Why iOS // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

A question I’ve been asked a lot is: why did I choose iOS development in particular?

There are a couple answers I usually give. Swift is a really beautiful language (I actually think its verbosity is one of its stronger traits), I’m always astounded of the amount of meticulous thought that has been put into the design of iOS, an app is a program that you can take on the go … the list goes on.

But those reasons all start sounding shallow after a while. Why did I really want to pursue iOS development? It’s important to step back and re-assess these big life choices every now and then. I thought about it for a long time, and realized that the one reason that all the others stem from is this:

Code and the computer science fundamentals behind how code works is the closest thing I’ve come to witnessing magic on Earth. Think about it. Humans — literally, regular people — discovered the laws that enabled bits of electricity to be stored on a physical device. They designed an elaborate set of protocols and symbols and paradigms that ultimately enable a tiny glass rectangle in our pockets to do things like talk to people on the other side of the Earth and transfer money with the touch of a screen. Is that not awe-inspiring?

I got my first iPhone when I was fifteen. By then, iOS and all of its features — the emojis, the sleek touch screen, the apps, the blue bubbles — had permeated mainstream culture and were deeply entrenched into the world I lived in. My high-school classmates seemed to take their phones for granted; they would be on Snapchat and Instagram 24/7, without really stopping to think how their devices were able to send disappearing photos between themselves and how they could upload a picture on a single device and have it be visible to the entire world.

To me, though, the little handheld device seemed magical. How did my iMessages get delivered, seemingly through the air? How did my phone know enough about gravity to be able to change modes when turned sideways? How could it run all of these apps and still store all my pictures and notes and play music in the background?

The more I wondered about these questions, the more I realized that I wanted to be someone who was “in the know” — someone who designed, built, and shipped these apps. Being only a user seemed awfully one-sided to me, like I was missing half of the meaning of a great piece of art. And thus, iOS development is what I wish to focus on.

Also, being able to have your app pretty much always accessible on your person to demo and play with doesn’t hurt either. Apps are becoming ever more pervasive in human lives. Our mobile devices are replacing our laptops, our cameras, our assistants, and maybe even our friends (although that last one is something we all really need to work on).

But it’s the beauty of the code and the wonders of human accomplishment that keep me coming back.

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

The Reason I'm an iOS Developer // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

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