Derek Lakin

Senior Engineering Manager for GroupMe Clients

I'm an extremely talented, highly motivated and productive user experience software craftsman and I'm passionate about rich client applications and technology.

I work for Microsoft on GroupMe as the Engineering Manager for all client development including Android, iOS, Windows and Web. During my time at Microsoft, I have also worked on Skype Qik for Windows Phone as a Senior Development Lead and similar roles in both Skype for Windows Phone and Skype for Xbox One. I have previously worked on Windows Phone 7/8, Silverlight, HTML5, and WPF client experiences. I've also co-written training courses on client technologies such as WPF and Silverlight for Microsoft product groups and Microsoft Learning.

I've been writing desktop and web-based client applications using the Microsoft technology stack for over a decade and have grown into a talented developer with the ability to deliver high quality visual and interactive experiences. I'm a self-starter with the ability to take multiple projects from start to finish, so if you'd like to find out more about me or if there's anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

I write about general development stuff (mostly Windows 10 Mobile) on my blog and post general stuff that I find interesting on my tumblr blog (mostly Xbox-/technology-related and photos).

My Apps

GroupMe

GroupMe

GroupMe is for all the groups in your life.

Free group messaging It's like a private chat room for your small group. Have as many as you want, and it's always free. Now, you can coordinate with coworkers, organize a game night, and keep in touch with family all in the same place.

Works on every device With native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, you can chat with your friends from your phone on the go, on your computer at the office, and on your tablet from the couch.

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Skype Qik

Skype Qik

The first app from Skype since Skype!

The new mobile messenger for swapping videos with groups of friends.

Capture the moment. Share the laughs Send something that’s sure to make your friends laugh. All with one-touch record and sharing. Simply shoot it on your mobile and send a message to your friends.

Great for groups Create groups easily from the contacts on your phone, and send messages to them privately. Enjoy watching your chat movie grow as more people respond.

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Skype

Skype

I was fortunate enough to be offered a position on the Skype for Windows Phone team based in Stockholm, where I quickly worked my way up to the position of Lead Developer. I worked on all the v2.x (Windows Phone 8) releases up to and including 2.10. This was my first position within Microsoft/Skype and I've gone from strength-to-strength every since.

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Medicine Manager

Medicine Manager

Never forget which medication to take and when with Medicine Manager. Let your phone remind you when it’s time to take your meds, so you can concentrate on living your life.

This was the first (and so far only!) paid for app that I’ve created, though the trial version is fully functional, but shows in-app adverts.

Features include:

  • Add multiple medications.
  • Add different schedules for the same medication, which is great if you’re on an increasing or decreasing dose.
  • Use your phone to remind you what to take and what dose.
  • Turn individual reminders off if you don’t need them.
  • Add a photo to help you pick the right medication.
  • User interface localisation for German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Thai, Indonesian, and Turkish.

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Car Finder

Car Finder

Have you ever forgotten where in the car park you left your car? Or even completely forgotten where you left the car? Then Car Finder is the app for you!

I have done a new version of this app for Windows Phone 8 called Car Reminder.

Features include:

  • Map of your current location showing where you left your car.
  • Take a photo and notes to show you where you left your car.
  • Address resolution to help you get back to your car.
  • Display of your distance from your car.
  • Car marker includes the licence plate (handy if you have a hire car).
  • Parking ticket reminders.
  • Pin your ticket reminder to the Start screen as a live tile.
  • User interface localisation for French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish.

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Car Reminder

Car Reminder

After a break while I was working on Skype for Windows Phone, I kicked off my return to personal application development to re-create Car Finder for Windows Phone 8 using the new Nokia-based Map APIs. Car Reminder has the most used features of Car Finder and a completely new user experience that addresses the usability issues that users of Car Finder raised.

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Visual Diary

Visual Diary

Visual Diary is my latest Windows Phone 8 app and the aim was to bring diaries back as a place to keep your private thoughts (not everyone wants to blog their intimate feelings to the world!), but to bring that concept up to date with photos taken on your Windows Phone. Visual Diary uses the Nokia Imaging SDK to enable the user to add filters and effects to the photos in their diary entries.

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Markdown Notepad

Markdown Notepad

A notepad app that uses the Markdown format, like Visual Diary. So, you get great rich notes using a simple text-based format.

Markdown Notepad enables users to backup their notes to the cloud using the Buddy service. Having proved the concept here, I intended to roll out the same features to other apps, especially Visual Diary.

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