May 2, 2022

How To Become A Mobile Developer (Coding Bootcamp AND Self-taught Advice)


I've had several people ask me how they could become a mobile developer so I invited on Dave, an iOS Developer, to share his journey. While he attended a coding bootcamp, he also laid out a plan for how he would go about it with the self-taught path as well.  I hope this helps!

Dave Jacobsen (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidjacobsen1
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/c/DaveJacobseniOS

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow a lot of you have been asking, how do I become a mold, a mobile developer, as many of you know, I focus on web development. So I've not too much knowledge in this area. So I decided to invite a mobile developer on to share his experience of becoming a developer. We're going to dive into a few things. And, you know, I know a few of you have asked me questions in the past. And so I think I do have them jotted down somewhere, but we're going to start and jump into his experience. So Dave, glad you could be with

Dave Jacobsen:

us. Welcome. Awesome, Don. Yeah. Thanks so much for having me looking forward to this. So excited to dive into the world of mobile development. Um, so yeah, I can get started just kind of sharing my own experience you put before you

Don Hansen:

do, uh, how long have you been a mobile device?

Dave Jacobsen:

So professionally, I think I just passed the year and a half mark. Um, and then started just dabbling on my own about a year prior to that. So about two and a half years. Awesome. All

Don Hansen:

right. Yeah, let's dive into

Dave Jacobsen:

this. I'm ready. Great. Well, awesome. Yeah. Um, again, been in the field about a year and a half, but uh, had a pretty tough. Um, and difficult journey to become a, an iOS developer. And so, you know, it's something that I'm really passionate about just because of, you know, I I've kind of come out on the other side and, uh, you know, failed a lot, but also learned a lot. And so I love kind of having these conversations and helping people, um, learn more about, you know, what it might take and maybe what some of the. Um, you know, strategies they can employ to kind of just boost their overall likelihood of becoming successful. So, yeah. Um, like I had said, I started about two and a half years ago. And what prompted me to start looking into software development in general was, um, I kind of just felt like I was plateauing in the field that I was in and not really being challenged. In it very much anymore. And so I was doing, uh, like the business development side, uh, working at a startup and, you know, learned a lot and enjoyed aspects of it. Um, but like I said, after about a year and a half of doing that, um, was kind of just curious about what other things might be better suited to my skills. What other things might have a more clear, um, you know, career trajectory in terms of income, job stability, these types of things. And so. The first area that I started looking into is software development. And I have no background in it. I've, you know, taken no courses or college credits towards it. Um, and so like, so many people, you know, went on Google and just typed in how to learn software development. I didn't know, you know, what languages to start with or anything like that. Um, and for one reason or another, really, um, from a very early. Uh, early, very early on in the process, uh, started with iOS development. I think I was biased because I've, I've used apple products and enjoyed using them for so long. Um, and from what I heard, the swift programming language, which is used for iOS development these days, I had heard just from what I was reading online, that it was pretty beginner friendly. Um, so that was me. I just kinda started down that path. Um, I think I looked into some initial resources for maybe JavaScript, but for whatever reason, the barrier of entry seemed lowest to me for iOS. And so, uh, just kind of started walking in that direction, uh, one step at a time and, and never really looked back from that point. Um, and so again, this was, you know, I was still working my full-time job, um, at the startup and this was just early stages in my thinking. You know, I just want to kind of go, um, one, you know, one area at a time and either, um, see if I like it or just rule it out if it's not a good fit. And so again, started with software development and iOS and, um, really, uh, from an early on, um, point. Uh, wanted to kind of like invest as much as I could into it. So basically that meant my nights and weekends, I was pretty focused on learning the skill, uh, again, to get to the point of either. Hey, no, I don't want to go this route anymore or, Hey, what would it actually look like to turn this into a career and a profession, you know, apart from what I'm doing now, because either determining either one of those things, uh, was a win for me. So I was able to kind of dedicate again, like most of my free time for probably about four or five months. Um, pretty seriously, uh, learning with the free resources, um, that, you know, so many of us start with with iOS development. So a lot of stuff from like Paul Hudson, Ray winder lick is another resource that I learned from. Um, and essentially, you know, while I was doing that too, I was reaching out to other developers in the field trying to find other iOS developers through, you know, my college network and things like that to, to hear what their journey was like to hear maybe what they would recommend for somebody in my circumstance. And so I was lucky enough to have, you know, several people that. Willing to have conversations with me and kind of steer me in the right direction from an early, uh, you know, early on in my process. So really grateful for that, but essentially got to the point where, you know, I was far enough along in, in, uh, you know, I had confirmed that I enjoyed the process of building apps, um, the, kind of the thought process of what it takes to be a software developer. Um, you know, I, I felt like my skill set was. Uh, you know, basically that made me able to kind of pick it up, um, easy and you know, more so than some other fields and stuff like that. And so got to the point where I was like, you know, I, I basically had to make a decision after a period of time of like, okay, I've kind of taken it as far as I can giving only about 10 hours a week. Cause that was all I had to give it. Um, versus. You know, I realized that it was so vast that I w I wasn't going to get, they're only giving a 10 hours a week to be able to land an entry-level job. I, I felt like there was, it was just too vast of a field to be able to learn what you need to learn, to be qualified, to start applying for entry-level jobs and have an impressive portfolio. And so, Basically the question in my head then became, okay, what are, what are the steps that I can do? What are the routes that I could go to turn this into a career? And for me, it was basically, you know, do like a full-time bootcamp to, you know, accelerate my learning or. Basically quit my job and kind of go full self-taught with, uh, kind of being able to dedicate full-time hours to it. And so I was in a position where, you know, I was fortunate enough to, uh, be able to afford kind of the upfront cost of the bootcamp. Uh, also fortunate in that, you know, my wife was working a pretty good full-time job at the time and essentially was able to kind of float us indefinitely. And so. Uh, basically for my own personal situation, it wasn't going to be putting myself. In a potentially dangerous situation by like leaving my job and leaving the income that I had to go pursue this thing, which again, I realize is a very fortunate position to be in. Um, but because of that, I opted for the bootcamp route. And so, uh, you know, I know you've had people on your show talking about Deb mountain, so that was the. Basically the only, um, in-person full time iOS bootcamp at the top. And so this was like late 2019 that I was kind of going through this process. Um, so in one sense, you know, I know a big question that, you know, you dive into a lot is, Hey, which bootcamp should I take for my situation? Um, it was pretty obvious because there was only one. Option at the time. So again, made that process easy. Um, and so yeah, basically went through the enrollment process, got accepted to the program. Um, did a bunch of the pre-course work, uh, leading up to it and kind of put in my two weeks notice. And so, uh, that was kind of my. Um, I guess kind of stepping off the diving board of kind of making that decision to where okay. I'm in it now. I, I, I can't look back. I just have to look forward and until I kind of reach my destination of, you know, becoming employed as, as an entry-level iOS developer. So yeah, that's the route that I went, um, Yeah. The learned a ton from the bootcamp, you know, as you can imagine, when you have 10 hours a day to dedicate to anything, you can learn a lot in that in three months time. Um, but the, the one thing I'll say on that is, you know, all you leave with. Um, in my experience of, of graduating the bootcamp is a solid foundation, uh, that you then need to continue to build on. Um, and you, you learn, I guess, you know, the ability to keep learning on your own. And so I kind of, you know, was told that fortunately by many people ahead of time, that. You know, Hey, don't expect just because you sign up for this bootcamp that you're going to be guaranteed a job. I still say that today, uh, to everyone that I have conversations with and think it it's maybe even more true now. So. Um, yeah, again, left that program with a solid foundation and enjoyed the, the curriculum and the environment. It was, it was really valuable for me. Uh, and then after that, it took me six months of basically every day, waking up, you know, asking myself what can I do today to get closer to landing my first full-time job. So. Big things. There were, uh, building out a portfolio of app store apps, um, particularly for iOS development. That's a really critical, uh, piece that you need to have. Because again, as somebody in my position at the time, I had no prior job experience or anything. And so having, you know, something to show on the app store that you have built, uh, yourself was, was really. Uh, a critical piece to getting any sort of consideration for a first round interview or things like that. Um, you know, the other things that I hit on were building out my GitHub page with a bunch of, you know, more, uh, additional sample projects that maybe weren't on the app store, um, you know, kind of, you know, trying to optimize my LinkedIn profile and my presence on LinkedIn. Uh, and then kind of what really pushed me over the line. Um, to, to where I started getting much more responses on, uh, my applications was doing an internship. Um, and so that, that again, kind of the, the big barrier that I'm sure you hear from a lot of, you know, Um, you know, guests are the biggest thing going against you is, is your lack of experience when going for entry-level jobs. And that's a really big barrier to overcome, but kind of my mindset was okay. You know, I can't change the fact that I've never had a job as a software developer, but what, what is within my control is basically every other aspect of, of the process. Um, again, with things like LinkedIn, building out a portfolio, Um, you know, uh, basically all the other pieces of, of what an employer might be looking at when they received your application, those are within your control. And so those were the things that I tried to hit on a lot. So, uh, yeah, for me to, to kind of wrap this up, uh, I sent about 90 applications online a month for about six months. So if you do the math, uh, I think I just crossed over 500 total. Sounds like an incredible amount. Um, and it is, but just keep in mind. The majority of those applications are kind of the one or two click applications on indeed. It's not like I was doing cover letters or, you know, anything tailored like that. Um, so my, my kind of, uh, approach was, um, definitely hit hard on numbers. I don't think that you have much to lose, to pull the, apply to a place just a little bit of your time. If, if you kind of can optimize for speed. Uh, you know, kind of learn the ins and outs of the job search websites, but then also focus on, you know, warmer leads at the same time and definitely prioritizing those. So any connections and things like that, I was hitting pretty hard, uh, in that area too. So yeah, my, my first role again, to, to kind of wrap this up, uh, I got hired on at CVS health, uh, just as an iOS developer on their team. That was kind of, you know what again, brought me over the finish line. Uh, kind of the, the end of my initial journey that I set out on and, uh, you know, from there, um, you know, it's, it's insane how the difference, uh, of, of how legit other employers will, will consider you if you have other job experience and, you know, kind of the, the thing that went against me so hard, uh, to, to get my first role as is now working for me, uh, now that I have experience on my resume and things like that. Yeah, it was definitely a long road. Uh, it took a lot of persistence and I, I think, you know, the people that are succeeding in. Getting a entry-level developer roles today, especially people without maybe formal backgrounds. Um, they all have persistence. They all can endure the rejection. That is inevitable. Um, and so that, that's a big thing that I try and encourage people is, you know, sticking with it. Uh, but also, you know, if, if you are strategic over a long enough period of time, Um, you're, you're, it's, it's very doable. So yeah, that's, that's kinda my story and, you know, we'd love to expand on any aspect of that and, uh, kind of go from there.

Don Hansen:

I love it. I appreciate you sharing so much detail. Definitely have a few questions. Um, you had mentioned, uh, well, first of all, congrats on the position, um, because. Well, so I guess we'll dive into this. I've I've had a few people share with me that they really have a strong belief that it's easier to get a web development than it is mobile development. They feel like mobile development is a, like, if you are, I guess they feel like you need to use something else as a stepping stone to get into it. Usually like mobile positions will only hire experienced developers where web developers. That's not the case, which I don't necessarily agree with that, but they feel like mobile development is not for entry-level developers. Um, you even mentioned, but that's the funny thing. Cause you mentioned you had perceived a barrier to entry for JavaScript to actually be harder than mobile development. And so I feel like I'm getting like mixed signals on if mobile development is entry-level friends.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah, I know that that's a really good question. You bring up and, and yeah, just for context, when I had made the comment on, you know, barrier to entry, um, that was really just in the context of me starting out and like being able to do just the very basics. Um, so, you know, that was, didn't even have anything related to the job market or entry-level roles, uh, when I was making that comment. But yeah, to, to elaborate on that, um, I think I can totally see why. Uh, you know, why there's maybe a sentiment around that and why that's, you know, you know, you've heard rumblings and things like that. And I think, again, it just goes back to how difficult it is, uh, to land in entry-level mobile role, uh, without any prior experience as a software developer. Or things like that. And so, I mean, if we just look at the numbers, there's much, much fewer mobile roles available. So that's like one factor. Um, I will say that there's probably more web developers, um, kind of in the markets. So that's also another thing that you have to be mindful of, but yeah, I mean, I've definitely heard that from, uh, other people. You know, mobile initially might be harder to break into. Um, you know, I've, I've never gone the other route, so I can't speak from personal experience. Um, but, uh, you know, even if it's, even if it's harder to an extent, um, I don't think that that means. That anybody should, uh, you know, count it out as an option for them to, to pursue off the bat. And I would even say, you know, if you're, if you're pretty confident that you eventually want to get to iOS development or mobile, you know, Android is, is, is kind of in a similar boat, uh, to. Um, my recommendation is just to start there and, you know, see if you can make it happen. Um, again with, uh, you know, learning over time, on your own billing out the portfolio, um, building, you know, refining the other aspects of, of your resume and things like that. Um, I think it is doable. I think, uh, again, you know, I can only really speak to my own experience and to what I've heard personally, from other people that I've had conversations with. Um, but yeah, it's a long process. If, if that's the route that you're going to go, uh, again might be, might have its own challenges in addition to web development, but I wouldn't let that kind of discourage somebody who's again, pretty confident that they want to end up in that area. Um, I think it is possible. Uh, there's a lot of obstacles that you have to overcome, but, um, again, that, that's partly why I'm so passionate about kind of having conversations like this and helping. Uh, people who aren't as far along in their journey, uh, because it is really intimidating and overwhelming and, and there is a lot of rejection, but, uh, like I said, you know, I see a lot of really persistent people, um, who are also trying to approach things strategically that are finding success in. Uh, landing entry-level iOS roles. So there's, there's plenty of proof out there that it is possible. And I think, you know, if it's something that you're interested in, kind of like looking to those people and saying, okay, what were some of the things that they have done, um, that I can learn from and kind of apply to my own situation.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I liked it. You reached out to mobile developers in the beginning just to hear their journeys. I think that's effective. Even for web development or any kind of software engineering. Um, it also sounds like you were interested in building mobile apps. And so sometimes I think people don't quite know what they want to build. They, you know, they want to code. Right. But, and I think they're still kind of exploring, and they're still trying to watch YouTube videos and figure out what would I even enjoy. Um, but it feels like because I've after I did the. Deb mountain iOS program. I had some people reach out to me and it sounds like, you know, few of them were definitely struggling to find a job and it's been a while. Um, but also it kind of felt like their portfolios might have been lacking as well. And so it's good to hear, you know, as long as you're interested in it, I mean, I mean, you really push forward with that after the program. Um, so it sounds doable. But you also got the internship. And I think that was a really smart decision. Internships are kind of rare outside of like, you know, you being in college, usually internships are a little bit more open to traditional education. So how do you even find the internship?

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah, I was going to say that exact same thing, uh, in regards to internships, uh, specifically for mobile roles. Uh, it is basically if you're not a college student, like you said, There are very, very few options, uh, out there. Uh, basically the, the two camps that I found was like the lift program for, um, internships that you could apply to, like Microsoft had a mobile one, uh, Shopify, I think, uh, and they were, they were open to non students. Uh, the thing is that. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people applying to them. So don't get me wrong. I, I threw my name into the mix for all those, because, um, you know, for the experience and kind of the, the legitimacy of some of those bigger companies would have been a really, really helpful thing for anyone. Um, but as you can imagine, uh, you know, I, I didn't make it through to the final round on any of those. Um, and so kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum was really early stage companies. So, uh, angel list happened to be the place that I could find, um, what they kind of label as iOS internships. Um, keep in mind. Again, very early stage companies. And I think, uh, you know, a big reason why there's so many on there is maybe these companies don't have funding. They're really just looking for extra hands. Um, and so the, the thing is, is that almost all of them are going to be unpaid and, you know, there's a whole kind of debate, uh, that people enjoy having over unpaid internships. So I'll, I'll say there is that basically. Um, I was again in a fortunate enough position to where I could dedicate 20 hours of unpaid kind of work towards this internship, um, as a very strategic temporary tool. To launch me into getting a full-time paid market rate job. Um, and so that's, that's kind of, that was my mindset. And my approach with it is, you know, this is, this is not the end goal. Um, you know, I, I owe, uh, essentially I owe these people nothing, cause they're not paying me anything. But, um, it, it was, it was a really impactful even just from day one, having that on my resume, the, the increase in the response rate. Yeah. Did from day one was I, you know, this much better, more proficient, uh, developer. No, but the, the perception from these employers, uh, or my perception was elevated. So it very much served the purpose in my experience. And I've heard very similar things from a lot of people who have, um, you know, done internships, whether they're paid or not. Um, and so. Uh, yeah, the, the other thing that I'll say there is, you know, if it's not a paid internship, um, you, you know, just do it part-time I would recommend, uh, and most places are going to, um, have no pushback on that again, because, you know, uh, they're they're not paying you. And so. Um, yeah, again, it really served a purpose for me. And like I said, I've heard a lot of similar things from other people who have tried that. And I think again, the, the biggest obstacle is lack of experience, um, in an employer's mind. And so an internship kind of is the closest thing that you can get to that. Um, cause it does, it does say, you know, I've, I've worked. On a team with other people. Um, you know, it's, it's a real company, it has a website, it has a product and I've been involved and, and that's, that's, I think a really, really powerful thing for people who are applying to entry-level roles that again, don't have prior development experience. So yeah, it was a great benefit to me. I liked that.

Don Hansen:

Um, Definitely a controversial conversation. I'm in the boat. Have you made a good move and not enough people do what you just did, but like you said, if it's free, you don't know them anything. Um, and it, it should be part-time right. Doing a free full-time internship. I mean, I don't know if you're living with your parents, like you're just in a situation where you can afford that. Sure. But. Man, um, people have bills. So like there, there are part-time internships on angel list. I highly recommend people check that site out. Um, and you're essentially. You're essentially just doing some work and using them to boost you into that, that second position. And a lot of people are even scared to like put the, it was an internship. There's a lot of value. I mean, if, if an employer sees internship on your LinkedIn, um, cause I was just checking yours out, your LinkedIn, your resume, et cetera. In my opinion, for like 99% of resumes, it's way more value than a personal project. Uh,

Dave Jacobsen:

yeah. It's uh, yeah, I think it was. So

Don Hansen:

that's good advice for people that kind of want to figure out how to get that experience without, without actually having

Dave Jacobsen:

it. Um,

Don Hansen:

okay. So I feel like my big concern was how accessible is it? And it feels like, like you said, there aren't as many positions, but there aren't as many people applying for those positions. But it really sounds like you dove pretty deep into swift into iOS development. Um, I've heard, so my assumption is this is incorrect, but I've heard people recommend just learn something like react native and build something hybrid and you're going to be plenty qualified to be able to get into entry-level mobile positions. What do you think about that?

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah. Um, It's, it's definitely, uh, you know, another route that you can take. And, um, you know, I think if that's, again, going back to, if that's what you're passionate about, that's what you really, you know, the, the, you know, I guess the, the lane of software development that you want to be in. Yeah. There's, there's jobs out there for it. And there are, I'm sure there are people finding success, um, you know, breaking into those entry-level roles. Um, for, for me, I, again, just from early on in the process really fell in love with kind of the whole environment, um, around building iOS applications. Uh, I really loved seeing what other people were building, uh, for the iPhone, uh, and using swift, um, kind of, you know, what they call, um, you know, the native way to, to build applications for the iPhone versus like a cross-platform way. Um, and, you know, I guess I had heard early on too, that there's, you know, certain advantages that you can leverage by building things natively that the cross-platform, um, like languages and ways aren't able to leverage certain things and maybe get that extra 10% of performance and things like that. So I guess, yeah. I don't know if it's a, you know, uh, Was biased towards, I guess, the, the purest way of doing it or whatever, but that's what I really enjoyed it. And, and for me, I think I've benefited a lot from kind of picking one thing and going really deep in that versus trying to learn. Two or three or four things and not learning any of them well, um, and B, because there's each, each direction you go, there's a vast amount of things to learn. And so I, my approach was to kind of, you know, pick one specialize in that become really good in that. And then, you know, if, if a couple of years down the road, I want to veer into another lane, you know, that that can easily be done. Um, but yeah, I think it, I think the challenges are going to be similar. Like the, the things that, um, you'll have to overcome are going to be similar and the strategies are going to be really similar in like, we've talked about building out a portfolio, releasing apps into the various app stores, whether it's, you know, Google play for Android or the app store for iOS. Um, doing an internship, you know, having a polished resume, having a polished LinkedIn page. I think a lot of the strategies are going to be really similar. Um, and I just don't know. I, I haven't heard, um, that one or the other is going to be that much easier or that much harder. So yeah, I would encourage people to, uh, you know, if there is that interest that. By all means, try it out, start learning from some of the free resources online or some of the inexpensive ones, uh, and get your feet wet. You know, that's, that's kind of where everyone has to start. And, you know, before you make a big decision to leave a job or, or do this or that, um, you know, anyone can find, you know, five hours or eight hours a week, um, to, to carve out and, and really just start exploring if, if that's something that. Uh, you know, they, they liked doing and they want to keep going further. Um, so yeah, that, that's my recommendation. I guess. I see, I put them in pretty similar camps. Uh, I would put all aspects of mobile in like pretty similar camps in terms of difficulty number of jobs available. Um, and that kind of thing. So, you know, in that sense, if that is the case, then I guess personal preference, um, can, can be that deciding factor for a lot of people.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I really should go through the job postings and just see what a lot of these mobile positions are requiring if native is prefer. But it sounds like it's going to be equally challenging potentially. So you went to coding, boot camp, kind of this notion of like a lot of people when they graduate, they kind of, they don't regret the coding bootcamp, but they're like, okay, now that I know what I was supposed to learn, I probably could have done it on my own. Did you have that notion afterwards?

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah. Yeah. What's what's interesting is, you know, uh, no bootcamp has some like magic formula or has some information that only they have access to that. That's not how it works. So yeah, I'm, I'm a believer that, you know, uh, information wise, all the information that I learned from this bootcamp over three months, Um, you know, I could learn either for free or for a very low cost, um, online in various formats, courses, articles, things like that. So it's, it's not, in my opinion, it's not the information that I paid for. At least it's the environment. Um, and the ability to learn and consume the information, uh, in a bootcamp environment for myself. It really accelerated how quickly, uh, I could build that foundation and become competent in the things that I needed to become competent. And so, yeah, I think if I went full self-taught and, and just went that route. I could get to that same point. Um, I just think it would have taken me a lot, lot longer, uh, cause keep in mind, you know, these, these programs, um, there's a lot of structure to them. There's a lot of purpose behind that structure. Um, you have access to, uh, instructors who know what they're talking about, who can help, you know, your unique situation, which is very different than trying to scour stack overflow. Um, and you know, to, to get that kind of hands-on guidance and, uh, things like that, uh, was, was really valuable for me. Um, I, you know, I think I have decent discipline, but I don't think I would have been disciplined enough to, to get to that same point after three months, if I was completely on my own. Whereas maybe there's a small percentage of people who, who could pull that off. But, um, for me, Uh, like, I guess the big thing that I got was the overall environment that allowed me to get that foundation much, much quicker than if I hadn't, um, basically had the opportunity to go to a bootcamp.

Don Hansen:

That makes sense. Yeah. That makes a lot of sons. Do you happen to know what resource you would've looked up or what course you would have taken? If you didn't go to the coding boot?

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah. Yeah. I probably would have continued on, uh, with one of the kind of top, um, websites in the space, uh, started by a guy named Ray lick. So he, uh, and his, he has a big team now, but, uh, essentially they put out all different sorts of mobile focused tutorials, um, and courses and certain like learning paths. Um, so I had gone through a bunch of the like beginner and basic ones before going to the bootcamp, but they really do take it to a pretty advanced level. Uh, and the format was, was pretty consumable for me. Um, but there there's so many good, uh, courses out there these days that are teaching very similar things. Um, you know, you want to make sure you're looking at ones that are up to date and not five years old, because a lot has changed since then. Um, a lot of the information that they're teaching is taught in a very similar way. Um, so I think, um, yeah, a lot of like the, the popular courses out there. Um, if you can actually stick with it and get to the end, you're going to come out with a lot, um, and, and gain a lot from a lot of those. But yeah, that's the one that I was doing just from an early, uh, from early on. And so I probably would have continued with that. Uh, but then as you get further, you know, and you start to maybe build out your own projects and. Kind of, uh, you know, branch into creating your own things without the help of a tutorial. That's when you have to start looking at different resources, pulling together different articles and, you know, forums to find the solution to like your unique situation at that one point. Um, and that's when you can start to learn a lot more kind of like taking the training wheels off type of thing. Um, and you, you know, you, you become pretty proficient. Identifying what some of the good resources are that that consistently have good information, uh, and kind of stick with the small handful of those that, that you'll find, um, on Google. So, yeah, like I said, there, there's a lot of good stuff out there. Sean Allen has, um, some great, uh, courses from beginner to more advanced and, you know, swift UI. It's kind of a newer thing on the scene now that. Uh, there's a lot of courses on, so yeah, there there's a lot out there. And I think, you know, again, following the structure of those courses, Uh, and actually getting through to the end is, is really valuable, uh, versus, you know, the, the person that does the first 10% of a course and then gets a new one and then gets a new one and never actually sees it to completion. Cause like I said, a lot of these courses there's intention behind, you know, uh, what the topics are and how the progression goes. So yeah, there's a lot of good stuff out there.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I appreciate the recommendations. It's. Yeah, it's hard to figure out. I mean, that's the argument. There's always that information out there there's enough information out there to learn what you need to learn. But very few, even with web development, very few people can become a developer being self-taught. It's just, there's so many other habits that you really have to tackle to be able to essentially cross that finish line.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah. That's really tough. So there's, there are people that pull it off and I'm so impressed by those people. Um, but, but for me, yeah, having like from the start, you know, um, having kind of the initial guidance, um, for the, that three month period was really helpful. And then kind of the idea is that by the end, you're able to carry that on yourself and you kind of learn how to keep learning. Uh, the skills, um, cause yeah, that's the thing is, you know, it's impossible to learn everything and there's no need to learn everything about iOS development, but um, being able to learn a new framework that you've never worked with before, um, is kind of its own skill. And that's, you know, that's what makes you a good developer is saying, okay, I've never worked with this, you know, technology or this tool or. This new framework from apple. Um, but I've worked with enough of their frameworks that, uh, and enough, you know, enough, their APIs or whatever it is that, um, I'll be able to pick it up, um, given enough time. And so that is, yeah, I think, uh, another big thing that hopefully people are taking away from the bootcamp, um, and still applying on, on their own, uh, after they leave.

Don Hansen:

I feel like, so you did a really good job at going into a lot of detail of like almost every single part of your journey. Um, you said you even wrote a few articles, right?

Dave Jacobsen:

So I've actually never done articles, um, video. I really don't enjoy writing, but I, I, yeah. I have some videos and stuff like that. So.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Yeah. Um, it shows, it definitely shows. I feel like you gave us a really good, um, in depth and just information and pass going forward with just, um, not even just iOS development in general, but I think you gave a lot of good general tips for any potential mobile developer, but I want to hear what it's like being a mobile developer. What was your, are you still at your first job right now?

Dave Jacobsen:

I'm at my second job now. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What was your, so the first job wasn't the internship?

Dave Jacobsen:

No. Yeah. My first job was at CVS health and so, uh, yeah, a really big organization. It's, it's, it's basically, it's a non-tech company trying to figure out how to leverage tech. And so for my first, um, you know, job, basically, I was at the point where anybody that was going to offer me. A job and pay me anything I was going to accept and, you know, put in my time to, to maybe get into a more ideal situation, uh, later on, that was kinda my, my approach because I wasn't getting, I wasn't getting, you know, a bunch of offers that I could compete with or whatever. Um, so yeah, I ended up being there about eight months, uh, and it was a really good kind of first, um, exposure to working, uh, Uh, massive code base. I think that's, that's one of the biggest, um, you know, things that you don't expect going from only really working on, you know, your own personal projects, which, um, should be very small, but the, the scope of a personal project, it's, you know, one developer. For however many weeks or months that you may work on it. It's a small scope as it should be. You know, you know, your, your portfolio, shouldn't be these enterprise level scale projects, but when you start working at a company, um, that's what you're walking into. And so it's a completely different landscape going from, you know, maybe a project with 12 to 15 files to. One with 20 times that, um, and like the other thing that, uh, you, you kind of come to realize is that, you know, when you're working on your own project, you understand everything that's going on. You were the one who wrote it, but when you're walking into an existing code base, there could be dozens of people or several dozens of people that have written code for that. Code base. They all maybe have a little bit different style or, you know, pros and cons, their method of building out features and things like that. And so a big part of it is, you know, you're so used to, um, you know, 90% of your time coding is actually building out a new feature. Whereas, you know, a big portion of your time working at a company is like sifting through the code base, understanding what's going on and, uh, you know, linking things together of, okay. It seems like this person built out this feature for X, Y, and Z reasons. Therefore, I should consider this when I'm touching this part of the code. So it's, it's a lot of connecting the dots. Um, and you know, you're not, uh, like whipping through tons of new screens and, you know, in a given week or even in a given month, uh, just because there's a lot more that goes into, you know, how the code was constructed in the past. What are the current, you know, architecture principles that we're following, making sure you're, you're following kind of the protocol. For your, your team's environment and that kind of thing. So, yeah, it's, it's a lot of things that you learn, um, that, that really, you would have no point in learning as a solo developer working on personal projects. So things like, you know, version control and, um, you know, continuous integration and continuous delivery. A lot of those things that I really didn't have much experience with. Uh, you kind of have to learn on the job. And so, um, yeah, I mean the learning never ends. Um, you're, you know, anytime you walk into a new code base, there's a lot to get familiar with walking into a new team. You know, every team has, you know, differences in their processes or difference in the tools that they use and things like that. Um, but yeah, so I was, I was at my first job for about eight months. And at that time, I, uh, was in, you know, for my own life circumstances was wanting permanent remote work. Um, and so that's what I asked for and wasn't granted that. And so at that point just started looking at other jobs that that would allow that. And, um, you know, we're lucky enough that there's a lot out there that are allowing remote work. And that's what led me to my current company, uh, which is a startup originally based in San Francisco. Um, and kind of went from, you know, the massive non-tech kind of slow moving team to really small, uh, you know, quick paced, moving team to where I was now, you know, at my first job, I was on one of about 16 teams, um, and had only had insight into a small portion of the app to where now I was one of two iOS developers and basically had insight and influence. On the entire application and like everything that the team was doing. And so that really increased, um, kind of the amount that I was learning, um, the amount that I was being challenged, um, and kind of like the amount of enjoyment and fun I was having, being able to be a lot more involved and having a little bit more influence on, you know, directional decisions and things like that. So, yeah, it's, it's been a really good switch for me, but like I said, you know, you're, you're always learning. Um, you know, no code base is perfect. And so, um, you know, I, you know, it's good to kind of have the mindset of, uh, always be critical and evaluating what are areas of improvement. Um, and then, you know, uh, cut, uh, I guess, make your voice be heard and, um, you know, what, what your thoughts are on constantly iterating and improving, um, kind of the, the code that you're working in on a daily basis, because I don't know about you. You know, um, if you have pride in, in what you're doing, and if you have pride in the code base that you're working on, chances are, you're going to be much more fulfilled, uh, in, in what you do much more motivated to apply yourself and, um, kind of continue to level up in your skills. So, yeah, that's, um, that's kinda where I'm at today. I love it.

Don Hansen:

I think that's why I, so I worked at three startups as a developer. I didn't want to work at a larger company just being siloed into just a more, you're more focused. Right. And, you know, someone explained to me, they love working at a larger company because what they create. So many people use and maybe with something like CVS, a lot of people use that mobile app, but I love the idea. It almost sounds like you have more autonomy and like you said, influence over the direction of the mobile app. That sounds more fulfilling to me, to be honest.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah, it is for me too, you know, everybody is kind of looking for maybe different things and some people maybe like to settle in a little bit more and not have to adjust and adapt as much. And there's nothing wrong with that. Um, but yeah, I, I, I'm more on your side of things of, of, uh, you know, a little bit quicker moving and. Um, you know, it can be more engaging if you find yourself in a good environment, um, in a startup, you know, uh, and you know, there's, there's some situations you have to be mindful of and careful of in the startup world, but there's a lot of good ones out there too. I love

Don Hansen:

it. Yeah. Well, I'm glad you're happy where, where you're at, you know, you're doing what you're doing. Um, but I'm telling you so many people would have. So many people are just staying in their old position. What if you never even moved to development in the first place? Like,

Dave Jacobsen:

just think about that. Oh yeah, I do. Yeah. And it, it, it keeps you, you know, it keeps me grateful, um, because, um, you know, I know what it would be like. Uh, and I know that I wouldn't be, you know, as, as fulfilled in the work, um, that I, that I am today. So yeah. I mean, I, I feel incredibly fortunate too. Oh, how much has been in a position where I could even consider other options, um, and, and kind of be able to forego. Kind of a, a job and an income that I had and kind of put that off to, to pursue maybe something that, that was better suited for me. Um, so yeah, I, that's also why I really encourage people to just look through the logistics of, you know, your own situation and, and kind of make sure that you're, you're taking on inappropriate level of risk. Um, you know, there's, there's always going to be some element of, of risk cause nothing is a given right. Um, you know, trying to avoid situations where, you know, if you don't get that job in the next three weeks, like you're going to be in a bad position financially or whatever. And, and that's where, you know, it's up to the individual to kind of assess. What, what factors apply to them and, and everyone's situation is different, but, uh, yeah, I, I do think about it and, uh, I guess, yeah, as I've mentioned before, it, it kind of gets me excited to talk to people, um, who are kind of considering a similar move. I have conversations like that pretty regularly, where people are like, Hey, you know, I know you left your job. Like, um, I'm starting to like, look into software development. I'm like, could we, could we have a chat? And, um, yeah, I'm, I'm always open to. To those kinds of conversations, just because of kind of where it's, it's brought me in and kind of the life I get to live now, um, is yeah. If I can ever help, help anybody out, um, I am always happy to do so.

Don Hansen:

Cool. That's very generous of you. Speed. Speaking of which we'll go ahead and let you share that. Um, before we do, I feel like, I don't know, usually I'll ask more questions, but. You did a good job of going into detail and everything you really did. Um, I think that's going to be really helpful. Awesome. I guess anyone, you know, if you're watching YouTube in the comments, feel free to leave a comment, ask questions. Um, you can reach out to Dave, but yeah, let's go ahead and share some of your details. If people want to reach out to you and anything else you want to shout out or.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah, definitely. Um, an easy place to reach me. If you have Twitter, I am on Twitter. So I think my handle is Dave Jacobson, iOS. Um, so we can maybe link that up. Uh, but yeah, I, I read all, all my messages there and, um, I'm usually pretty good about getting back to people. Um, you can connect with me on LinkedIn and then I also have a YouTube channel. Uh, if you just search Dave Jacobs. And have put out just, uh, you know, a variety of videos covering similar things that we've talked about today. Um, so my kind of my intention was starting. That was, you know, what are the. Videos and kind of topics that would have benefited me when I was just starting out in my journey or when I was in the job hunt process. Um, what are some, some things that would have been really helpful in my situation? Um, so yeah, I'm, I'm not super active or as active as I would like to be anymore in, in putting out videos. But, um, I kind of have a library that if you are. Either considering iOS development, or if you're kind of already on that road and in the grind of trying to land your first job, um, there's definitely some things that you could check out there. Um, and yeah, those are, those are the only socials I'm on. That's

Don Hansen:

pretty cool. Yeah. I'm looking at your YouTube channel. Um, I mean, what you have maybe 20 videos.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah.

Don Hansen:

You're already at like, uh, yeah, almost two K subscribers. Um, that's pretty good. You might consider continuing that if you do want to grow your channel.

Dave Jacobsen:

Yeah. Yeah. It's uh, you know, with the, we've talked about how I just went through remove and some other, uh, some other things it's, uh, something I would like to get back into. Um, but you know, Different times in life, there's different priorities and things that you have to put your time into. But yeah, I, I enjoy it and definitely intend to get back, get back into the swing of things. All right.

Don Hansen:

Well, definitely check out his channel. His dumb nails are way better than mine. So, um, it looks like a pretty useful channel, but yeah, I think, I think that's it, Dave, I really appreciate this. I haven't explored mobile development. I haven't done a video on this at all. So. I was planning on making this kind of just like an intro video and I might expand on it, but you went into such great detail. I think this is going to be really helpful for people. So, yeah. Glad

Dave Jacobsen:

to hear Don. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Yeah,

Don Hansen:

for sure. Stick around for a couple minutes, but thanks so much for coming on.