Amazing story, thanks for sharing. Proper Skunkworks!
Wrapping things up:
How to be a better developer?
1. Build software you are proud of.
2. Learn from your mistakes.
3. Build something else with the knowledge you got.
Don’t listen to people who haven’t done anything, yet tell you what to do. Trust your experience.
What a moving and inspiring story, it really spoke to my soul. Thank you for sharing!