Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 25

With all the announcements from WWDC 2017, I was eager to get everyone’s opinions on iOS 11, Xcode 9, wireless capability to build to your devices over the air, and my personal passion: ARKit.

I sped through the prepared talk on Bluetooth Game Controllers. Then we had a chance to discuss the new hotness from Apple.

I was surprised that Machine Learning with MLKit and the new Foundation class Coder that allows for easier serialization of data were big items that developers were interested in discussing.

I learned a lot from Jonathan, with his Functional Programming background, Ryan, with his experiences creating and reading JSON in his own projects, and Chae’s deep knowledge of data formatting.

So happy to have this group of developers to discuss, learn from, and guide through our mutual learning of Swift.

We’re covering Firebase Analytics at the next meetup. RSVP if you’re interested in attending!

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 24

Core Data is a subject that has always been spoken about amongst the iOS developers I know, in hushed tones. That’s why it was so great that Adam Smith, one of the developers at the meetup, suggested that he was willing to do a talk at the meetup on Core Data.

Adam’s presentation was well thought out. He prepared a talk that took us through all 4 types of data persistence available to iOS developers:

  • UserDefaults
  • KeyChain
  • NSKeyedArchiver
  • Core Data

And once he’d taken us through the pros and cons of each solution, he did some live coding that showed us how he sets up a project to use Core Data.

I especially like how he brought some humor into the live coding by naming his project CuteDogs. Hilarious. It reminded me of Joel Spolsky’s blog post on Painless Functional Specifications.

This week we’ll be covering MFi Bluetooth Game Controllers in Swift. RSVP if you’re interested in attending.

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 23

Gotta love the mob programming challenges. I feel that that’s what the developers (even the ones who don’t end up participating) enjoy the most. There’s something magical about watching other people code.

This week’s topic was Foundation. I was at a loss for how to prepare for the subject this week. In order to learn more about the subject I first started by posting questions to the developers on the meetup page:

What are you most interested in discussing with Foundation?

I got a request from O’Neill to compare and contrast Foundation and UIKit. I got a request from Ryan to go over localization. With those 2 requests in mind, I got to work researching Foundation, Localization, and UIKit.

In my research I learned that UIKit is written on top of Foundation. So there are no real tradeoffs or benefits – by using UIKit, you need to bring in the Foundation framework.

I looked into Localization to attend to Ryan’s request to find out more about how he could localize menu items in his app TouchOven. When I researched further into Localization, I found that there is a full Localization library that can be utilized. With the idea of focusing on Foundation from the extending and open source scope, I pivoted and started researching more about the open source aspects of Foundation.

Turns out that Foundation is a rewrite of Foundation from Objective C. The Foundation class is being re-written in Swift to leverage the Swift compiler. Not all of the functions that are in the Objective C implementation of Foundation. In the meantime they are suggesting the developers create bridging headers to access the additional capabilities of Swift’s Foundation while the ports are still being made.

Fantastic meetup and lots of gaps in my knowledge regarding Swift have been cleared up. Next week, Adam Smith, will be delivering a talk on Core Data. I can’t wait! RSVP if you’re interested in attending!

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 22

This week I prepared something different for the meetup. Usually I create a playground with a bunch of code to execute with the group. This time I did some research online and prepared it as a talk for the group.

I also liked talking about anything that was unclear from the previous meetup. I started out the session, after introductions, with a request for any questions or feedback from the last meetup.

Joanne had asked about the code we covered last week regarding reduce. It wasn’t clear that the accumulator was the first parameter and the closure was the second parameter. Ryan and Chae helped to explain.

Then we got into the discussion about Classes vs. Structs vs Enumerations. I love the preparation that I can do before these meetups. I learn so much. We had a nice discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of each data type.

I was happy, through my research, to find the best practices regarding the use of Classes vs. Structs vs. Enumerations.

I am glad to report back that we reached concensus that the way to create data models for your iOS projects is to always start with an Enum, then if undefined cases come up in the program creation, we should switch to using structs. Then and only then, if we need the actor to talk to other objects and control them, we should start using classes.

This week we’ll be covering Foundation. I asked for feedback from the group to prepare for the talk. So far I have gotten requests to compare UIKit and Foundation and another request to cover localization (support languages such as japanese, korean, and spanish).

If you’re interested in attending the next Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup, please RSVP.

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 21

I managed to get the streaming computer to work correctly this week. We had a few technical difficulties. I find that narrating my way through them tends to put everyone at ease through the process.

Last time we met we discussed closures and I had loaded too much content into the talk. This time we covered Results, Errors, and Optionals. I am glad that I prepared just a light talk on the material. We ended up discussing guard let and if let for a good 20 minutes.

I shared with Joanne that I had read something about group sessions and how it’s wise to leave room at the beginning of the meetup to review anything that was unclear from the last meetup.

This time through I asked at the beginning of the meetup, after the introductions, if anyone had questions about the last meetup on closures. Joanne brought up the fact that the mapping functions Chae wrote at the last meetup was unclear. So we took about 15 minutes to discuss that section.

Going forward I am planning to loop back around at the beginning of the meetup to leave room for discussions of questions that lingered from the previous meetup.

I’m glad to have discovered this method of looping back around, seeing how effective it is in promoting continuity in the meetup, and to make sure that the time we have set aside for meeting is rife with learning opportunities, psychological safety, and powerful swift programming.

If you’re interested in attending the next meetup, we’re covering Classes vs. structs vs. enums. Please RSVP if you’re interested in attending!

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 20

No stream to share this time. The camera was set to record with OBS but the computer thought it was still connected to 2 monitors. I was not able to aggregate all running programs on one monitor and restarting did not help. So I decided to proceed with the meetup without streaming or recording. And it went well. I believe everyone learned something new.

I felt like I was trying to cram too much space into a single talk and ended up lecturing at the attending developers more than teaching and letting them ask questions.

Good notes for future meetups.

We did have a chance to go over the exercise I created for the meetup. I created a function that doubled, removed odds and summed the total.

The Mob Programming challenge was meant to have them get into the hot seat and code. Getting over that fear of doing something in public is central to my ideas in terms of learning how to code. And doing it well.

I shared a story that reminds me to just throw my hat into the ring, especially if I’m afraid.

When I was about 16 years old, I had been playing the guitar for about 4 years. My friend Johnny told me about a jam circle in Aiea that I just had to go to with him. He didn’t really share the logistics or how the group worked and I didn’t ask. I packed up my Fender Strat and took my tiny amp and Johnny picked me up in the morning.

We drove to Ewa. Took us about 20 minutes. We parked in a strip mall. And walked our gear up stairs. The drive took longer than expected and we were about 15 minutes late.

Johnny opened the door and I followed him in. There must have been about 30 old-timers sitting around jamming together. I was intimidated but tried not to let it show.

I sat down and watched Johnny take out his guitar, tune it, and set up. I was frozen.

The other men acted like they had seen Johnny before too. I don’t think he had ever been here before.

I sat there, still frozen.

One guy started the riff, easy 1-3-5. Then each person in the circle would take his turn (about 2 minutes) riffing leads over the chord progression.

Johnny did a good job riffing.

When it came to me, I said that I wasn’t going to participate. So I sat there and listened for 40 minutes. Just sitting there and feeling like shit.

Nearly 20 years later, I still remember that day. I remember it because I regret it. I should have gotten my guitar out, plugged in, and ego-be-damned, played my little heart out.

I shared this story with the meetup attendees as a caution to get out of your comfort zone. And a reminder that we are all beginners. And that you just need to get started to get going.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s session on Result Errors vs. Optionals!

If you’re interested in attending the meetup, please RSVP.

Takeaways from “The Future of Work – How Colleges can Prepare Students for the Jobs Ahead” by Scott Carlson

“The world is now much more chaotic. It’s faster, and it’s continually changing as different factors come into play, whether it’s automation, which is a big one, or any of the other factors affecting the workplace. People, whether they’re already in the workplace or planning to enter the workplace, have to be prepared to be adaptive and to innovate. They are not going to be doing the same thing all the time. These jobs are going to morph into new things. you need a core set of skills to rely on that allow you to transcend boundaries and change.”

– Philip Gardner, Director of Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute

Scott Carlson, writer of Marxist scholars, resilience, and practical skills, just released a report for the Chronicle of Higher Education called “The Future of Work – How Colleges can Prepare Students for the Jobs Ahead.”

I read the report earlier this week and wanted to give my brain some time to chew on the findings, suggestions for next steps, and insightful quotes in the report. One week later, here goes.

Changing the way we integrate career centers into the college is necessary

“When parents were asked what aspects of the university most interested them, the campus center came in second to campus safety.” – Carlson

“Career services offices – once called ‘placement offices’ – have been around for about 100 years.” – Carlson

Colleges are not preparing students for the workplace

“Higher education must embrace its role as a gateway to the workforce.” – Scott Carlson

“All of the companies he applied for asked for experience, certifications, and other qualifications, and he had not gotten any of that in college.” – Mr. Darr, student

“If you did not seek the information for internships and career paths and plans, it wasn’t marketed.” – Mr. Darr

The center’s director of the Colorado State University “insists that the work of the career center needs to be integrated into the rest of what the university does.”

“The world of work will be much more chaotic in the future, and students should be trained to deal with the uncertainties that brings.” – Philip Gardner

“Instead of degrees, colleges will need to offer training in packages that are smaller, faster, and more relevant.” – Philip Gardner

“Many innovative career offices [] are leading the way toward a new role: one that needs to use technology and other techniques to scale up its services, make connections to alumni to raise money and provide professional networks for students, and form partnerships throughout the campus to more seamlessly connect students to careers.” – Carlson

Demand for STEM majors is and will remain high, but opportunities to allow students to develop soft skills while still in college are desperately needed

“Lower-risk, real-world working situations can provide opportunities to allow students to learn some of these attributes. ‘You don’t teach initiative and resiliency. You just put people in situations and encourage them, and then watch how they react, how do they resolve failure.” – Philip Gardner

David Ong, the director of corporate recruiting at Maximus says, “Subject-matter expertise is highly teachable. It takes an awfully long time to teach somebody about taking initiative, or how to accept critical feedback.”

Marie Artim, the vice president of talent acquisition at Enterprise Holdings says, “Empathy, communication skills, flexibility, problem-solving skills, experience in working with teams of people – all of those skills end up being most important on the job.”

“Many of the managers noted that new, young employees opted for modes of communication that seemed inappropriate for the setting. For example, in a conflict situation, the employee might send an email or text to a colleague, rather than walk down the hall to talk it out. The ability to talk (and work) across divides in a workplace are critical, even in industries that are traditionally seen as top-down.” – Carlson

“More than one in three workers today is a millennial.” – Carlson

Brittany Palubiski, a manager of global university relations and talent acquisition at General Motors says “she and her colleagues are looking for technicians who can also think broadly about business strategy, push new ideas, and take the kinds of risks that distinguish leaders.”

Fully formed “T-shaped individuals” are required to integrate with increasingly multicultural workplace environments.

“Employers are actively seeking out graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, and students with that training will likely continue to be in demand in the future, even as colleges churn out more of them.” – Doug Webber

Philip Gardner is interested in building “T shaped” individuals. This means “They must have deep knowledge in a discipline and a system, forming the vertical line of the T, but also communication skills, curiosity, empathy, and other soft skills that allow them to relate to and interact with workers from other systems and disciplines.”

“Lawrence Katz, the economics historian has talked about the hollowing-out effect of technology. It does two things: It either requires more skills, or it decreases skills to a lower level and, or course, lower wages.” – Gardner

“If you can’t adapt your work to the context you’re in, and you’re limited within your own context, then you’ve got problems.” – Tim Brown, IDEO

Burning Glass Technologies, a company that “analyzes the labor market by collecting data on job postings,” sees “more employers asking for marketing managers who also have experience building databases or doing data analytics.”

“As the job market becomes more dynamic, and as employers look for increasingly unnatural combinations in skills, the most important talent will be harder and harder to find.” – Carlson

“Jobs that feature skills that require complex human interactions will remain in demand.” – Carlson

“It’s less about the major, he believes, and more about picking the people who present well, communicate clearly, show creativity, or are well connected – traits they began developing long before they showed up at college.” – Doug Webber, assistant professor of economics at Temple University

“Evidence suggests that the biggest wage gains will go to people who combine STEM training and technical skills with the kinds of soft skills often thought to be the hallmark of liberal-arts majors.” – Carlson

Robots are replacing humans in the jobs that are easiest to automate.

“Computers, robots, and artificial intelligence will continue to upend, eliminate, and create jobs in the years to come, in ways we may not yet fully understand.” – Carlson

“Machines are used to perform specific tasks. And if your job consists of a series of tasks, all of which can be automated, obviously you’re at risk.” – Jerry Kaplan author of Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

People need to work in order to feel like they are contributing members of society

“One in six men is not working, and they are often not counted in unemployment statistics because they have dropped out of the work force.” – Carlson

“People who have nothing to do or nothing to think about may fill their lives with destructive activities, like drugs and crime. This makes me nervous. Meaningful life is one where you are useful, where you are needed.” – Moshe Vardi, professor of computer science at Rice University

Employers are saying that new workers are not SOCIALLY prepared like their previous generations:

“Recent college graduates, employers and researchers say, may not display the maturity, initiative, communication skills, and workplace etiquette that would allow them to excel in a corporate environment.” – Carlson

“Where new college graduates years ago had time to mature in the workplace through their early 20s, ‘the pace and skills required when you hit the ground are higher now.’ It’s work attitudes and work behaviors, and personal characteristics like resiliency, initiative, and grit. If we just focus on skills and competencies, we miss half of what needs to be done.” – Philip Gardner

Leverage technology to increase precious time reserved for face to face counseling

“I also think you will see a greater emphasis on creating communities – communities of students, communities of students, communities of alumni, communities of recruiting organizations – and creating communities for people to interact in different ways. Social media will be one of the main vehicles for those communities.” – Contomanolis

“Ask the admissions office what their two biggest deals are when they talk to parents and students: Future and Finances win hands down every time.” – Podany

There are only 2 ways forward

1) More closely align their career centers with alumni organizations.

“The office embraces the employer, not the student, as its primary customer.” – Carlson

“It’s very clear alumni helping students is part of the success mix.” – Contomanolis

“Colgate University moved career services from student affairs – where most college career offices preside – to alumni affairs and development, to put an external, networking emphasis on career-services operations. Colgate puts on events like Sophomore Connections, a three-day conference, held during winter break in January where more than 100 Colgate alumni return to campus to tell sophomores about their professions and how to land jobs in them.” – Carlson

2) Push career training deeper into the academic function of their institutions:

Part of it is “recruiting people around the university to help provide career training for students.” – Carlson

“Academic learning and experiential learning are so woven together. The ideal dream would be for career services to be ubiquitous. It’s just part of the fabric and it’s blended in, but it means that people have to be more attuned to learning and the advances in learning, and how to frame learning outcomes that attain both academic and professional objectives. They’re not going to be able to just do the career fairs and event planning. They’re going to have to understand pedagogy and curriculum development as it’s evolving with technology.” – Gardner

“Learning to make things is inherently experiential, as compared to learning about things, which is much more cerebral.” – Richard K. Miller, president of Olin College of Engineering

“Academe has long been suspicious of, and even hostile to, notions of vocationalism in higher education. But the imperative for higher-education institutions should be clear: training for life and training for work do not have to be separate activities. Colleges can, and should embrace both. Given our need for both a strong workforce and an educated citizenry, the role of higher education is more vital than ever.” – Carlson

Takeaways

I still don’t know which way I would suggest going based on the 2 options. Perhaps the answer will get clearer as the points made have time to set in.

I hope after reading through this list of trends, proposed solutions, and insightful quotes from the report, you have a better understanding of the current state of work in 2017.

I’m still sifting through some of the things I’ve learned after reading this report. We’re planning to discuss this tomorrow. I’m hoping that by putting all of this information together, then shuffling it into common themes, more insights will come along over the next few weeks.

Contact me if you have any questions!