Tag Archive: uicollectionview

Day 17: Back to the Grind

Back in New Jersey. It took a little while for me to adjust. Back to family, and home, and distractions. Even when distractions are good, they’re still distractions. So I need to schedule blocks of time when distractions are okay, and blocks of time when they aren’t.

Today, I carved out the after-dinner period for coding. I made  progress on my flashcard app, building on what I learned last week at AltConf and from my Thinkful mentor. I worked for a solid four hours.

A funny thing is that’s not good enough. I just typed, “I worked for a solid 12 hours,” and felt really great about it until I realized:

IT WASN’T TRUE.

I typed what I wanted the truth to be.

Tomorrow, I blocked out the entire day for working.

My major goals for this week are to: Make significant progress on my flashcard app, including entering back-end data; read at least 200 pages of the NASM book; and work through at least 200 pages of the Swift book, highlighting important points and follow-up questions.

I do have peripheral goals, but if I went into each week with all of them competing for space in my head, I’d set myself up for failure. With three major goals, I aim to accomplish all of them. And when inevitable procrastination strikes, I take it as an opportunity to tackle some peripheral goals.

I also have overarching goals, which can’t be accomplished within a week. Those are the big life things, like health and wellness, long-term career development, and purpose.

I don’t count them, because counting them is not important.

I sleep on them. I dream with them. I move toward them, step by step, goal by goal.

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Day 7: Goals Accomplished

I registered for the NASM personal trainer test. I read 100 pages of the NASM book (200 down, 300 to go). I worked on my flashcard app and struggled — am still struggling* — with UICollectionViews. I blogged four times and drafted a post for Medium.

I also established a Twitter account for this blog, ate somewhat better, slept a little more, spent time with family, met with a few former colleagues, finished reading Effective Objective-C 2.0, finished reading Apple’s Mobile Human Interface Guidelines, and booked a vacation stay in Italy.

Somehow, amid all of this, several people told me I look more relaxed.

I’m happy to hear it.

I do feel relaxed, in a productive-flow way. When I’m in the zone, working on something I enjoy, I’m happiest. That’s why it’s vital for me to stay productive even when I’m ostensibly relaxing and traveling. I’m always finding my way to what’s next.

* UICollectionViews are basically places that hold content within an iPhone or iPad app screen. They can be small or large, and you can scroll through the content in them and choose one or more items. The difficulty for me is in correctly setting up sizing and scrolling, although I’m making progress.

Day 5: Racing Ahead, To What?

Yesterday was excellent. I finished reading Effective Objective-C, a book that improved my coding instincts despite my newcomer status. To wit:

  1. I find myself more open to the idea of using blocks;
  2. I consider how to move as many properties as possible to the .m file’s class-continuation category, instead of leaving them in the public .h file;
  3. I name my objects and variables more clearly;
  4. I have a good conceptual understanding of memory management;
  5. Probably several other things I don’t consciously remember.

This book is also so excellently produced that I even enjoyed turning the pages and noticed the quality of the ink.

I also finished reading Apple’s Mobile Human Interface Guidelines, which helped steer me away from implementing a horizontal picker control — an inelegant solution for helping users navigate in my app. Instead, my awesome Thinkful mentor let me know about Collection Views, and I’m looking into those now via Apple documentation, the Collection View programming guide, and WWDC slides.

This highlighted an important principle for me — I knew I was doing something not-good in implementing the horizontal picker. I felt like pieces weren’t fitting together, like I had a toolbox with half the tools missing. I want to remember this feeling, because it probably means “wrong track” most of the time. The sooner I  recognize it in the future, the less time I’ll waste.

Caveat: I know there are times when I might not have all the information but am actually on the right track. In my experience, the right track feels different, because the new pieces of information I stumble across tend to make sense across the fragments and illuminate the spaces in between.