Rumor: Neil Sainsbury, Former BBSmart Founder, Promoted to Developer Relations

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After the resignation of Mike Kirkup late last week, rumor has it that RIM will replace him with Neil Sainsbury. Neil’s former role at RIM was a Senior Application Development Consultant, where is job involved managing the technical relationship with game development and multimedia software companies, among other duties. He’s also the founder of BBSmart, makers of some very popular BlackBerry apps. It’s a logical promotion and it should be interesting to see what impact he has on the company. Click through for more details.

Neil Sainsbury
Image credit via CrackBerry rumor

What’s really interesting about this hire is that Neil has been pretty outspoken about the shortcomings of RIM’s platform. For example, when he shut down his development blog, he stated his reasons as follows:

First, I’m not so sure after all this time that it has actually made a difference. I would like to think that it has, but all evidence would seem to point otherwise. It has certainly drawn a lot of attention – attention I’m sure RIM did not want – to what it’s really like as a small BlackBerry ISV. However after a year of making fun of the same trivial problems that could be fixed in five minutes they’re still here, as discussed in my previous post. I’m sorry, but I just don’t hear the drumbeat of progress and even when I do I’m not in a position (legally) to talk about it which is frustrating. Truthfully, I do at times hear a faint drumbeat, but it’s drowned out by the loud and pounding “rat-tat-tat-tat-tat” made by everybody else (Google, Apple, etc.).

Second, I’m actually a pretty cheery “cock-eyed optimist” (to quote Kramer from Seinfeld) in Real Life, and this blog doesn’t reflect that. It’s been more of a venting ground and I’ve decided to get a punching bag instead! Seriously though, writing about BlackBerry dev. stuff is a bit of a mood-kill; which is why I’m guessing pretty much nobody does it (though, I definitely do refer you Jonathan Fisher’s blog and Slashdev which are both great).

Finally, there’s lots of exciting stuff going on in the mobile development world. Things like Google Android, the iPhone SDK, and Nokia opening up Symbian, have got me brimming with ideas and positivity about the future of this industry. So, I’m going to take a little bit of time off blogging and then start a new one sometime down the track about mobile development in general. I think that way I can go back to being my regular optimistic self and not feel like a war-time reporter.

To learn more about Neil and his views on the platform, you should start with listening to him on the BlackBerryCool podcast. Neil talks about the iPhone SDK and how it shapes up against RIM’s. He’s obviously a knowledgeable person about the platform as well as what’s going on in the industry.

Check out this link to listen to Neil on the Podcast.