software sessions

iOS Development with Timirah James

Timirah shares how she got into iOS development without a CS degree and her love for the Swift programming language.

Timirah is an iOS developer, developer advocate, founder of the TechniGal LA meetup group, and an instructor for O'Reilly and Coursera.

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Music by Crystal Cola.


You can help edit this transcript on GitHub.

Jeremy: [00:00:03] Today I'm talking to Tamirah James. She's been an iOS developer for... how many years has it been?

Timirah: [00:00:09] Oh my goodness. Since I first started iOS, I want to say ooh (whispering) oh my gosh seven years.

Jeremy: [00:00:15] Seven years. Where did that time go?

Timirah: [00:00:17] My goodness. Oh yeah. Seven years. Wow.

Jeremy: [00:00:21] I think a lot of people listening have written software before, but maybe not for iOS. So I'm interested to hear what your experience is and how you think people should get into it.

Timirah: [00:00:31] Absolutely. So, yeah, and excuse me, we, we talked about my, before, before we, cut the podcast on, we were talking about how I have this 8:00 AM rasp in my voice (laughs) so you'll have to excuse the rasp. But, yeah, I, like we said, you know, seven years with iOS development. The great thing, and the crazy thing about, you know, my journey in iOS is I really went in with purpose and, intention, right. I went into mobile development knowing, that it was going to be something that was valuable not only into my career, but valuable to, society as a whole right. Valuable to the industry as a whole. So it, it goes all the way back to like, when I first started coding and I was like, I want to say I was 17 years old. and I started to get into web development and, I got bamboozled into getting into a, like a high school, like internship thing, to learn web design. and I loved it and that was my first introduction to coding. And I was like, Oh my goodness.

Like, this is amazing, like web development, web design. And then once I started to think about college and the route that I wanted to go, I was like, okay. Hm. There's so many other avenues. And so many other doors in this industry, like. You know what? I know that I want to pursue computer science but what, what is going to be my path?

So I started thinking about my career pathway immediately. I'm like, okay, going to college then what? And at that time, I think like we were just making the transition from like flip phones. And like the cameras and the, Oh my gosh. If you had the video phone, you call them the video phones, video phones.

And then the transition into like, Oh, now we're at, iPod touches. Now we're at iPhones now or at we're like, okay. Oh, wow. This is like the birth of the smartphone, the birth of the iPhone, and really seeing the transition. The phone being something that's way beyond just a communication device right now it's media, now it's entertainment, now it's education, it's finance, it's, all of these things. I always say like, you can leave your laptop at home, but if you leave your phone, You're like, Oh my gosh like, how am I going to function throughout the day? If I can build something for that, I can make a huge, huge impact so I really went into it with all, like, it was very much, something that I went with all intentions, all intentional purposes.

So I said, you know, after college I'm going to go right into mobile development. I really think that I will make the biggest impact there and build things that will stick with people and people will spend time with, and people enjoy, and will live with users. I fell in love with the idea of the evolution of the phone and mobile development.

So went to college, ended up dropping out in that first year, computer science, for a lot of reasons, one of them being that the university I went to wasn't a, tech school, so to speak, computer science was not one of their pillars. You know, one of their like, Oh, this is something that we're focusing and we have resources and we have a gateways for mentorship and internships.

Like they were just like, Hey, we got computer science is here, you know? and yeah, so I went and I took that opportunity. And it just, wasn't what I thought it would be. I didn't have any support coming in, you know, just learning, computer science and, you know, there were so many different aspects to it.

It was culture, there were, cultural aspects. There was just the support in terms of what was being taught. and I just felt like the more I was in it, the more behind I felt, I felt like it was being pushed out. and yeah, so I left school and I was like, okay, where do I, where do I kind of go from here?

And again, I knew that I still wanted to do mobile development. So I continued that journey, online there were, there were, maybe some coding, boot camps, that were really underground and just getting started or getting their feet wet and trying to figure that out but none that were really visible like that and really like, Oh, this is an option. So didn't have any like bootcamp or coding school, situation.

But I had so many resources online. I can remember my primary source of education at that time, along with like, everything like Ray Wenderlich, and, tree house, coursera, which is crazy cause I'm teaching courses for Coursera now. And, in addition to that, my primary source was Stanford's iOS development course, which they were offering all the lectures for free.

And I was upset cause I was like, wait a minute, the school I was going to. It was like this private university, you know, and here I could have a Stanford education, you know, in which I kind of ended up with it, so, okay. I have a Stanford education in iOS development (laughs) . so yeah, I kind of continued on from there and really went cold turkey.

I know that like, it's hard for a lot of people to adapt to like being self-taught in really the meaning of being self-taught right, where I don't really have a physical community or any source of like mentorship around me saying, Hey, you should learn this. Or you should learn that.

I didn't even know where to look for that kind of guidance. I didn't really have, a boot camp that was promising me a roadmap, a career ladder. what the important tech stacks for mobile development were. all that groundwork. Like I really did it myself and, I had the support of my mom.

I didn't work another job. Like I was living with my mom. and she's always been single parent so one paycheck. And, It was really, maybe less than a year before I, started into my professional, career and got my first role landed my first role as an iOS engineer.

So, anything you want to learn, you want to make sure that you do the work right? Outside of, even if you're at a coding bootcamp, you have to want to learn it for yourself. and then you have to look at the benefits, what, what are the benefits of learning?

Something like this. iOS development. Okay. You know, that it has a very strong Apple developer community around it, and then Apple, the entity itself, Apple, really prides itself on making sure that they give an abundance of resources to developers, you know, via, you know, th the WWDC, you know, which is their yearly conference that they do.

And they make sure that they are. flooding developers with new things and, new information and, you know, hands-on training, in the best ways that they can. So there is a lot of resources out there. and just in terms of iOS development itself, the benefit of iOS. again, it, iOS can be very niche and that's something that probably turns people away.

They're like, Why iOS development, you know, Android you have a plethora of different devices. you have, I guess, more scalability in terms of who's able to access, your applications, right? You think about people in other countries like the iOS device is probably the number one device in the United States.

But outside of here, like, you know, I've been to Europe, I've been to a couple other places and. They honey, they are Android down. They are just like it's all Android over there. you know, and that has a lot to do with just pricing and all these things a lot of people are turned away just because it is such a niche and I call it like this King Apple theory where, you have to use an Apple language, and build on an Apple IDE.

Right on an Apple machine, for Apple products, you know, so they do a great job of making sure that ecosystem is tight. and that, that compatibility and the conversions are really just like very much limited outside of that ecosystem. So yeah, like I think it's definitely worth it. you know, because there is so much of a focus, you know, there's a lot of benefit in that as well. So yeah.

Jeremy: [00:09:18] What would you say are the biggest reasons or benefits for choosing to develop for iOS versus Android?

Timirah: [00:09:24] I think it really just comes down to, when it comes to the benefits of iOS itself, again, it comes down to, for one stability, right? Sometimes it is harder when you have so many devices to build for, right?

So you have this like ecosystem of Apple products we have like, for specifically for iOS development, it's just the iPhone. We have different versions of the iPhone. of course they're multiple versions that are, that, you know, keep upgrading as far as the operating systems like iOS versions.

And th that's basically the end of your worries when it comes to like support and compatibility. but there's so many different like operating systems when it comes to end devices and device sizes and so on and so forth when you're dealing with, Android development. Right. And so something that might work or look good for, six or seven out of 10 devices Android devices, you may have some users out there, it, the functionality isn't as, optimal, you know, it isn't as reactive.

Just because, there's a slight difference in the operating system. There's a slight difference in, the device, the model. That wide range, it can be a bit of a hindrance there. iPhones keep continuing to like upgrade and the iOS versions can continue to go up. Like you have less and less of a variety of devices that you have to like really worry about. Right. And so there's a lot more, consistency and again, stability, when you're dealing with iOS development. And some people see it as a blessing and a curse that there's so many different languages that you can utilize for Android development, as opposed to with iOS development.

Again, you have to use an Apple language, not unless you're doing like cross platform situation. you know, which is like a handful of frameworks out there. But if you want a native rich experience, you're going to go, native Swift or are you going to go native, you know, objective C.

So, yeah, so there's this like, this, this aspect where it benefits you to remain in that consistency and that, and that stability and because. Apple knows that everything, all of the development is weighted on those languages is weighted on, that IDE, which is Xcode. they put all of their focus into making sure that those things are as stable as possible.

As opposed to, Android, where again, Yeah, there's a blessing and a curse in how much that variety is. So I think that's probably the main thing when it comes to that big difference and the benefit of, building for iOS.

Jeremy: [00:12:24] It, it almost sounds like for an independent developer or for a smaller company, it might be easier to take on iOS development, because as you said, there, there aren't as many devices you have to make sure that your software works on. With iOS there is just Apple's operating system. There isn't a version by Samsung and by Huawei and by Google and so on. And then in the tools themselves, you said there's a lot of different options for languages and IDEs for Android. Whereas for iOS, everything's more. centralized and Apple is that's really the main choice, right?

So they're forced to push all their efforts into that. It's almost like different philosophies, right? You get a bunch of options, or you have more limited choices, but maybe there's less for you to have to worry about less for you to have to learn and maybe have some more focus there.

Timirah: [00:13:22] Absolutely. You know, Apple is doing everything to make sure, try and make sure that they are a global, they're definitely one for global dominance, right? (laughs) I don't know why that sounded scary in a way, but, you know, Apple wants to be number one, you know, they want.

Yeah, of course they want the iPhone to be the number one device in the world. Right. but then there's this issue of like, you know, pricing of course, like, okay. A thousand dollar phone is probably not popular. Like everyone, like America has this, this thing too. Like, America has a culture of thinking differently, right?

Like even down to, like you ever had a friend who's like, they text you their number and you're like, Oh, a green bubble came up. I've seen like, like this among my friends.

Like if you text me and if I see a green bubble, I'm going to give you a side eye, you know? (laughs)

Like, you know, so it's like, okay, so it's even down to that. Right? So beyond just developers, like down to users, like, Oh, you have a green bubble, you know, there's this, there's this thing, which is stupid and it's hilarious. But it is the thing, like, you know, if you want the top phone, you want top performance, you want the top camera, even if, you know, some of the features are very much copy-paste from Android. If you see some of the features, sometimes when Apple is doing the rollouts and they're like, Android, this... this phone, the Galaxy has always had this feature, you know, now Apple is rolling it out like it's so new and it's so innovative. But because it's on the iPhone now it is a new trend. Right? Just because it, it has set that status quo in the culture. There's this thing where like, centralization is just a big thing, when it comes to iOS development.

Jeremy: [00:15:14] Earlier you were talking about how you might build your application with Swift, or you might also have Objective C could you kind of go into why there's these two languages and when you would use each?

Timirah: [00:15:29] Yeah. So, Back back back in the day, Objective C was created over 30 years ago. and that was the sole language for these past like three decades, for development in the Apple environment when it comes to, building applications. there was just one language at this, this whole time.

Before 2014 and that's when Swift was born and it kinda hit everybody by storm because it was just like, okay, there was just no inkling. Like we had no inkling that, that Apple would even do something like that or produce something like that, like a brand new language. so the Apple developer community was like, Oh, what what's happening here?

They were just like shaken up. the differences in the languages are very, very drastic. Objective C is known for being a very ugly language. (laughs) Very verbose, very, I mean, double down on like boiler plating, there's a lot of redundancy, right. And the benefit in a language like that is, you know, yes, it's ugly and hairy for a beginner.

I had to make lemonade in my mind in order to learn it. You know, all of this, like, you know, redundancy is kind of teaching me syntax and teaching me logic, right. If I have to keep making a reference to this, if I have to keep doing this, if I have to keep doing that, if I have to add the boiler plate, kind of code in, it's embedding this logic into me, you know, as a beginner, like, Oh, this, you know what this actually means every single time, once you're an expert in that, like it's just annoying. Okay. so people were tired of it. it was an ugly language, but it was the only language at the time. So 2014 Swift was a breath of fresh air, very simplified, straightforward, very clean, very legible readable language. when you compare it to objective C, so something you might do in objective C with like 30 lines of code, you might do with a Swift with like eight or nine lines of code. so it was like, it was definitely like, Whoa, this is huge, huge thing. So, and then Swift. Has gone through these six years, going through this huge rapid, climb just in popularity and in evolution.

So it went from like, now there's another option for, you know, building, iOS applications. Right. you can use this new language then like the very next year, like Swift becomes open source now, like, Oh my goodness, what does this mean? Like, Oh, we talked about like Apple being very much like closed off and very like strict on their programming language in their platforms.

And, you know, everything is being built by Apple. So like this new layer of transparency saying, Hey, we open source this language. you know, so you can see like everything and not only just see everything, but also like contribute and like make it what you want it to be. So open it up to like, the community to build up, and create the language of their liking.

And it was a real, a huge deal. And it made a huge statement in the Apple developer community, and it also attracted other people to the language cause they were curious. Right. and once it became open source, like the, the, the flood gates kind of open it transitioned Swift as a language transitioned into this, like, okay, now we see all these benefits of the Swift compiler and, you know, runtime. can we use this in other areas, like beyond iOS development and now next thing you know, you're seeing Swift on the server, you know, server side Swift frameworks, you're seeing, you know, people building web applications with Swift, and it, it just kinda grew a pair of wings and it's all in, it's been since its birth. It's been like this top 10 language to learn. if you've seen like basically any tech publication or blogs, like you say, top 10 languages to learn for 20, 20, or 2019 or whatever. And Swift has always been on the list.

And a lot of people are like, okay, I understand why this language or that language, but why Swift, why are they suggesting Swift? Are they, if I'm being recommended Swift as a top 10 language to learn, am I being encouraged to learn iOS development?

Is that where this is going instead of acknowledging Swift the programming language right in itself and the benefits of the language and what you can do. So, yeah, it kind of offered up this opportunity for Swift to, like I said, grow a pair of wings, and now you can, you can actually be a full stack developer using purely Swift.

You know, you can build your native front end with Swift and you can build a backend with Swift, build a whole like rest API. So. Yeah, like there's this whole whole situation. So now you have objective C and you have Swift, you know, now objective C. there's this talk that I like to give it's called, Swift for Objective C OGs. and basically it's encouraging people who are still in that objective C bubble to take the jump, learning Swift because every year, you know, during WWDC, you don't see Apple coming out and saying, Hey, here's some new updates with objective C here's a new framework for objective C like no, there's no, new, there's there, there are no new updates when it comes to objective C and I alluded to the fact that that may be due to Objective C becoming even more of a legacy language and maybe in the, you know, far in the, I don't know how near or far that future, that, that, that destiny is, but, you know, maybe one day become deprecated.

Objective C is something that a lot of enterprise companies still use just because, you know, if you, if you're Google or someone your legacy code is built in objective C. Now there's this new language. Right? So now you know, you see all the benefits of Swift and the compiler and you see all of this. So now there's this thing where now like, okay, you either hire developers who know Swift to help make the transition, or you train your developers that are working on the iOS products to learn Swift. So they can help make the transition, but that, that process is, you know, it takes two years, to properly make that migration.

Even if you have to mix the two, right. It, it takes a while. So, yeah. So objective C is more of the, I don't know if you'd call it grandfather, but definitely the father. And then you, you know, Swift is the, the new baby that is like taking over the world right now.

Jeremy: [00:22:38] So if you're making a new iOS application you could do it entirely in swift you don't need to even look at Objective c

Timirah: [00:22:45] Absolutely. Yeah, you can make it just Swift. If you open XCode and then it'll ask you, if you, you know, if you create a new project that asks you, you know, what language are you doing this in, are you doing Swift or objective C? You can do it either or, and also you can use, if you want it to, let's say You're building application in Swift, but there's this like, third-party like library, that's doing some cool. I don't know, animation or something, but it hasn't been converted to Swift. And it's a, it's in objective C you can use a bridging header to basically, pull that library in and, take advantage of that functionality from that third party library and continue to, you know, build their application in Swift.

So yeah, there's a way you can, you can use both. You can use Swift. They are definitely their individual languages. but yeah, absolutely.

And Swift has like this huge, interoperability, factor. And I talked about this, like in my, O'Reilly course as well, like. It's a huge deal. That, that, that component, is a huge deal because like you have other developers, not only just people coming from the Apple community who are using objective C, but you have developers who are coming, you know, now trying to learn Swift, but they're coming from a Python background or, you know, they're using it for different reasons.

And that, that component, that element of Swift, it helps to bridge that gap. Right. so if you're learning Swift and again, you're still trying to use some Python, like libraries or integrate some like Python modules. You can, utilize that with Swift. yeah. So I think it's like supported with a with python, like C++ or C.

And that, that is a huge benefit when it comes to Swift, it's just like, okay. And that that's a big help. when someone not only is building from mobile, but like coming from, like I said, other backgrounds and trying to build something with Swift that may or may not have something to do with iOS development per se.

Jeremy: [00:24:51] I wanna go a little bit into Swift the language itself. If, if you're someone who's familiar with, like you said, Python or JavaScript or Java, how does Swift compare what what's similar and what's different?

Timirah: [00:25:07] At first glance, there's so many similarities in syntax alone. when it comes to JavaScript, which is really friendly for like people who are coming from JavaScript, or languages that JavaScript maybe similar to as well.

Right. even down to like the var keywords, and you know, one thing about Swift though, is it's, it's very statically typed. and there's this element of like type safety, Swift kind of prides itself on being a very safe language and that contributes to its performance.

Right. It's very much, it's the speed is probably what makes it so popular. amongst developers, it's just like, Oh wow. This compiler is like, okay. Yeah (laughs) and that's due to it being such a. safe language, right? So like the type safety and generics kind of, it makes it, that safe language and it prevents like the user from, basically passing in like incorrect types. And, you know, it's just very, like, it will yell at you. It will definitely (laughs) yell at you, because it just prides itself on, preserving memory and, just being very, very safe. There is one thing that I always talk about. Which took me by surprise. I was saying I was shook af I was shook af, when I, the main thing was, this thing called optionals.

And I don't know if you've heard about the Swift optionals, where they're probably the most annoying thing you will come across when you're dealing with Swift. and basically you identify optionals with these, question marks and exclamation points, and I'm like, Oh my goodness, more punctuation. What does this mean?

I've never put a question Mark in a line of code in my life. Okay. Exclamation points, you know, and we have a different reference for like exclamation points. Right. So anytime I was coding before Swift, you know, anytime I use an exclamation point, it was to say, like, not something, right.

So not equal something. but no, it didn't mean that at all. Basically these optionals are attributed to type safety, and talking about protecting values, and checking for them before, before everything kind of compiles. so that means, you know, if you have the value that may or may not be nil, Swift offers an opportunity for you to wrap that value, and say, Hey, This may or may not be needed. We're going to check for that. But whether it's nil or not, this function is not going to break and the app is not going to crash right. So we're not even taking up that space. And then it you the option to unwrap that value and say, Hey, I think it's safe.

This value is pretty much not going to be nil. and yeah, but it forces you to declare that and it forces you to, constantly be thinking about the memory and thinking about type safety at all times, you know? We talked about objective C giving you that mentality of redundancy or of what was important right. and what's important for Swift is performance and it's, like, you know what, I'm not even (hits the mic) going to give you the opportunity to, (laughs) slow me down or make your app. You know, make this app application crash, based off of, you know, some value that, you maybe forgot about, or it just became nil, because you forgot to do X, Y, and Z.

I'm just going to wrap this thing, for you and I'll let you know what comes of it. Yeah, so th that's a huge thing that, like, It's not something that's unconventional when it comes to other programming languages. but the approach and the syntax of it is a little bit different and it might throw some people coming from other languages off.

So I think that's a huge difference, you know, when you see the syntax, but yeah, this is familiar whaaat a question mark? that's that's one of the one of the big differences, as well.

Jeremy: [00:29:18] So to see if I understand correctly, this, this optional type, the real problem it's trying to solve is when you work with languages like JavaScript, and I'm sure this is the case with Python as well. There can be cases where you have a function and it takes in parameters. But one of those parameters could be nil or null.

And when you try to use that function, you'll get an error at runtime where it'll say something like undefined is not a function or just no reference exception or something like that. It'll just blow up. Yeah. And it sounds like what the optional type is attempting to do is to have you tell the compiler through your code, that this value, it could have the value in it, or it could be nil.

And, the compiler then knows if you've handled that case of the fact that it could be null, or, or it could have something in it. Did I kind of get that right?

Timirah: [00:30:18] Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and that's inside or outside of a function. Like it, even if it's not within a function, You know, you just have this, this value that you have when the view first loads, you know, you want this to like, okay, no, I need to know, like, I, I need to protect this and I need to know, what is this going to, What does this output? And I need, and I like, I need to know it it's going to check for it. making sure that the app does not, crash based off of, you know, this, this one value. One of the things, one of the examples I give is like, like an Instagram situation, right.

Where, if you are on Instagram, then nine times out of 10, you have an Instagram account. but you might have zero followers. so the number of followers, you know, you might have a situation where it might be zero or it might be nil.

And, but that doesn't mean that you're, you know, Instagram should not crash because you don't have any followers or you don't have any, pictures. Okay. that's, you know, IE the bots, you know, the bots live because (laughs) that that situation can exist. You don't have to have any pictures on Instagram.

You don't have to have any followers. Right. So it can be zero. It can be nil. Instagram should not crash because of that. The page, your profile should also, load as well. So those are things that should be protected. Those values, should always be protected. It may, they may or may not be there, but that page does exist.

So yeah, that's the example that I always like to give as well.

Jeremy: [00:31:55] When someone is, learning Swift and figuring out how to build iOS applications and you go onto Google and you start searching for tutorials and things like that. Are there certain features or certain ways of building applications that they're going to find that they should avoid? Because there's, there's newer ways of doing it now.

Timirah: [00:32:20] That is a great question, huh... Things that are old, maybe outdated best practices when it comes to Swift... Hmm... one thing I will say about Swift is Swift is constantly, like, I probably said this already, but constantly evolving, and a lot. Yeah. And that is due to Swift being open source, the community, of maintainers and contributors around Swift.

They're very passionate. They're very progressive and aggressive when it comes to. and when I say aggressive in the, in the dearest way, And so every so often, there's like every couple of months you see we're on Swift.

So Swift is six years old. we're on Swift 5.3. Okay. so let's say that could be what a version a year? but then like you have versions in between that, right? So like, Oh, this is 1.2. This is 2.5. we're constantly being, upgraded and updated. So let's say if you're looking into Swift development, you're like, okay, I want to do iOS development.

Okay. Here's the Swift tutorial. If it's from 2015 and this is like Swift 3, it's no good. It's no good at all. And you know, Apple does a great job of keeping up, right? So, let's say, okay. XCode that the latest version out in the right now of XCode, is XCode 12, XCode 12. you have to use. I believe no later, I don't think it's compatible with a version later than Swift 4. but certainly nothing under that. And then even like the iOS version, like, okay. iOS, 13 and up, you know, so, and we're on iOS 14. So everything is constantly like bumping you up in 4. If you come across like some books, literally an entire book of Swift.

In 2014? No good. 2015, no good. 2016. No good. You want to look for resources that are the most updated, as you can possibly find, no later than 2019. So if you come across a tutorial, a course, a book. Whatever, look at that date because that's probably the best, the best thing you know, when it comes to being current, making sure that you're using a version of Swift that's actually compatible with this version of XCode. and if not XCode will scream at you, (laughs) it will not compile. And yeah, you want to stay, stay current, stay forward. and stay progressive when it comes to Swift, because in six years Swift has come like it's grown so fast risen, so fast, and it's grown so much in terms of like the community and, what the language is.

So if you want to learn more. I would say the best resources would be, a good friend of mine, Paul Hudson. He does a great, I mean, he's, he's excellent. When it comes to, updating, Swift content, keeping updated Swift content. He's written so many books on Swift and he's, he's like a machine when it comes to keeping things updated, you know, he doesn't let any really any of his content go, outdated. so he continues to update his books, update his courses, update his, website. He has a website called Hacking with Swift that's the brand. so you can go to and you can check out all of this like cool stuff, for iOS development, whatever you want to accomplish with iOS development.

And learning Swift in general, like hacking with swift is like Swift world. Okay. And you want to stay in tune with as well, because that's where you're going to get all the updates from the community, on Swift the language and the progress itself. , and what's new. I believe the latest thing I've seen on there is the update that, Swift is now available on windows.

So you can, install Swift on your Windows machine and, you know, basically build applications with Swift. So, and again, that's attributed to the community behind that. So you can go to to learn more about that. Learn about Swift progress, learn how to get started. Another resource is Ray Wenderlich was such a powerful resource to me coming up in my early days, learning iOS development with this very universally like relatable, fun content, blog posts, books, and then they just moved into video content as well. Great stuff it's always updated, always updated, you know, whenever there's a new Swift framework or a Swift, whatever, iOS, tooling, whatever, like it's on And of course me, you know (laughs) huge, huge advocate. I've been working, recently with, O'Reilly, to really provide more Swift presence and content on the platform on their online learning platform.

I've had a few, live trainings on their platform and they're really fun. if you want to spend a couple of hours, you know, with a live hands-on training on getting started with Swift, and getting your hands dirty with iOS development in itself, you know, finding out all the nooks and crannies of XCode and you know, all the cool things that you can do beyond iOS development with Swift. I, I do a training with them every so often, and we're working on doing more things with them, hopefully, doing more things with Swift UI, you know, yeah. So there's a lot of, there's more content out there than there, there has been ever before, But you want to make sure that you check that date on those, on those things so that you're learning the right things and, you're, you're on the right path.

Jeremy: [00:38:41] That seems really, different for Swift than other languages where you could bring up an article about Ruby that's four or five years old. And a lot of it is still going to apply, but it sounds like Swift it's like every year it's like, Oh, this isn't, we don't do it this way anymore.

Timirah: [00:38:58] Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Because Swift is still like, you know, finding its groove, right. You know, Swift, despite, you know, the, the stability and all this stuff, I'll, you know, I'm hyping it up, but Swift is still young. Like, you know, six years old is not a long time. And for it to be as progressive as it is, it's weird in itself.

I, you know, I would have expected it to be, I don't know, anywhere between 6 to 10 years in, for iOS development before it moved on to like, Oh, now we're doing this and we're on Windows and use Swift with Linux, like, Yeah. Like before it spread its wings like that, but it just kinda took off.

And the popularity was just like a wildfire. So, yeah, it's a really young language. So it's still finding its groove and that is one of the cons too, just like people like, Oh, it's constantly changing it's exhausting to keep up, but it keeps you on your toes. Like any language, like you should always be, you know, on your toes, but there are a lot more like, You know, more, the widely used, traditionally accepted languages, Javascript you only have to worry about new frameworks, you know, not so much changes to the language itself (laughs). So yeah, that is like a downside. Some people are like, (sigh) You know, Oh, we don't do it like this anymore. but yeah, like XCode and in the Swift compiler yourself, it does a great job of reminding you, Hey, it doesn't just tell you, like, this is wrong.

The, the warnings let you know, what the alternative to whatever that is that you're, you're doing. So say, Hey, that, that was done in, in Swift 3, you, you probably meant X, Y, and Z. So it's, it's very good at inference when it comes to that.

Jeremy: [00:40:45] So I guess that means if you have, a application you've been building over the past few years, as Swift is making these changes, XCode could actually tell you, here's all the things that you need to update for the new version of Swift. And I'm not sure is it where it'll make the changes for you or it just kind of tells you, and then you, you still go ahead?

Timirah: [00:41:05] No, it tells it, it lets you know, it was like, no, excuse me. (laughs) No, you do it. So those are things that it'll say, Hey, it'll let you know. It'll let you know before, before you run it. say, Hey, like, no, like you need to change this. if you have a, an application you built, like with Swift 3 and you, you open it in the new version of XCode and XCode will say, Oh, okay. All right, it'll give you, like, it'll say, not necessarily, errors that it won't run, but it, some things will be buggy. Right. So it'll allow you to run it because it is valid code, right?

But it will say like this is buggy, this is buggy. This, it has been deprecated so that that's no longer there. So, and a lot of things that are deprecated is there because now, a lot of those things are built in, so it's not, it doesn't have to be, programmed to say: Hey, certain functions are now like built in to the compiler itself.

So it's like, you know, you don't have to worry about this. You don't have to worry about that. Like, That's automatic now, when it comes to, you know, Swift 5, so you don't have to worry about these things. so yeah, they, it, it does a great job of letting you know that. So it'll run, it'll probably be, you probably have some missing loops here and there.

But it will definitely give you those, yellow warnings and suggestions like, Hey, you should change this, this, this, this, this, this, and I do believe XCode has an option. Where you can, convert your code to it. It'll say it might pick it up, pick the whole thing up and just say, Hey, they, give you an alert and say, Hey, this is Swift 3. We noticed. And would you like to convert this to Swift 5? And, there's an aspect where it can convert. Like I've seen. up to like 90, at least 90% of your code, can, can be converted over. so yeah, like sometimes it'll pop up, it'll just pop up and I'll ask you, like, should you convert this?

Okay. If you should do like, press this button, if you want, if you want, want this to be converted to the latest version of Swift, then you have to go back and kind of fix some things right. Yeah. So, you know, like I said, XCode does a great job of, being that supervisor and then like, the compiler itself is like the principal, like, you know, so, so yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy: [00:43:29] Yeah, I think Swift is, is really an, an, a unique place where you were talking about how you think it's finding its groove and it's getting to make all these changes hopefully for the better. Right. And I, I feel like. Usually when a language is, is doing that. It's when not a lot of people are using it yet.

So you're making all these changes, but it's okay because, there aren't people with apps that hundreds of millions of people are using. but Swift is in this unique space where, they're making all these changes, but because that is the language for iOS. You have, you know, millions of developers that are, you know, hitting the language hard and shipping apps.

And, so it's just a really unique position I think, for Swift to be in.

Timirah: [00:44:16] Yes, a thousand percent, a thousand percent.

Jeremy: [00:44:20] Cool. So I think that's a good place to start wrapping up. Is there, anything else you wanted to mention or want to talk about where people can check out what you're up to?

Timirah: [00:44:30] I, first of all, I'm so glad that we, finally got this podcast in, for those of you listening, we've been trying to do this for like three months, trying to get this scheduled for three months. My life has been super busy, but I wanted to make sure that we, you know, got this chance to really talk and, and chat.

You know, Jeremy you've been amazing I love the podcast. so it was so important to me that, I came on here and, you know, I had this awesome conversation with you. about me, let's see. you can find me on Twitter at @TamirahJ and like, Oh, what's, what's my Twitter. Oh, my name, TamirahJ you can find me on Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter. mention me, I'll say, hi, I'll follow back. I do all of that. If you have any questions about, you know, getting started in iOS development, if you're starting your journey, if you want to learn more about, getting a job in iOS development, what the interview process is like.

If you wanna be involved in some of the things that I'm doing in terms of teaching iOS development or teaching with Swift, please feel free to reach out, I do have a Coursera course that is coming out very, very soon.

And yeah, I did this thing, back when I first announced there where I was just like, Oh, can you guess what language I'm going to do the course on because it's not Swift. But it's been a while. Coursera has, they've changed the, the release date a couple of times.

So I said, you know what, I'm just going to tell everyone, you know, it is actually on flutter. Okay. and Flutter, is a a cross platform framework, that utilizes Dart, which is a language that is, that was created by Google. that is something that I've gotten into within the past, like year and a half Flutter is like super fun.

You know, and it took me away from like my native, basically my native patterns and, got into cross-platform. And it's really fun. It's really great for, people who are, beginners and beginning in the cross-platform realm. And when we talk about how performance like fast Swift is, of course there's some loss when it comes to cross-platform, in terms of, performance and in terms of, tooling, native tooling.

But flutter is probably the closest that I've seen to getting that full on experience, getting that reactive experience and getting a lot of the freedom when it comes to, even down to like animations or things like that. Just a lot of the cool things that you would be able to take advantage of with, native mobile development.

Flutter, really makes up for a lot of that with, cross-platform development in the cross-platform, space. So flutter is definitely the best bet. I'm going to be doing a Coursera course or a series of coursera courses on Flutter. So look out for that. Shout out to Technigal LA, which is my meetup turned nonprofit for women of all ages who want to thrive in STEM, anything from like educational opportunities, employment opportunities, networking opportunities, we're doing it all virtually, but, it's all free. So if you want to learn more about that, or if you want to get involved, do you want to come, you know talk to some women, give, you know, teach a workshop or if you want to know where some other talented women are in STEM, you know, feel free to reach out. We are Technigal, so that's technical, but with a G. So, T E C H N I G A L and then LA, because I am based in Los Angeles. So, yeah, so you can check us out on, Instagram and or Twitter as well. or you can check us out on, meetup.

So yeah. Thank you so much. Jeremy, like this is, this is a lot of fun and I'm glad that we finally, finally, got a chance to, to get it in. Yeah, absolutely.

Jeremy: [00:48:26] Yeah, well, that means things are, things are happening. That's good.

Timirah: [00:48:29] Yeah. Yeah. It's a good thing to be busy. Yeah.

Jeremy: [00:48:35] I hope you enjoyed the conversation with Tamirah. If you want to learn more about iOS development, we've got notes to all the resources we talked about in the show notes. The music in this episode was by Crystal Cola. Thanks again for listening.