More About Me

Hello! My name is Daniel Kennett, and this is my website.

Before we get started, here’s some tidbits about me to break the ice:

  • I program things for a living and for fun. Normally it’s on Apple platforms, but I’ve been known to dabble in C#. You can find my public code over on GitHub, and a list of the apps I’ve made on the Apps page of this site.

  • I love cars, and firmly subscribe to a few automotive beliefs:

    • The one true way is an engine in the front, drive at the back and a nice manual gearbox in between. Mid-engined is also acceptable.

    • The correct number of trackdays per year is between two and four.

    • A happy car is a customised car. Some photos of my work to make my MX-5 better suited to the track can be found on 500px.com.

  • I really enjoy photography. I started with a fully manual Olympus OM-1 when I was a child, and currently wield a Canon SLR and an Olympus Micro Four-Thirds camera, with assorted lenses for both. You can find some of my photography on 500px.com.

  • I’m still coming to terms with the fact that while I still tell people my favourite band is Counting Crows, I really enjoy Taylor Swift’s music.

  • The first album I ever bought was the self-titled B*Witched. Now that’s public, it can’t be used to bribe me — sorry!

  • When asked to describe me in one sentence, my friend Tim replied:
    “Nerdy. Doesn’t eat his vegetables.”

Education

I grew up in a tiny hamlet called Ogston in Derbyshire, England. The computing education in my local schools pretty much stopped at word processing, but one day when I was about 10 years old, I found a Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2A at a local car boot sale. It was already years out-of-date, but I loved typing in BASIC from the magazines and books that came with it. I was hooked!

I started teaching myself “real” programming, and after a few false starts with Java I figured out REALbasic and started releasing my own little apps for Mac OS 9, including a very basic word processor and a couple of remote controls for the media players of the time.


Writer, my first “real” application, was released in 2002.

The first formal computing education I received was at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England. In my final year, I learned Objective-C by writing an application that combined video and telemetry data recorded from a car, providing a live canvas to build graphical displays of the data.


A screenshot of Telemetry Sync, my final year project at University.

During the project, I learned a lot about Objective-C programming, as well as video encoding with QuickTime. The application had a live canvas that you could edit while the video was playing, which I’m still pretty proud about considering this was before the days of Core Animation.

While the project was very educational and I of course took it seriously, it did provide a wonderful excuse to go and play on some closed courses - all in the name of data collection, of course.


This photo was published in a magazine, erroneously crediting me as the photographer despite the fact I was driving (flying?) the car.

I graduated university in 2007 with a First Class degree in Computer Science.

KennettNet Software Limited

Right out of university I started an indie business selling my own software for Mac and Windows. The business was successful for several years, and at its peak employed four people.

Our main product was an application called Music Rescue that pulled music and playlists back from iPods to a computer, but we had a few other little products too.


Some of KennettNet’s applications: Music Rescue, GeoCachr, GPS Logger and Clarus.

Ultimately, KennettNet failed because I tried to expand our product line too much after our core product was successful, spreading our resources too thinly. In 2010 the company was effectively dead, and it was wound up in 2012.

Sweden

In 2010, I moved to Sweden with my fiancée, deciding that we should do such a thing while we were young and could move geographically without affecting our work too much. The original plan was to stay for eighteen months, but we’re still here over four years later!


Trying to learn Swedish.

Spotify

In February 2011, I started working at Spotify in Stockholm, Sweden. I started work as a Mac OS X developer on their desktop client, before moving to Mac OS X and iOS frameworks for a few years. Most recently, I moved to the iOS client, concentrating on integrating the Spotify experience into cars.

Notable public-facing achievements include, in rough chronological order:

  • Significant early work on the Spotify Apps platform, a HTML and Javascript-based platform that allowed HTML applications to run inside the Spotify desktop client with a bridge to the C++ core of the application. This platform eventually went on to power Spotify’s own UI, replacing all of their older C++-based UI.

  • Taking part in the After Work Gaming League, a friendly Starcraft II tournament between Swedish companies. I didn’t do very well.

  • Writing and maintaining CocoaLibSpotify, a full-featured Spotify SDK for Mac OS X and iOS, allowing developers to write applications that include Spotify functionality.

  • Writing a significant portion of the Spotify iOS SDK, a more lightweight Spotify SDK for iOS developers.

  • Integrating Spotify into Ford vehicles using the Ford SYNC AppLink system.

  • Integrating Spotify with CarPlay, Apple’s “iOS in the car” solution. Spotify was a launch partner for CarPlay, and I travelled to California to work closely with Apple to get Spotify ready for CarPlay’s launch.

  • Integrating Spotify into BMW vehicles using the BMW ConnectedDrive system.

Cascable

In early 2015, I started a six month leave from Spotify to work on my own photography app, Cascable. Since it’s still early 2015 at time of writing, I don’t have much more to write here at the moment! However, you can follow along with my progress in my Secret Diary of a Side Project series of posts, the first of which can be found here.