When our company Maybe was acquired by LinkedIn last year, we knew what we would be working on. LinkedIn was looking for experienced mobile engineers to work quickly on several mobile initiatives. Our startup’s reputation for moving fast in the mobile space was a natural fit. After joining in May 2013, our team launched Recruiter for iOS at LinkedIn Talent Connect in October 2013. It was record time for any mobile app within the company.

Having successfully launched Recruiter, I began to consider other mobile initiatives within the company. LinkedIn is great at growing your network, discovering people, and show-casing your skills. But in the arena of continuing that relationship beyond the connection point it was clear there was more work we can do.

I sat down with Kiran Prasad, Senior Director of Engineering who has led the mobile efforts at LinkedIn from the beginning. Kiran explained his Mobilize strategy for 2014, our effort to make LinkedIn a mobile-first company. After evaluating different mobile initiatives, I decided to join the Relationships team at LinkedIn. There were several reasons I joined, the chief one being that I love to build products that address an actual need. Many professionals do not need to update their profiles often, may not be looking for new jobs, and come to LinkedIn only to establish new connections. But I believe all professionals would like to keep their network strong, would like to know what’s happening with the colleagues they’ve worked with in the past, and to be aware of changes in the professional lives of people they work with everyday.

LinkedIn Connected

So in January 2014, we put together a tiger team of engineers to begin our mission to strengthen your network. Being mobile-first, we started building out the iOS Connected app with a focus on giving you the most relevant updates in your network. Working with the Head of Relationships Product, David Brubacher, has been an awesome experience. His methodical approach to product development has been invaluable to getting us honed in and focused. The directional efforts of Vinodh Jayaram, Engineering Head of Relationships, has been invaluable as well. Vinodh was able to coordinate parallel efforts to build the infrastructure, middle tier and client engineering required to make this app possible.

Our backend team is composed of cream-of-the-crop LinkedIn engineers like Akhilesh Gupta, Roman Inozemtsev, Greg Spurrier, Casidhe Lee and Anant Gupta. On the iOS side, I had the pleasure to work with two outstanding iOS engineers from the inception of the app: Kirollos Risk and Michael Busheikin, and more recently added three new iOS engineers to our team, Stan Lin, Yiwen Sun and Jacek Suliga. Another shout out for Michael Conover who built our machine learning models to bubble up the best of content for our members.

This project was ambitious. We really wanted a beautiful app. An app that made use of all the modern UI paradigms like gestures and animations, but didn’t lose focus on making the app intuitive and easy to use. Working with rock star designers like Mauroof Ahmed and Moses Ting has provided us with a design strategy that has no limits.

For more info about the value proposition of Connected, check out Take the Work Out of Networking with LinkedIn’s New Connected App. And for more info on the way it was built, check out LinkedIn Connected – Using Anticipatory Computing.

Next Steps

While I’m very excited to unveil what I’ve been working since the beginning of the year, I’m even more excited for what’s to come in the near future. Android will be a high priority, so if you or anyone you know is interested in helping out, we are hiring! Contact me.

Install the app and let me know what you think: http://lnkd.in/connected-ios

News about the App

TechCrunch, Business Insider, Venture Beat, Mashable, ZDNet, USA Today, NextWeb,readwrite, PCWorld, SFGate