AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers

Paweł Madej, a pharmacist retrained to iOS developer

December 24, 2020 Jeroen Leenarts
AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers
Paweł Madej, a pharmacist retrained to iOS developer
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Paweł is a person with an interesting journey. If you are considering switching iOS development careers, Paweł has done just that. A pharmacist who switched to iOS software development. In a timespan of two years Paweł was able to make the change. Again two very familiar names will be mentioned. Paul and Donny.

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Jeroen Leenarts:

Welcome to another special edition with Pawel muddy, most people will know by well from his code cough app. I think he's quite a recent name in the iOS developer community. And what I've heard from him is that he has a very interesting backgrounds, especially the way that he actually got into software development. So that's something we're definitely going to dig into in this interview. So Pawel, welcome. Hi, how you doing?

Pawe:

Hello, I'm fine. Thank you.

Jeroen Leenarts:

You created the code cough app. Can you tell us a little bit what it is about

Pawe:

code cough up is about watching videos from conferences about programming, and especially mobile programming and iOS development. This is content about this, and my app, gutters, videos from conferences from around the world. And they are available to watch by speakers by conferences, or just by the topic you are interested in. So there are many conferences that it is hard to find them if you do not know what to look for when googling for some conferences, or some content. And this was the cause I started thinking about such app when I was learning iOS development. And I found a few conferences which got very interesting content for me. But I will, as I was digging more about other conferences and other videos, it was hard to find them. So I decided to make an app which has all these conferences in one place.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay, so it's basically an app that you created. Because when you were trying to find these videos for yourself, when you were learning iOS development, it was hard to actually find those videos. So you thought like, hey, maybe there's a niche here that I can actually provide some service to other developers out there that want to maybe also see these videos. Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah,

Pawe:

this was the goal. Because that was my problem, which I tried to resolve for myself. But I found that there are many other people in the same situation. As I was a year ago. Many developers are learning, looking for solutions, looking for some knowledge. So I felt that it will be helpful for others also,

Jeroen Leenarts:

was this your first iOS app? Or was there another app that you worked on before this one?

Pawe:

No, this is this was the second one. The first one was family grapes map. It's up that I started directly when I was started learning iOS development, I thought that learning by project, having some idea to implement will be good, why to learn how to program in Swift and for iOS platform. So I was learning and implementing new features for family DriveSmart.

Jeroen Leenarts:

But family graves The name sounds a bit interesting, can you give a brief overview of what this app is about, because I think it is somewhat of a topic that most people don't talk about very easily.

Pawe:

The idea for this app is also from my problem, I got to find the solution for so from my wife's side of family, we have many graves located in two cemeteries. But as in Europe, this time of year for liberation of family members who pass it by, it is dark very soon, and we got a problem to find those graves. So I thought that maybe I will write the app where I can make some markers on the map. And with locations of these graves. So when you when I am next time on the cemetery, I can launch my app and I see where to go and not to look around where the disk drives are located because we visit them yearly. So it's easy to miss them. When we are at the cemetery.

Jeroen Leenarts:

It's a tool that allows you to bookmark the location of grave that is of interest to you and your family. Yeah, okay. Exactly. And it's the it's the GPS of the iPhone accurate enough. To actually get near enough, because I've heard different stories on that

Pawe:

our sales testing how much accurate it is? It's the most accurate measurement was about four meters.

Jeroen Leenarts:

That's close enough, right? Yeah. But now we know a little bit about current apps that you have in your portfolio. Can you tell us a little bit about where you're from? Because I know you live in Poland? And where did you grew up? And when did you get an interest in? In software development? And because I know that you went into a totally different direction, before you actually wound up in software development. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

Pawe:

Yeah, I live in kelsa. In Poland, as you said, and this is my hometown, from beef. I lift kilts only for my studies. And this to this was pharmacy, because I have master's degree of pharmacy and more than 12 years experience as pharmacists. So this is my background. But almost from high school, I was very interested in many it topics. I was programming in PHP language, some little and one bigger project in PHP with Symfony framework. And I was also administering Linux servers for many years with database administration. Mail Server Administration, so but this was also everything my hobby was, I wasn't doing this for money, but for myself, for my friends, for family, to keep these services and our domains, etc. So

Jeroen Leenarts:

So you were doing all this, it related stuff next to your daddy's and day job. As a pharmacist, you decided to switch to software development, or specifically iOS development, what happened there,

Pawe:

it took me more than a year and a half, to find someone who will see my experience as iOS developer before that time, and I decided that if I find a company, which would like to hire me, as an iOS developer, I will leave pharmacy job and make this switch.

Jeroen Leenarts:

How do you like software development, thus far for your livelihood?

Pawe:

I like it very much. I work for this company from health of October, because for this month and a half, I was working at two jobs at the same time. And I like very much very different from working on iOS apps for myself. And now I work in a team. We have a mobile team of to me and one person about the team is around 16 people. Okay,

Jeroen Leenarts:

so But when did you actually start learning about iOS development? When was that? How long ago?

Pawe:

More than two years ago, but I started learning piano a year and a half ago. That was March in 2019.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And what were your most important books or resources to get you on the path to successfully learn these things?

Pawe:

Many books from Paul Hudson I have books book from on the walls I have from Mark Moyer can see if I pronounced properly.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay, I actually had Sony waltz and Paul Hudson on my podcast as well. It's a big leap that you took now, steady job, probably a decent income. What was the response? In your home situation? Your friends, maybe family? What what did they say when you said Okay, that's it. I'm going to learn iOS development, and I'm gonna jump ship from my steady job and be a self employed developer maybe or get hired somewhere. I just want to switch. What was the response that you got?

Pawe:

My wife was also all in. There are many moms when she had to be very calm about my learning. So but the end, at the end of the day, I think she's happy that I managed to to get to the point that I switched this

Jeroen Leenarts:

jobs. It didn't take the easy path. What were the challenges that you had to overcome, to actually be able to become a software developer?

Pawe:

The biggest hurdle, I think was that time that they only had 24 hours and I go to sleep sometime, when I got stuck, and I had no idea where to get through the problem, how to define question how to resolve the problem, because of my lack of experience, more. Sometimes the right path is not the best one. So you have to sometimes get stuck back, roughing the problem, and then you find the a lot better solution.

Jeroen Leenarts:

One of the biggest hurdles as a software developer you have to overcome is to be able to manage your own level of frustration, because something's not working. You immediately start doubting yourself, Am I stupid? What am I missing? Am I forgetting something? Is it something I just don't understand. But the best thing you can do then is to actually, sometimes even physically step back and come back to the problem later with a fresh minds, maybe some new ideas, maybe had a chat about it with someone. And that, that really can can brighten your day, so to speak. So let's see, what what did we discuss? You were a pharmacist, you trained yourself to be a software developer, you mentioned a few resources. I think you had a lot of help from the content available on hacking with Swift. Yeah. You mentioned Donnie wells.

Pawe:

Yeah, but Donnie was is, I think, this special person in my iOS journey, because not only his blog posts and his book, but I got many chats with, with him about very different topics and my questions. He helped me a lot with with my problems I got around the the time.

Jeroen Leenarts:

One thing that I noticed is that besides your current app, you also created a new Swift library this year, called Twitch text. Why did you come up with this, this new library and what does it actually do?

Pawe:

Twitter text library is official Twitter library, but written in Objective C. While I was writing backend for con con up, I wanted to make a plugin for this back end, which could tweet some things about content, I have ENCODE confab. So to have feed in tweet, I got to calculate lack of number of directors, I can fit in one tweet. And as I was planning to have a little more content, I got had to make treats. And then I had to split this content to the few tracks and also calculate the slack. Because if you have URL is calculated differently, if you have emojis is that also not the one director. So I found that writing that thing for myself probably wouldn't find every edge case I could probably heat and why tweets may not be sent for the Twitter API. And I found that in a library in the documentation, but the problem was that it was written in Objective C and Ty needs to have this library SPM compatible. So I had to write it into Swift language. So the objective C library got huge test suit for tracking if everything is counted, calculated properly. And our implementation passes on macOS every test for this and only knows we found seven tests that failed, because Linux implementation of foundation Library is a little different sometimes are not implemented on Linux. So, but these applications did was very edge guys because it was Arabic, right to left text with English, normal left to right text at in the same string. So that was the only thing we wasn't able to to properly implement on on Linux. But finally it is done. And it's official Twitter text repository on GitHub. The recent note that I have this unofficial implementation in Swift of the library,

Jeroen Leenarts:

you made a big switch in your career path. There are other people out there that might be considering something similar. What do you think, is the best advice that you could give to these people? What What would you tell them to make sure that you have the best chance of becoming an iOS software developer in the same way that you did?

Pawe:

I think the best what I can say to everybody don't give up. I think if you are motivated, that you're really like, what you're doing and what we're planning to do, because you like these, and you have this motivation. To keep up with this. Because it won't be easy. It won't be fast. But I think that having a product that you make, for example, making your own apps is best reward that you get from from this learning path.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So what are your plans for the for the future in regards to iOS and software development? So what do you what do you think lies ahead?

Pawe:

One goal for next year, is to write a book about my journey about my experience with this because I got many questions from people asking me for for some sharing my experience, because they are also starting. And I think that in January, I will also written a little back to code con, and to update talks database. From the second half of this year. There are many remote conferences, because of the situation. But I won't would like to have also them in my app for for people. So I think in January will be some updates for cough. Also, I think about releasing better iPad version. So because now it's rather for iPhone, but I have for iOS 14 And this new things plan for making better iPad version. I have one idea for another app. But I don't know if I start next year with this idea.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So you could say that becoming a software developer has given you a lot of new energy to actually go at it full force and make sure that you become the best software developer that you can be given the time constraints of course,

Pawe:

working at pharmacy for some time, it was hard for me because I knew that I want to be iOS developer and I want to get these jobs switch and it was waiting time when I get the this opportunity to start full time as iOS developer. So I'm now having my dream reality I have free mind for for some another. Topics I can go but I learned that we can't have too many side projects at the same time. Because if you have them nothing really works at all. So I am rather concentrating on very little topics, and I do not know, wants to split my time into too many different things.

Jeroen Leenarts:

MSA say you're doing something that's really new for you. I think it's very commendable that you actually do that. But well, thank you, I think you made quite a journey, actually, a complete change over from pharmacists to software developer, you create your own open source library, you created two apps and two now we're working as a full time iOS software developer. So I'd say quite impressive what you did in two years time. And maybe actually, we can meet each other at a conference sometime next year or the year after who knows what the future will bring. Thank you very much for your time. And it was great talking to you.

Pawe:

Yeah, thank you also Duran for having me on. And I think if situations around the world will be better. I think I will be very interested to meet with you and others on some conference, maybe in Poland, maybe in somewhere in Europe. Let's hope that that situation will end soon. And we are back to normality.

Jeroen Leenarts:

I can agree to that. Thank you very much.

Intro
CodeConf app
Family Graves Map
Pharmacist
Paweł IT service for freinds and family
Career change
Books to learn from
Friends and family support?
Challenges and advice
Extra help from Donny
TwitterText Swift
Switching careers? Do not give up.
Future plans