asking for donations from Homey users
#23

Hey, I got a T-shirt once :smile:

I started an app to learn JavaScript and that’s working out well.
Further I like that the app is used by other people and I really appreciate their thanks, issues, suggestions and donations. Thanks!

I was thinking Athom could help me with lending me a v2 Homey.
Or a way to rollback to v1.5.
But that’s their choice and the result is now that I’m holding back converting my app to V2.

But what really annoys me are the 650 issues that we’ve all reported and that are now archived. That’s just NOT how you appreciate feedback from volunteers.


#24

indeed a good and up to date docmentation of v2 would be a very big gift from athom , homeys i can buy , but i am feeling vey dependent on athom for documentation which isnt there yet, 5 apps of mine are waiting for some clues how te get them to work in v2, much more is changed beside the app settings , the only thing well communicated the last months, but 90 % of the rest is still in the shadow of the moon. It feels for me as 3 years ago developing my fisrst app for money, starting all over again at point zero.


#25

On the topic that you can buy your own Homey’s to develop and test: Off course. That goes for me as well. I think the majority of the community developers have a high education and an above average income. And every ‘hobby’ costs money and effort.

But the thing is, I started building apps for my own house and decided I wanted to share them with the rest of the world. I could just pull all my apps from the Homey appstore, and be happy with what I’m building for myself. But I get joy from the positive feedback from users, and even more joy on the occasional donations. I don’t need these donations in a financial way (they just make up for the electricity bill for the laptop I’m using to write apps), but it is awesome that someone likes my app so much that they are spending actual money for it. A great motivator!

Now especially with the move to Homey V2, I would need a second Homey to be able to test all my apps and make them compatible with V2. But I only have 1 Homey, and I also use that to automate my house. I’m not going to upgrade this Homey to V2 right now, since it would cause mayhem and result in divorce. I thought about buying a second development Homey, but who would benefit most of this? Not me, but Athom (and the Homey users). This just doesn’t feel right to me.

Yes, I can buy a second Homey. But by donating a refurbished development Homey, Athom would definitely show their commitment towards my efforts, and motivate me to continue developing apps and maintaining them.


#26

I agree entirely with this. I’m not buying a second Homey just to get a reasonable development setup. I don’t even know if I’ll still be using my current Homey next year: CES is around the corner, home automation is a hot subject, and there are lots of other companies working on home automation controllers.


#27

I am very greatful for all developers putting their time in adding (much needed!) functionality to Homey. Not being a developer myself, I try to help my fellow Homey users, by being active on the forum, offering my knowledge to other Homey users.

My suggestion to Athom (@Bram @Emile ) would be, to organize developer meetings on a regular basis. Athom should sponsor/host these. Pamper the developers: give them a nice dinner and some drinks. Express Athom’s appreciation. And allow the developers to voice suggestions and opinions. These are the people that make Homey bigger and better!

PS
Invite the moderators too!


#28

This would really be all I need. I’m doing some programming for my own situation (not worth publishing to the community) but the sole reason I’m still on 1.5 is that there is no way back. Sure, there is the recovery procedure, but that means a factory reset. And because there is no backup/restore function it means I need to reprogram everything from scratch. Unscrew all my build in switches to re-pair them, repair all flows, and loose all insights I’ve gathered so far.

And this is my biggest problem with Homey. Each and every other software solution I own has a backup/restore function, and it is actualy absurd Homey doesn’t.

I know this isn’t what this thread was about, but to me it is; I would have given 2.0 a chance (and see if my apps were 2.0 compatible) if I could go back without to much work. Others (developers) might be in the same situation.


#29

Lot of you developers have contacted Athom by now or talked with their employees. Do you have any feedback from them? Beeing official forum, Athom is noticeably absent from it… I know moderators often say “they are not here” but I’m sure they do monitor it or glance at it. Developers are most important part of any community/product and Homey as well because you guys make Homey worth. It’s ridiculous Athom is in their high castle working alone on their 2.0 and all of developers and users are locked outside. So, any feedback from Athom??


#30

Not yet, but the working week has only just started😉 @Bram @Emile


#31

There should be something more in it for the developers that offers a lot of spare time to make these great apps for us. And I think there is a lot of business models that could be integrated from athoms side, without nessecarily having athom pay for it.

I think the Homeseer community is paying for each app the want access to, and it’s actually not a bad idea if the price is right, it costs us a little more, but the quality is most likely getting better overall and the developers get something in return for their efforts.

Lets face it, If you can afford to buy a homey, then pay a ton of money to fill your house with smart devices in every corner, you can most likely pay a onetime fee to get access to an app as well.


#32

First and foremost, we do appreciate all of our community developers. Without you guys we would not be in the place we are currently at!

We do offer a discount on “development” Homeys. Once you are accepted in our AATP channel you can request a discount. With this discount you can order a Homey in our webshop, which you can use for the development of your apps.

You can apply for our AATP channel via this link: http://go.athom.com/aatp-apply

If you want to make developing for Homey a fulltime job, you can always apply for one of our open positions we currently offer: https://www.athom.com/en/careers/

We are currently working on overhauling the development documentations to help our community developers with the development of their apps (with examples and clear descriptions). Once this is done, all of our community developers will receive an e-mail explaining the new developer documentation.


#33

To be honest i think u should not just appreciate the volunteers (which made Homey this great so far) the way u guys do atm but u should coddle them in any way u can. A few bucks discount with the NDA restriction is not sufficient. This volunteers do whatever they can, whenever they can. Spending a lot of free time on Homey and willing to do more. I know there is something u can do for these guys. It’s just up to u to fill that need, one way or another. If u guys think the ( not working ) Homey display in the MediaMarkt is a good marketing thingie then plz go on with that. I say get rid of it and give the Homey from the MM to one of the volunteers and ask 100 euro for it. Without NDA. This volunteer is gonna feel appreciated and will continue his excellent work AND wil broadcast Homey/Athom in a way the MM can never reach. This is just an example ofc. Now this volunteers have to start crowdfunding to get enough cash to buy a Homey to make their great apps working on the next FW versions. Shame on u! There is also the risk of some volunteers quitting and give up because of the lack of support for their hard work. This u don’t want.
Communication is normal in my opinion, coddle ur best volunteers is a must to stay alive!


#34

Personaly, and i’am only a devolper off a nice “choco letter” in the early morning :wink:. I really think that any devolper who share there great skills by letting the community join and use there great apps, already would be pleased with getting a second homey for the “cost price”
And onestly dont know what the discount is that you offer them, buy i asume athom isnt gonna want profit from it. Just give them for the price that it cost to produce without any restrictions. HOMEY wouldnt be homey whats it is right now without those guys.

And at last we talking about creating apps but lets not forget the moderators here on the forum, they also spending there free time for making homey a succes.


#35

The average pay for a Software Tester is AU $25.57 per hour . The average pay for a Software Tester is AU $62,291 per year .
[Source Payscale.com]

A software developer’s average salary of $104,300 , is higher than most other occupations on our technology jobs list.

The response that Athom will consider a request for a discount when you buy an unneeded homey which can get bricked at any moment, in order to do more free testing and development for Athom is something I personally find ‘distasteful’ and it certainly does not sound appreciative to me. It is just bad optics.


Quick Stats

There are about 340 apps on the app store.

3 verified companies apps (0.88%)
6 BV affiliates apps (1.76%)
72 Athom apps (21.17%)
259 Community apps (76.17%)

There are only 120 developers upon the app store.
On average each developer makes 2.1 apps.
55 developers make 73.33% of the community apps.

If the top 50% of developers (60) were given a Homey for free - it would cost Athom $17,940 (RRP) or about the cost of paying the salary for one software engineer ave wage for two months.

If each of these developers then tested homey one hour a week, the RRP homey would a positive ROI after 3 months and homey would have received an 3,120 additional test hours or about $79,778 of free testing after one year.


Please note that these stats are just based off of the apps shown in the app store search and may not be 100% correct, also im flipping between Euro/AUD/USD, any monetary calculations are about as accurate as a development software estimate/deadline.


Free refurbished devices is as @TedTolboom said - a no brainier the return on investment is blatant and almost immediate.

But the one thing I am really starting to notice, especially with the ‘experimental’ release of v2 is problems with your SDLC.

When people are jumping on slack the day of the v2, experimental release to complain about community apps not working, then something somewhere has not been done correctly.

Alpha - AATP, not dissimilar to today.
Beta - (closed beta) Developers/Testers with a second Homey available, used to update apps and test for Athom.
Release Candidate - Available to anyone who opts in, general community early adapters.
Stable - General availability to hank and Ingrid.


Please i’m begging you, please use the industry standard names/terms, (ie beta) I understand you are trying to use ‘friendly’ names, but that’s happening is people are getting confused.


#36

The ‘special price my friend’ for Alpha testers is 222 euro. As said before, I will not invest in this. (I would pay Athom tot be able to do free testing for them and make apps compatible to their firmware changes)

If I feel like doing so I might start a begging topic and ask Homey users to donate enough for a Homey.


#37

On one side athom has to run a business too, and I think the balance between keeping the users/developers happy and the business finances can impact each other. If you compare it to Apple/Android, the app market is not all that different, ofcourse in a completely different scale, but how big and solid would you think their app market would be if there were absolutely nothing in it for the developers? I think it would be absolutely useless.

For an example, if @TedTolboom stopped his developement, removed the apps from the app store, or simply just stopped updating/maintaining his apps, it would impact my system to the point where I would consider other systems. I wouldnt be able to control any of my thermostats, AC, Xiaomi devices, door locks and so on.

And there is a lot more people like him that keeps throwing out solid and usefull apps for nothing in return, except for their own use basically.

So you guys at athom should lock yourself in a room until you figure out how to make the developers feel appreciated and get something in return, without making Athom financially unstable…


#38

Just to clarify, I have a job and I am not here looking to make money but you are right there are many many ways that i it could be incorporated.

This is a hobbie - and I will continue to wrestle with the rest API/webAPI/SDKAPI for so long as I get enjoyment from it.

I am going to make a broad generalisation, which maybe is incorrect and say, I think most the people who create apps are in the same situation.

There have been quite a few red flags recently in regards to the direction in which Athom is heading and where that will leave the developers.

But I really do enjoy my homey, and maybe all this talk about ensuring evil developers don’t ruin your homey by having to much access - or ninja hackers in your house spoofing your LAN IP addresses is just talk.

I have a 100% secure device which can’t be hacked and doesn’t crash already - it’s called a rock.


#39

Ofcourse this is a hobby for the developers that doesn’t work at Athom, and that is the way its supposed to be. But that does not make the system any less “fragile” to developers finding other hobbies. People change interest, hobbies or it gets boring because there is nothing in it for them, and it seems pretty clear to me that athom can not handle the workload of making every app by them selves, while maintaining the system itself.


#40

I agree with Rocodamelshe: 220 Euro for a second Homey and a NDA is a no go for me. I did not sign the NDA and therefore not in the AATP. I won’t discuss the reason why i did not. It is because of the good relation with the brands and other developers and for the current users i will try (best effort) to support users and new devices. But given the current situation i’m very limited (lack of docu and limited codingskills ) and thanks to other developers i can manage for now.