ROM Developer Spotlight: Jamie Gowans
ROM Developer Spotlight is a series that brings some attention to the people who do the work we know and enjoy. This edition’s guest is Jamie Gowans, a.k.a. Jamieg71, currently known for the P.A.C. man ROM for the HTC EVO 4G LTE.
For the readers who have no idea who you are, how would you introduce yourself?
I suppose I would say “Hi, my name’s Jamie and I’m a flashaholic,” probably with a wink and a smile…
What devices do you currently develop for?
Currently I am working on projects with the original HTC EVO 4G, as well as the EVO 4G LTE.
What do you do that’s entirely non-Android related that you really like?
I’ve always been a hands on person. I’ve been in construction for the better part of the last 20 years, and get a lot of enjoyment in being able to see my work around town. I also really enjoy the work I am doing currently which is installing hard surface flooring and tile as a subcontractor for Home Depot. I’m a people person so it’s great being able to directly interact with customers, and especially rewarding to create a happy customer by a job well done.
What ROMs, mods, and apps have you developed?
When I first started out I created the KWIQ series, so there were several of those, A GB AOSP rom based from CM, an ICS ROM based from Evervolv, and a really horrible attempt at a Sense 1.0.
Then ReLoaded happened, and it grew into something much bigger than I would of ever dreamed.
More recently, I have released the PACman ROM for the HTC EVO LTE, and have several projects that I am working on with Ropodope, Papa Smurf151, and Kendallc123 under the LOTK banner.
Where is your home-base website (ie XDA, Androplasty, Rootz, etc…)?
XDA of course!
How did you get into Android development?
I’m glad you asked that. I wanted to change a status bar icon for Team Nocturnal’s Xplod ROM on the OG EVO. I was pretty clueless to be completely honest. A noob for sure.
From there I thought it would be cool to make a boot animation, and ended up asking Mijjah74 a few questions. He went so far out of his way to help me out, and actually I believe it was Gruesomewolf that kindly pointed out I had not zipped the animation correctly.
I was impressed by how down to earth they were and wanted to do more to contribute, and if I could learn along the way, all the better. Xsmagical invited me to be a part of TN and I did some graphics related stuff, but I lost my PC shortly after I started, and by my own lack of communication and involvement fell away from being involved.
What really impresses me is that to this day, Xs, Mijj, Bill, still are willing to answer questions and remain what I would consider friends in the Android world.
What team(s) are you affiliated with or have you been, if any?
Well, there was Team Nocturnal in the beginning, I did a brief stint with Team DIRT. Now there is LOTK, with Ropodope, Papa Smurf151 and Kendallc123.
Where would you advise someone to go and start if they wanted to do what you’re doing now (not the floor laying)?
Haha! If you asked about the floor laying I would of said they should get their head checked. To get involved and “do what I’m doing”, they need to number one, read. There are an incredible wealth of guides and tutorials on XDA.
Guys like Tommytomatoe, jeffsance, Papa Smurf151, fernando sor, il duce, and so, so many more, have gone out of their way to create guides and help provide a road map to developing.
Best advice I could give, find everything TommyT has ever made and study it, pay attention to the grace and humility he shows, also they could check out this thread- Android software and hacking general, this would be another great resource.
Your best bet is to start small, read and search, and before you ask a question, be sure you did the above. Guys are always much more willing to help those that have helped themselves.
Have you had any negative feedback about porting the PAC ROM? It seems like there’s some sort of fight between the AOKP/CM/PA groups.
Not at all, the opposite actually, I have had a few guys offer a helping hand since it was released. I’m somewhat vaguely aware of the “friction” you speak of, but have absolutely no desire to be involved in any drama. I’m here (on XDA) to learn and share what I can with an ultimate goal to be a developer, which at this time I am certainly not. I can’t stress that enough. 100% of everything I have done, and am doing, is with the intention of learning more, and hopefully be able to contribute back to this great community, with the ultimate goal of being able to do what guys like Deck, Toast, Prelude, JMZ do.
As you are aware, guys like this make it happen, they are the real deal and make it possible for guys like me to do what we do. Without Deck and Toast, there would be no AOSP for devices like the LTE, and a hoard of other devices.
What was the first custom ROM you ever flashed?
Myn’s Warn 2.2. A phenomenal rom, phenomenal developer, incredible team.
What other developers do you think deserves some attention?
Wow, there are more than a few that I can think of that are great guys (& gals,) doing great things. Xsmagical, Gruesomewolf, Sinister Tensai, Digitalkharma, Papa Smurf151, Thicklizard, Zarboz, Kendallc123, and then there is Rope.
Ropodope I feel has done a tremendous amount of good for the community. You can probably ask just about anyone that has, or has had an OG EVO, who Rope is, and more than likely he has at one point or another done something to help them out. The best thing about Chris (Ropodope) is he holds no punches, and you can guarantee he will tell it like it is. Some people have had problems with his demeanor, but he has never steered anyone wrong. And just between you and I…. Chris is really a nice guy at heart and will bend over backwards to help someone out…. so long as they have shown they tried to help themselves first. Lol
I like beer…
Age, general location?
I’m OLD … and live in Independence, Missouri.
Favorite programming/development thing you personally have done?
My role and involvement in the Deck’s ReLoaded project. My “learning curve” grew exponentially as a result of this project. And through it have met and gotten to know some really great folks.
Why did you first root your phone?
Well, its like this, we pay good money for these devices that were made with a multitude of functionality, then a carrier gets a hold of them, brands them, and proceeds to lock them down and take away aspects of that functionality, unless you pay a premium.
If I build you a house, I’m not gonna brick in the front door after I sell it to you, then demand an additional monthly fee to use YOUR front door. That’s just wrong on every level. I’ve never taken kindly to having restrictions placed in me, and I hate to feel taken advantage of.
How did you get into the EVO world?
I had purchased a Samsung Moment and the EVO came out a week or two later. A good friend got the EVO, and I was impressed. So I got one. I made the mistake of accepting the GB OTA update, so there was a few weeks of anticipation until an exploit was found. I rooted and was immediately hooked.
What would you suggest or what advice would you give to people who have not rooted yet?
Don’t be skeert. Just do your research first, and if you get in over your head, ask for help, just don’t demand it or be impatient, that puts people off. And above all else, remember, Google is your friend. You’ll be amazed at the true capabilities of Android, and until you make the leap to rooting, you will never know the true potential of the device you just spent that hard earned money on. But, if having to search, or doing some research is too much for you, if you cant handle a challenge or two, send me your device, and go buy an iPhone.
Anything to add?
The only things I’d want to add are this:
I’m honored that you requested this interview, and I sincerely thank you. I would like for it to be noted, I have no delusions of grandeur, I consider myself to be a modder, maybe a developer in training at best.
I’m not on XDA posting anything trying to become rich, boost my ego, or win a popularity contest. I will act and say things on XDA, or any other forums, just like I do on a job sight (minus the course language,) or around friends here at home. If you find me “ribbing” you in a thread, relax, enhance your calm, most likely it means that I like you or have some respect for you, although it could be that the answer you demanded was in the post above you … This is just how I am.
So if you enjoy any of my work, and wish to take part in one of our (LOTK’s) threads, please bring your sense of humor, and have fun. I’m honestly in this for the fun of it and to learn and share what I can, nothing more. The day it stops being fun will most likely be the day I remove myself publicly.
Also this – I believe very strongly in giving proper credits for mods, hacks, & tweaks for whatever it may be that is included in a ROM I work on. The biggest mistake people make is trying to take credit for someone else’s work. I think it is shameful. Really, how hard is it to ask for permission, and add a line to an OP thanking someone for the work you just used.
That being said, the name of our team is LOTK, it came from a joke while working on ReLoaded, for those that don’t know, it stands for Lord’s of The Kang. I see it like this, just about everything is a kang of one sort or another, of course there are great developers that spend countless hours, energy, and effort to create something new. They deserve the respect and consideration of being properly credited and acknowledged for the work they have done, and if they request their work not be used, people need to respect that. I personally guarantee that EVERYTHING we (LOTK) do will reflect this by requesting permissions properly and always giving proper credits.
During the course of this interview, I received an email from Jamie that added this little tidbit:
Hey Paul, during the course of answering the below questions, I received a PM from Szl.kiev (creator of PACman ROM) and have been added to the team and am now the official device maintainer for the Jewel. How cool is that?!