Stanford iOS 8 Course Now Available

The Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift course from Stanford University is now available on iTunes U …

… and it is entirely in Swift! Obviously.

I’m done with the first lecture and half through the second. I’ve started a number of the old classes, but never finished since I ended up finding them after they had all of the materials available and my tiny little brain was too intimidated to stick with it.

This time I am hoping to keep up with the material as it is released. Hopefully that will help me push through. So far, so good.

Pulling Apart

I’ve had these two books floating around my house for the better part of six months now. I’m not exactly proud of it, but it is a fact of life. I have always had an issue of focusing on a single project at a time and putting other things away.

So here the books sit, two different from my own head made into concrete (and somewhat heavy) objects. I’m exaggerating, obviously, but sometimes I will sit and stare at the two books for minutes at a time and not open either, afraid to make a poor decision about my future and “waste” time on something I should not.

That’s how I’m feeling right now, pulled apart in a sense. The IT Ops person in me really wants to dig into systems programming and automation while the iOS and Apple user in me wants to dig into iOS development and Swift. Is there a decision that I really need to make here or can I have it big ways?

The pull, however, is still there. In a day and age where it feels like we are told to specialize more and more, the idea of instead working to be as much of a development “generalist” as possible seems to be passé.

However, I still feel that mobile is the future and that mobile has two different sides. There is the big iron of large servers on the backend and the mobile front ends which are lighter and allow people to use all if that power to get things done. It is an interesting dance between large and small, nimble and lumbering … kind of cool.

Maybe there is a way to do both?

Tools and Jobs

In What Happened to the Month With Linux, I had this paragraph:

I lasted about five days before I gave in and decided that I’m just going to give up with trying to do anything like this and continue to use the best tool for the job for me, or (as my friend Aaron Spike has said), the tool most familiar to me.

I added the very last part of that paragraph after some texts with my friend, Aaron Spike. It got me thinking about what a “best tool” might look like for different people and it really does come down to what the two of us were talking about.

It isn’t enough to be a tool that can just get the job done. For every job, there are multitudes of ways to complete it using any number of tools. What makes a tool great probably gets down to the user being comfortable using it.

But maybe comfortable is not enough. The tool needs to make the user feel like they are able to accomplish more than they would when using another tool. It might just be a feeling, but the ability to “delight” (there is a terrible word to use for almost anything) makes the choice of tools to be a completely personal choice in almost every case.

That’s why I continue to come back to OS X and iOS, entirely because I FEEL like I can do more with them. It might not be true, but the feeling is very powerful.

SwiftMN

As an aside related to my post about Swift, there is a group forming in Minneapolis around Swift and Apple technologies: SwiftMN.

Join the Meetup group and let us know what you want to try out. I know that I won’t be able to make every meeting, but I am hoping to make the 2+ hour trip as often as I am able.

Swift

In case you were underground last week (and I was close to being just that for the week), you heard that Apple announced a new programming language, Swift, at their World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC 2014).

Needless to say, this is something I am going to take a nice, long look at. I happen to kind of like Objective-C, but there are many things about Swift that I really like.

If you are interested, you can download a book from the iBooks Store title The Swift Programming Language and take a look at what the future might look for Apple development.