Soemarko Ridwan

iOS & Web Developer ⟡ Coffee Addict ⟡ Scuba Diver



I’m an iOS developer, a full stack web developer, a coffee enthusiast, a scuba diver, and very recently a husband, hopefully also a father in the near future. I love being all of those above, and I made a very conscious decision to avoid managerial role awhile back. I’d rather manage codes than people. And I’d still code regardless of what my day to day task is.


I have been programming since I was very young. My very first “big” programming project that’s released to others was a customized mIRC client riddled with my own and other scripts that I pulled from different client. It was hosted at a Geocities site.

I have a Computer Science degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2006, at which I graduated with distinction. From there I landed one corporate job working with PHP (Joomla to be specific). After that, I prefers smaller office with cultures instead of politics. Still working on web stack, and just like any web developer out there, I also work on web side jobs for local shops and bars.

Nowadays, I focus mostly on iOS app development, even though I’m experienced in most open source full stack development (except for Android). I taught myself iOS since 2009 (iOS 4 on iPhone 3GS). Started it by just tinkering with PhoneGap, which was slow and had to use jQuery mobile as the “UIKit”. It has no native feels to it. Also, the whole app breaks whenever Apple push an update to iOS or Xcode.

Then I moved on to Titanium Appcelerator which is a native app that runs on top of a custom JavaScript framework (very similar to React Native in a way — without the reactive programming part). I actually released an app with appcelerator. It was good, until I hit a wall, where there was a runtime bug that I cannot understand from the logs in the Xcode. I did all the routines, google for the bug, ask for help both in the forum and StackOverflow, no go. There was an update I needed to push, and I literally have no recourse. The bug was somewhere within Appcelerator, and there was nothing I can do about it.

At this point, I really enjoy programming for the iPhone. I decided to learn Objective C. Got myself a book (back then it was still Objective C, 2nd edition IIRC). Took me like a week of learning until I’m good enough to read answers and ask question on StackOverflow. And the good thing about Appcelerator is that they don’t really change the programming paradigm, you still create a delegate function to create a table view row for example, so it was just another week to port from Appcelelator to truly native. This was while I was still working full time at D2P ( — now dead).

Here we are in 2019, I’m back in Indonesia, and all of my new projects are 100% Swift. Jumping from Objective C to Swift was quite similar with going from Appcelerator to Objective C, in that the paradigm are the same (they are still UIKit), so it’s like 90% there with the exception of some of the lower level stuffs. ez pz.


I return to Jakarta, Indonesia in 2012 after spending a decade in Melbourne, Australia for uni and I worked there for awhile. The original idea of returning to Indonesia was opening a coffee with a friend, after a decade in the coffee capital of the world, I have become a coffee snob. It is nearly impossible to find a bad coffee in Melbourne, I may find some shops that are not to my taste, but I wouldn’t say that they served terrible coffee.

The cafe idea fell apart mostly because we had completely different concept of the cafe we wanted to open. My ideal was something like Patricia, that’s super simple, only had 3 menu, and it’s literally just a kitchen with no seats. His was a generic cafe, even looked at franchising existing shops as options.

Since then, I teach myself how to roast coffee. And become a home roaster, and have since heavily modified my Behmor. That was a fun medium sized project after teaching myself Arduino. Again, I will incorporate codes to wherever my current focus / hobby is. Until today, becoming a roaster is still a dream.

Not long after that, in 2015, I join a startup incubator (Allega Tunas Karsa — now defunct) as technical leader. I met a girl there, married her in the first December of 2018. She’s the one who woken up the adventure side of me. Ever since we’re together, I’ve travelled a lot more. And we got our scuba Open Water card together for funsies, and it open up a lot more travel options for us. But I got bit hard, I got super serious at diving. And at this moment I’m seriously considering taking tech diving classes (like for deco dives, or penetrating caves and wrecks).

So there, the not-so-short story about me. I’m available for hire if you have start-up ideas and in need of technical help, drop me a line. Heck, contact me for what ever, talk tech, or coffee, or scuba, or travel. But I don’t really have much to talk about outside of those topics.