Jason R. Anderson

Software Engineer & UX Designer

Better Objective-C Code Management Through Categories

My good friend and colleague, Will Towe, recently inherited a code base with a peculiar class listed in the Xcode file inspector. The dubious Utils class. This is not the first time Will or myself have come across the infamous Utils.h/.m catch-all, and I doubt it will be the last. But hopefully, the words in this blog and the many more like it will eventually fall on the ears of budding Objective-C programmers and they will avoid this pattern.

Thoughts On Learning to Code

A very good friend of mine approached me about building an app, sometime last year. He had no real programming experience, short of putting together a few humble web sites in Adobe PageMill, but he wanted to do the work himself and asked me for some pointers on where to get started. I directed him to the usual suspects — Ray Wenderlich, stackoverflow, Big Nerd Ranch, and Apple Developer/WWDC Videos to name a few — and had a couple of Skype calls to walk him through Xcode and GitHub.

You keep using this word, #define. It does not mean what you think it means.

Hello there, fellow Objective-C developers. I’ve had to review a lot of code the past six months or so and there’s something I’ve been seeing far too often. Overuse — dare I say misuse? — of the C preprocessor. I can understand some legacy hangups for C devs coming to Objective-C, but let’s face it…there aren’t that many C devs left in the wild these days. At least not in their 20’s like the candidates submitting their code samples my way.

Tips for Mobile UI Design

I’d like to leave a message for all the aspiring UI designers out there. I understand the booming app industry has carved out a new sandbox to play in. It’s breathed new life into the industry for us developers as well. But, for you new-comers — as well as you seasoned veterans of other design disciplines, mobile UI design is like nothing you’ve dealt with before. Even if you have experience designing UI for web applications, the complexities in mobile software merit taking a step back and unlearning what you know.

How to Write an Effective Bug Report

I’ve worked for a few start-up software companies in my day, and nothing drives me more bat-shit crazy than a vague, poorly-worded bug report on the software I’m writing. I mention the start-ups specifically because the QA stage of their development process is usually less-defined than more seasoned shops. It’s typically performed by one or more of the designers or project managers who are familiar with how the app should behave.