Introducing the Xcoders Podcast

I've been working with Liz Marley to create a podcast for the Xcoders and we finally got our first episode out the door yesterday! Our hope is to record on a monthly basis and we'll be talking about all things Xcoders-related. As the two of us are primarily Seattle Xcoders that's where our focus will be to start. My hope is to branch out and talk Eastside and Vancouver BC as well!

You can subscribe to the feed directly at Our submission to iTunes is currently pending and I'll update this post with that link when it gets approved.

If you have any questions, comments, or topics you think we should cover, please do drop us a line at

If you're an iOS developer, or want to be an iOS developer, and are interested in being mentored please fill out this form.

I'm partnering with Nic Laughter to start something really cool 🙂

WWDC 2019 Recap

I'm super thankful that I got to travel to San Jose last week for Apple's WWDC conference. Granted, I didn't get a ticket, but I did go to AltConf (which was right next door to the big show). This was my first time being in town for WWDC and it was a blast. I traveled with my buddy Seth and we took in the keynote together, as well as all the podcast recordings we could fit in.

Monday, of course, was Mac Pro Day, Tuesday we got to sit in the balcony for Gruber's interview of Craig and Joz, and Wednesday was RelayFM's Connected. Following the Connected show on Wednesday we hit up the Ritz for James Dempsey and the Breakpoints, which was a great show at a small club.

It really is true that Apple nerds take over the city during WWDC week. There were lots of Xcoders hanging around (particularly at the Fairmont and Cinebar). And we were all buzzing with the releases from Apple. We came in to the week thinking that Catalyst (née Marzipan) would be on the road to taking over the Mac and hoped for a Mac Pro preview. Boy did we get a Mac Pro preview! It looks like an absolute monster of a machine – complete with a monitor that ships without a stand. And Catalyst looks better than anyone had hoped for. But that wasn't the news of the week.

Nope, that belonged to SwiftUI. In one fell swoop and without saying so explicitly, Apple deprecated AppKit and UIKit. We now have our drawing framework that can scale from the little watch to a big screen TV, and an editor that looks unbelievably great. It's like the good parts of Interface Builder (the visual feedback) without the crappy parts of Interface Builder (the xml files). I can't wait to play with it more.

I'm really looking forward to Xcoders this week. We're doing WWDC lightning talks. It's a great opportunity for folks to give a talk under a low pressure situation, and we have 7 talk scheduled with 3 new speakers. I'm slated to give one and decided to do it on Xcode's integration of Swift Package Manager.

Time to start working on the talk!

Tonight I got bested by a home improvement project that tutorials call "easy".

I need to remember when I'm talking about a concept to not call it easy, because the reader may be at a level where it's not easy for them. The last thing I want to do is discourage someone who's trying to learn.

My iOS Project Template

Like many of my fellow iOS developers, I often find myself starting little projects here and there. Also like my fellow iOS developers, I have developed a preferred project structure. This structure has changed quite a bit recently as I've been exposed to a different way of doing things at Lyft. We have a highly modularized codebase and I quite like that methodology. I dipped my toes in the many framework waters in my time at zulily but what we have at Lyft goes well beyond that.

As such in my personal projects I have incorporated additional modularization and automation. My goal with this post is to peel back the curtain a little bit and give you some ideas on how you might be able to use modularization to create clean boundaries between code in your project.

To kick things off, I've published my template code on GitHub.

I really like using commands via a Makefile to run automations, and further from there my aim is to have a project as self-contained as possible. What I mean by that is I don't want to rely on Ruby gems or Python modules managed by a central system on my machine. I freely admit that this is because of my ignorance to how those environments work. There have been great tools built on those platforms. But, like Orta Theroux wrote on the Artsy blog, I agree that it's time to use Swift Package Manager.

It turns out that Swift is a really nice language to write tools in. For me, as one who hasn't fully grasped Ruby or Python for tooling (though I would like to eventually) being able to use Swift to build some automation has been great. And now we can use SwiftPM to manage these dependencies for us. If you look at my Package.swift file you'll see that I'm creating a "dummy" Swift module to get all the power of swift run in the Makefile.

Make is a super old system, and I had never used it prior to joining Lyft. And I gotta say, I love it. It's a great central place to run commands to do work on my project. To add a new module, I run a script by calling make new-module. The script asks for the name of my module and goes about creating some template files and linking it in to my app.

Secret Sauce

To be honest, I've somewhat buried the lede here. If you glance over the .gitignore file you'll see an entry for *.xcodeproj. Yep, I'm ignoring Xcode project files. This is because I'm using a tool called XcodeGen to create my project files using yaml definitions in my repo.

I love this.

I love that I don't have to worry about Xcode project conflicts in git merges (of course on side projects this isn't a big deal for me). I love that I can easily rename my project on disk and it's instantly reflected the next time I generate the project. I love that I can move a group of files around, regenerate, and have my new file group or module instantly.

My modules all live inside of a Modules folder stored at the repo's root. The project.yml file is what drives the structure of the resulting Xcode project. Each module has its own definition file, which helps keep the project definition file slim.

Wrapping Up

I've been working through these pieces for over the past 6 months or so. When I got back in to Scorebook I adapted the structure, and over a couple of other small projects I've started up I've built out the shell that you see in my GitHub project. I hope some parts of it are helpful for you in some way.

As always I love talking about this stuff and am happy to answer any questions you might have. And, if you've got a better way that I'm missing the boat on please let me know. Let's help each other get better 🙂

I want to write more blog posts, but don't have a lot of topics in the queue. If there's something you'd like to hear about I'm all ears. iOS development, Swift, the Vapor framework, Seattle Sports, Batman, Jesus, whatever might make for a good topic.

I'm all ears!

🎙 Making My Podcast Debut

I was happy to join Caleb Wells on his podcast A Swiftly Tilting Planet. We chatted a lot about my story as an iOS engineer, what it's like to do that job at Lyft, and got even more excited for the coming WWDC. Plus a lot of community talk. It was a really good time talking with him.

This was my first time being on a podcast. I've mentioned to a few people that I wanted to start doing a podcast this year. I tried a couple things on my own that I haven't (and probably won't) release, so getting the message from Caleb was a huge honor. I honestly don't know if I'm going to listen to it or not – I think the idea of listening to myself talk makes me more nervous than the recording did!

I hope you find the episode enjoyable and/or helpful in some way. And if there's any feedback on the content or other tips for future recordings I'm all ears.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet Episode

I didn’t get a golden ticket to WWDC. It’s par for the course for most folks I guess, but I’m still disappointed. I’m still going to San Jose from June 2-6 and can’t wait.

I did submit a talk for AltConf and I’m hoping it gets accepted. 🤞

I finally got a shortcut set up the way I want so that I can post to my site from iOS easily. A new update to iA Writer added the ability to browse a textbundle as a folder which is exactly what I need to get going.

This summer I hope to make lightweight editors for iOS and Mac (the Mac using Marzipan if it’s good enough).

You can find the shortcut here

Scorebook Sync Log 10: Shipped!

Scorebook v1.6 shipped a little over a week ago, and it finally includes all my sync code. When I cracked the project back open late last year I decided to turn off the engine that I'd put together just to get the app back in shippable condition. But I also knew that I wanted to ship the sync shortly thereafter. Well, it took about 6 weeks for me to be comfortable enough to get it out the door.

Honestly it's a little embarrassing how long it took to get this feature out. I started writing about it over 4 years ago (if you're interested in reading through the journey, they are curated here). I thought I was going to get the feature shipped by WWDC 2015. Welp. It's out there now, and that's the important thing.

Back when I was building the feature I knew I wanted it to be as seamless as possible. A modal on startup asking the user if they want to turn it on, and then a simple switch in the Setting screen. Everything else should be handle-able by my sync code. And because their data lives in iCloud I don't have to worry myself about encrypting or having any access to user data. Mission accomplished on both fronts.

As I revisited the feature when getting back into the app there were a few deprecations that had come in since iOS 8 but the code I wrote back then was still good. I did it all in Objective-C so there weren't any crazy language changes to migrate through (thank God I didn't adopt Swift 1!).

Now I get to look forward to building truly new features. I know I want to tackle dynamic type and accessibility, and might do that next. Then come the summer I want to rethink what the gameplay setup screen looks like as well as the scorecard screen. I know the whole UI could use some updating since it's very much from the iOS 7 era of design. But for most of that I'll hold off to see what Apple has in store for us at WWDC.

Check out Scorebook 1.6 in the App Store!