That one time i built an objective-c app

Going over old project folders on your personal machine is always a bit of a trip to memory lane while also a soothing affirmation that you really do grow over the years if you embrace craftsmanship. Even though the projects were a great display of your skill level at that time, with the lens of today you will see things differently. Though there is still one side project i did I am secretly really proud of even though the relevancy to my current work is nearly zilch; that one time I built an objective-c app.

It was early 2015, I just joined a tiny startup in Amsterdam city centre making backend driven templated native apps for SMEs. It was also the first time I joined a multidisciplinary team, other than the backend or fullstack teams i was used to work in. And because of the team composition, almost exclusively engineers on their first job there was a slight animosity between me - a seasoned web developer and the tech lead & ios dev.

So after another small clash and some remarks it thought to myself - how hard can his stuff be and I decided to code an objective-c app in the evening hours to see if I could pick it up with ease.

I do have to say I had a tiny bit of a head start since I tried to tinker around earlier with appcelerator titanium (a predecessor of solutions like react native) and at least knew a bit on how things worked internally within iOS apps and I had my experience learning basic c. But other than that I never touched objective before (and probably won't have to again).

The app was actually nothing more than a glorified alarm, and it was called the As a dev team we used to have a couple of breaks during the day when we all would go outside, relaxing in the garage of the building we worked in. These breaks were sort of on fixed moments in the day so we didn't need an alarm for that but didn't witheld me from creating a special app just for our break times .

By using local ios notifications the app scheduled four moments in the day we should have our breaks. To give it some shine I took the company logo and changed that into the "breaktime" logo. From within the app you could press a button to ask if it was breaktime already. Upon breaktime, the start of a hiphop intro with some whistles and a voice saying 'its breaktime'. And of course I had it on my iphone at max volume when I showed it to the guys the first time

It was a really fun process writing this objective-c application and I learned quite some things about xcode and app development in general. For a few more weeks I added a few more features like 'custom break times' and a 'break time log' until the situation with the company turned too dire to be tinkering around with side projects. Nevertheless I will always look back when I see that folder again as that one time I wrote an objective-c app. You may find the source code here