Questions over iOS, indie life, app building or something else?
🎙 Answered questions 🎙
Great question! I think what you're really asking here is "will you stay curious and learning as an iOS engineer" and the answer is a resounding...YES! Even better, if you feel that iOS isn't for you, this is true for any facet of engineering. Each year, WWDC can fundamentally change the way we work. SwiftUI was not even a thing two years ago, and it's an entirely new way to create whole, featured applications.
This is true for any trade really, but programming has an accelerated rate of things you need to learn on the job. It's the one thing I love most about it. If you're the curious type, you're going to love programming and you're in for a lifetime of learning.
It's a great question, and I think it's one that as an industry we're starting to ask more and more - which is a good thing!
I think when you start to pick apart the question and say "Why is it the way that it is?", a few themes come to mind for me personally. One is a systemic problem. Are we giving the same types of opportunities to everyone? Are we making sure that we're making sure each of us has a chance? The answer across the board isn't "Yes", so I certainly think that plays a big role here.
Another thing I've thought about it is the concept of community. Assuming things get better and we've all got a shot to enter this field, are we then making sure that people would even want to join it? It has to be a place where anybody can insert themselves into and feel like they belong there. I think this is where most of the work remains to be done.
For my part, I try to learn more about things like this each day so I can be part of a positive shift in this industry that I'm hopeful can, and will, address issues like this!
This year I've got three main goals for 2021 in terms of shipping. The first is this very website! So, check that off ✅.
Next up, I've always wanted to do some sort of book, online course or digital project. So, I'm biting the bullet and doing that next. It's still taking shape, but it'll be a comprehensive guide over my Best in Class post.
The plan is to include a rich .pdf book over it, complete with code samples and possibly screencasts. If you wanted a guide covering how to make your apps shine, I think it'll be for you! Lastly, if I do that within 2021 - I want to get back to making an app.
There is no easy answer for this! The first thing I'd say is - cut yourself some slack. Especially if you've got kids at home, you simply won't ship as fast as other people, and that's totally okay. Your family is more important than any product.
With that out of the way, the thing that helped me the most was having a lazer focus and setting aside some time. There are 24 hours in a day, and honestly that's quite a lot! But you've got to find some of that time where you can think and be alone. This is the absolute hardest part of the question, and it will look different for everyone.
For me, the answer was getting up early in the morning and getting to work an hour prior to when I typically start. This way, I was out of the house, I wasn't taking any time away from my kids or wife, and I was in the right space to focus. This is more or less how I shipped Spend Stack. This looks different for everyone, but don't get discouraged - experiment with a bunch of different things until you find something that works.
This is one the most difficult skills to pick up as an indie. Remember this - folks in the press are absolutely drowning in emails. Given that, the typical advice you usually get is "stand out!" but really, I don't even think that's necessarily the problem.
The problem is this - most of us write awful pitches. If you've got four paragraphs, you're basically dead in the water. They won't take time to read through that most likely. So my number one piece of advice is this - make those pitches in one paragraph. Get to the point!
Aside from that, this is a large topic but I'd also like to point out the human side of things. Success with the press is usually all about relationships, and there are no shortcuts when building relationships, just like any other relationship in life. So, take time to get to know journalists and slowly build up those relationships through the years. This will pay dividends for your entire career.