Meet the Team: Adam Wallraff, iOS Developer & Lead Instructor
Meet Adam, our stellar lead iOS instructor and one of the many talented developers we have on instructional staff at Code Fellows. He shares more about his background, recommendations for aspiring iOS devs, why elephants would make great transportation, and more.
Hi Adam! Thanks for joining us today. Can you start by sharing a little about how you got into iOS development?
Yeah! I’m happy to be able to share my experiences. I was first exposed to software development in high school. I took multiple classes around HTML, Visual Basic, and C++. I always really enjoyed learning new technologies.
In my mid 20s, my friends and I came up with an app concept that we were originally going to contract out the development for. I saw this as an opportunity to get back into writing code and after just a few weeks, I fell in love with iOS development. Although the project we had talked about never came to fruition, I continued teaching myself iOS development for the next two years as my wife and I relocated around the country multiple times. Eventually I got my first development job working south of Tacoma at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
What’s been your favorite part of teaching at Code Fellows?
Before teaching, one of the things I occasionally ran into as a contractor was a lack of excitement around the things people were building. The thing I love most about teaching is that my students are as excited about the concepts and topics as I am. When they learn something new—for example, WatchKit for developing apps for the Apple Watch—they all light up and we get to have a fun and engaging conversation around it.
What three words would you use to sum up the Code Fellows culture?
You’ve been around the iOS block for a while now—biggest prediction for the next 6 months of Swift?
With Apple, it’s always kind of tough to gauge which direction they intend to take things. But, with that, I would say that Swift will continue to expand into the server-side, as well as potentially into Android development. This is just my opinion, but there have already been some really great tools built around both of these ideas, and I think they will only get better and more stable over time.
We’ve seen an influx of successful (and not-so-successful) wearables come about, from Google Glass to the Apple Watch—what do you think is next in the world of wearable tech?
I think that wearables will continue to improve over time. The most difficult piece of creating a successful wearable product is that the user interacts with them very differently. I think Google Glass was tough because people are just now getting into the general acceptance of AR and VR into their daily routines and device interactions. The hardest thing to balance with wearable tech is that the goal is to try and make it a necessity for your customer while speeding up and shortening the user’s interactions with the device. Users already have a short attention span and minimal patience when it comes to mobile devices. This expectation is exaggerated with wearables. The goal is to make it a fast and convenient interaction for the user. Wearable tech needs to feel like an extension of the user—so much so that they feel they can’t function without it, but they also forget it’s there.
But, to answer your question, the Hololens is gonna be the bee’s knees.
If someone wanted to start learning iOS development tomorrow, what are three resources you’d point them to?
- Stanford U - iOS Development Video Series - Available on iTunes U
- Raywenderlich.com - Great tutorials in both written and video formats
- Apple Documentation - They have a ton of great guides and resources for developers exploring their various frameworks and libraries
Favorite mythical animal?
Bigfoot (although I’m not sure Bigfoot is actually mythical…).
The last app you downloaded?
Qapital—it’s a gamified savings app that allows you to set up rules for saving money. I’d always been terrible at saving money until I used Qapital.
What are you currently reading?
Ready Player One
Favorite Seattle coffee shop?
I don’t drink coffee (I know…). But, if I did, I would get it from Stumptown. The only coffee I’ve ever liked was their cold brew.
If we’re talking beer instead of coffee, I’d have to say Outlander in Fremont.
What’s one app you couldn’t live without?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Most interesting hobby?
Probably fishing or my obsession with movies and TV.
And last but not least, would you rather travel by elephant or hot air balloon?
Elephant. Hot air balloon just seems way sketchier. With the elephant, I feel like we would become friends, and it would double as transportation and personal bodyguard while on adventures. My biggest concern would be food supplies.
Thanks for letting us pick your brain, Adam!