Think Like a Swift Developer: Whiteboarding

Be A Better iOS Swift Developer - whiteboarding

When I was starting out, we got a complex project that another developer didn’t put the effort to finish. Once again, my mind raced through the gamut of emotions and excitement was the key emotion. Knowing that you are about to create another complex solution that will help people in a specific way is a joyful realization.

To get the job done more effectively, my team and I were/are using some team working techniques. I would suggest following them to boost up your productivity.

You might be interested in Communication – the hidden force for a successful developing

Pairing Up

The tools we use are as important as the solution itself. So we made the decision to pair a program. I didn’t know exactly how that was done and little did I know that Apple has its own built-in solution.

If you’re working on a Mac, there’s a little tab in the top corner of iMessage called “Details.”

Be A Better iOS Swift Developer - Screen Sharing
Details in the top right of iMessage

If you click this “Details” button, you get a popup menu.

Be A Better iOS Swift Developer - Screen Sharing
See the two screens together?

Clicking the two squares enables screen sharing. Two developers could be working on the same screen at a time over the network. And for a better organization we’ve come up with a solution: Each developer will program in 30-minute blocks. While one is coding, the other navigates. I thought it was pretty slick and a must share cool tip.

Whiteboarding

The other technique we used was a whiteboard. I’ve seen numerous articles about whiteboarding. Some interviewers use a whiteboard as part of the interview process. There are also countless stories of applicants failing interviews because they couldn’t solve a problem on a whiteboard.

To me, it was less intimidating and more interesting. What was it truly like to brainstorm with another developer on a whiteboard? “IT WAS FREAKING INTENSE!!!

Be A Better iOS Swift Developer - Whiteboard

To brainstorm, sift through reason, create a workflow, develop a solution, and stay in line with the specifications was a very demanding feat of focus, concentration, and persistence. I was completely mentally fatigued. I haven’t been that mentally fatigued in a long time.

The other developer pointed out that as intense as our whiteboard session was, think if there was a designer, project manager, Q & A guys whiteboarding with us. That would be 10x as intense. I gained a great appreciation of what is demanded of yourself to do a good job. I’m confident as time goes by that working on a whiteboard will become easier. Even with more people in the session, sorting through the ideas will become second nature.

After using the strategies in this blog, immediately take your solution to the whiteboard. Draw out the workflow of the app before coding. There may not be as much Swift that needs to be written.

Final Words

Pairing with other developers is quite easy to do. It can also be another tool in your iOS developer tool chest. Also, adding a whiteboard to your workflow can produce incredible results. Whiteboarding makes flushing out pinch points and solutions easier. I highly recommend using a whiteboard for any future projects or apps.

You might be interested in 10 development tools every iOS Dev should use

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