Xcode and Sleepless Nights


Well, I might be exaggerating, because nothing really stops me from falling asleep in this world.  Perhaps the closest would be a light sleep with lots of dreams.  I always dream of dark blue sea when I’m stressed, maybe I have to consult a Tarot Card reader after this.  Last night I dreamt of glowing azure sea, on black sandy shore.

It all started in December 2014.  What happened was, and is still, I can never remain idle for long.  I will just somehow end up doing something, or challenging myself beyond what I’m capable of, to the extend that I pushed myself into a corner of no escape.  I applied for the ICON3 mobile app development project.

ICON3 is a child project of MDEC.  And last year they did a round of selection for iOS mobile apps developer in Sarawak.  I went and presented my proposal of my project, a mobile app to prepare lesson plans in a matter of few clicks.  The reason being I’m truly frustrated of doing redundant and mundane task of lesson planning day in day out for the past 16 years.  I just couldn’t believe that at the age of digital world, we, teachers in schools have to resort to dinosaur-age manual toils.  So, I want to be able to just plan the lesson on the fly.

Despite having fairly limited programming background, I was granted a slot for the 5 days intensive program.  Yea, you read me right, 5 days to code an iOS app.  Before iOS mobile apps, I have long interested in learning how to program.  However, let’s just say that I probably don’t have the look of a programmer, that most of the time when I approached a programmer I was just shooed away.  They kept doubting that whether I can think of the object-orientated flow in programming.  The thing is someone just have to explain to me what the heck does that even mean.  And it is the single most stressed statement from my trainer too.

I did come up with the flow.  It’s pretty simple in my case, as it is really a form with different text fields.  The painful process only lies in getting myself to speak in Objective-C in the matter of 5 long short long short days. Yea, only.

There were 8 of us; two Java programmers, 1 web designer, 1 game developer, 1 IT undergrad, 1 ex-programmer, 1 IT personnel and me, the underdog.  We are given 3 months to develop and upload the apps, with an extension of 1 month grace period.  The only perk is that if our apps got approved and appeared in Apple Store, we get to claim our purchase of 1 unit of Macbook Pro and 1 unit of iPhone 6.

All that is in my mind now is only how not to breach the contract so that I don’t have to pay the training fee of RM3500 instead.

However, I must say that after 3 months, I do speak a little Objective-C.  I could at least read the different .h and the .m.  No, I’m still far from being fluent in the language and call myself an expert.  I rely heavily on my instructor in developing my app.  I have to learn and develop simultaneously.  Taking a crash course is just an understatement.

This blog will be updated with link to my uploaded app.  Now, back to working with Xcode.  I was just taking a break to speak English instead of Objective-C.