The Downside of Following Tutorials

Since I am learning iOS development as I go, often times I follow tutorials to get things done quickly instead of digging through documentation to figure out how to use a certain class in the SDK. The problem is that tutorials are meant to get you from not having a feature to having it with little regard to code organization and maintainability.

This is fine if you follow tutorials occasionally but I followed quite a few which quickly made me unhappy with the state of certain files. Comparing strings that are displayed on the UI is just bad design because as soon as you introduce internationalization all hell breaks loose.

Should we not follow tutorials? Not at all. However, instead of following the tutorial exactly, one could try to improve on the code as it is written. Alternatively, after the feature is complete but before it is committed one could look at the code and try to optimize it. Of course there’s always the option of not using tutorials and digging through documentation but who has time for that? I guess people that write tutorials.

It’s been two weeks since my last update and I just linked to my blog on reddit so I should give an update on the status of Outside Tasks.

I think I’ve been focusing on the smaller details instead of the big features since progress feels slow even though I am working on it regularly.

Tasks can be created, searched, edited, associated with contexts, and assigned urgency, importance, and effort. Contexts can be created, searched, edited, and assigned a method of activation (a way to activate automatically based on time, location, and device). You have the option to see only tasks that are currently relevant.

What I haven’t done yet: projects, actually implementing filtering by the activation methods, and finding a freaking checkbox because swiping to mark tasks as complete simply won’t work in the widget.

I really need to focus more on big features over little details even though perfecting the app is satisfying. I guess the old adage “Just ship it” is more than just a cliche.