A Day in the Life of a Software Developer: iOS Edition
8am - Walking to my workstation, usually carring my Mackbook Air, iPhone in pocket, and a backpack full of notebooks, iOS connectors, and a power cord.
It turns out that a Mac is a very-necessary component of building and deploying iOS apps. Its quite possible to use a PC, but its a total hack. Developing in a Mac environment necessitates not only a general understanding of Mac OS, but also a basic level of understanding of unix/linux, libraries, and tools.
9am - I've spent the last hour catching up on email from clients, and rehashing where I left-off from yesterday (or earlier that morning). This is much like the process that a writer might go through to re-read portions of the story to catch back up to the storyline. For the next 3 hours or so, barring bathroom breaks and meetings. I'll be configuring, coding, and unit testing.
The tools of this trade are:
A notebook and pen - for sketches, todos, time-tracking, and random notes.
XCode (or RubyMotion) - for coding (with the equivalent of intellisense), UI design, building, and deployment
Objective-C or Swift - the languages I use to tell the software how to behave itself
The Apple development portal - for certificates, provisioning profiles, creating new app versions, updating screenshots, et al.
Stackoverflow - for help with answers to problems I've not seen before.
My code blog - for grabbing my best code for solving problems I have seen before.
My iphone and tethering cable - for deploying the app to the phone for unit testing.
The iOS Simulator - for when I'm testing without my phone.
Patience & Curiosity & Persistence - the most important tools in a developers toolchest.
12pm - Lunchtime. Any one of the following will do:
Doc Greens - Buffalo Chicken Panini, but I usually only go here to meet clients and friends.
Meads - Espresso for lunch? Sometimes, yes, why not?
Dillons - A Bolthouse Farms Organic Smoothie du jour, or some Chinese
Panda - Mushroom Chicken or Broccoli Beef, or both!
Chipotle - Burrito or bowl, white rice, black beans, chicken, corn salsa, medium salsa, cheese.
Little Caesars - Cheap pizza
1pm(ish) - Brief food coma if any of the above except Meads and the smoothies. And then pick back up from the good stopping place I chose. This next 4-hour period is a bit more relaxed, but its more of the same: coding / debugging, unit testing, with more breaks to read articles about new technology and platform changes. Also, there's time to open chat and talk to other developers so we can share ideas for projects.
6pm - The last hour was spent mopping-up and finding a good stopping place, and reviewing email messages that I might have overlooked. But, its closing time, for now.
7pm-10pm - Time with the kiddos and wife and to catch a quick dinner.
10pm-12am - Working hard on personal projects: writing, SaaS businesses (coding, et al), research, making training videos. Occasionally, in crunch-mode, this time is also spent on client work. After this, its off to bed for a 6-7 hour rest.
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