Jason R. Anderson

Software Engineer & UX Designer

Year in Review

Well, 2015 was quite the year. I left my day job to start freelancing full time and haven’t looked back. In fact, the reason it’s been so long between posts is because I’ve just been too busy to sit down and write something. I recently had the chance to jump back into web development with an old project from a few years back, and that has been incredibly challenging and fun. I also started a new venture with a group of colleagues and we’re just gearing up now for business. In other news, I finally decided to jump into learning Swift and am having a blast discovering how much easier functional reactive programming is compared to Objective-C (via ReactiveCocoa). And, last but certainly not least, I’ve been working on something really, really big that I can’t talk about just yet, but it’s incredibly exciting. Hands down the biggest project of my career so far.

An Old Project, Revisited

I dusted off the web developer skills recently, with an application I built almost ten years ago. An Australian client of mine hired me a while back to build a Flash application that would let them browse photo repositories for their time-lapse photo business. They reached out to me to help bring their application up to current web standards and abandon Flash. It’s been fun revamping what was originally a custom PHP backend linked to a Flash interface into a proper RESTful web service capable of supplying data to any number of client interfaces — the first of which will be built on AngularJS. It’s really amazing how much web development has changed in the last 10 years. I think an article in my blog about modern web app development may be in order.

This Old Dog is Learning New Tricks

After much trepidation, I finally broke down and started making time to learn Swift. I had toyed with it a bit when it was announced at WWDC14, but the toolchain wasn’t quite there and the language kept changing out from under me. I didn’t have the time or patience to devote to learning something that was still in the throes of evolution. But now, the language and the toolchain are much more mature and I’m finally ready to pick it up and give it a go. Besides, it’s obviously the roadmap for Apple development for the foreseeable future, so best to not be left behind. One of the great things I’ve enjoyed so far is seeing how much cool stuff has been adopted from other languages (like higher-order functions and switch pattern matching — Haskell FTW!). This is one topic I’ll definitely have to make some time for on the blog.