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Joe Schmitt
Joe Schmitt

Posted on • Updated on

A (new) place to start

This post is part of a (hopefully) long-running series of Dev Diary entires on my process of teaching myself Swift and Swift UI in order to build an app.

The past 13+ years of my career have been defined by constantly starting new things. In school, I thought I was going to be an interactive UI designer, designing the most beautiful and fluid interactive Flash (lol) web experiences you'd ever seen. But I discovered an itch for building instead of designing, and so taught myself to program instead (ActionScript at the time).

My first job right out of school then was as an Interactive Developer, despite getting a BFA in design. Not coming from a programming background and holding a programming job was terrifying, but the thrill to learn kept me at it, and I ended up building some amazing projects.

But mastery over Flash and ActionScript was not job security, and sure enough a few years later Flash fell out of favor (rightly so, it had so many problems) and web standards was the new hotness. So I buckled down and learned HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Soon I was building cool new products using web standards.

And on and on it went: learning C and Objective-C, Angular (when that was a thing), ES6, NodeJS, TypeScript, etc.

My favorite thing to tell new engineers that get frustrated by how often and quickly this field changes is this: because everything is constantly new, it means you're only ever 2 years behind the experts. Everyone is new at it, and every new start gives you an opportunity to be successful again.

And so here I am again looking towards another new start. But this time it's not driven by career advancement, but more just general curiosity. I've been wanting to scratch a specific itch of an App idea I've had for a few years, and all the new stuff Apple announced at WWDC 2020 got me excited enough to try it out.

So I'm going to try something new again, but this time, two-fold: I'm going to teach myself Swift and SwiftUI while trying to build an app, and I'm going to document my learning and building process in public. My hope is that anyone reading this (and my future struggles and learnings) will be able to glean some kind of insight into how to learn something new.

And so here's to a(nother) new beginning.

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