A podcast discussing news of note in iOS Development, Apple and the like.

#210: Polymaths.

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I’m not a huge fan of the term polymath. It sounds kinda pretentious but sometimes the best word for something is that way. Today I was struck by the wild variety of tasks and skills that it takes to run a business principally on your own. So I wanted to walk through some of disparate aspects of the ‘job’. Hopefully giving someone who is considering going out on their own some good food for thought.

My intention isn’t to scare anyone off, but just to help you understand the inherent complexity of this line of work, and an appreciation for the things other people handle for you in a J-O-B, job.

General Development

  • Software engineering
  • Bug tracking
  • Product Design
  • Release planning
  • Customer support
  • Version Control
  • iTunes Connect submission lifecycle

iOS Development

  • Objective C, Xcode, Interface Builder
  • Device and iOS version management
  • Photoshop, PaintCode
  • Testing / QA

Server Development

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Postgres
  • Memcached, nginx, redis
  • Queueing, sidekiq
  • Linux system administration, Backups, Security updates


  • iTunes Connect, contracts, payments,
  • Accounting, Taxes and banking.
  • Budgeting
  • Compliance, Local, State, Federal, Business Licenses
  • Benefits / Welness
  • General hosting, email, domains, etc


  • Websites
  • ‘Brand’, personal and otherwise
  • Photoshop
  • Marketing concepts and ideas
  • Microeconomics

#209: Not so Fast.

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Today I walk through my history thinking about Swift. From WWDC to now I’ve done a lot of thinking about Swift as whether I should be using it. The result makes me feel a bit conflicted, but the brutally pragmatic part of me is winning out.

#208: Sam Soffes.

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I take a break out of my normal 15 minute format for a return of my occational interview series. This week I’m delighted to talk to Sam Soffes about balancing your own product work with doing consulting, different ways of thinking about success and deciding what it is you want to do with your time.

Sam has been developing for iOS since 2008 and has worked on a wide variety of successful products. He is currently working on Whiskey, a Markdown editor for Mac and iOS.

#207: Irresistible Complexity

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Rather than wading into the hullabaloo regarding Apple’s software quality directly I instead decided to take a step backwards and consider the forces that have driven us to this situation in the first place. My goal is to consider the forces that make keeping software stable over time difficult. The result can apply to small projects as well as to a company as large as Apple.

  • Marketing Complexity: The pressure to keep adding features in order to keep software relevant in a marketplace.
  • Intrinsic Complexity: The unfortunate reality that any added feature doesn’t just linearly increase complexity, instead it increases radically.
  • Personnel/Personal Complexity: The tension and struggle around keeping sharp, talented engineers focused on stability when the promise of working on something else, newer and more exciting looms.

These are the concerns we need to stay conscious of in order to manage our software over time.