Behind the scenes

Employee Spotlight: Chris Garver, Mobile Lead/iOS Developer

As we wait for the latest Apple keynote this month, we got to sit down with our very own Mobile Lead/iOS Developer, Chris Garver, to hear from him about his experiences as an iOS developer and how the landscape has changed throughout his career since the initial release of Swift!

 

Currently listening to:

Kevin Ayers – whatevershebringswesing

What do you do at Linux Academy?

[CG] I’m the Mobile Lead/iOS Developer here at Linux Academy. I’ll have worked here for a whole year in September!

What did you do before this?

[CG] Previously I was an iOS Developer at Bottle Rocket Studios where I worked primarily on their streaming video platform/framework. I was also the iOS dev for a few client implementations of said framework, including the Hallmark Channel and FuseTV apps.

iOS vs Android? & Why! (Has this always been the case?)

[CG] I was Android/PC/Linux all the way for the majority of my life, but switched over to the Apple ecosystem pretty much on a whim (I was bored, kinda in a rut, probably mildly depressed) and the switch has completely altered the trajectory of my life. That being said, I’m fairly invested in iOS at this point.

As far as one versus the other — and perhaps because I’ve experienced both sides of the “debate” — it’s honestly not a hangup I have the energy for. 😇

How has the iOS landscape changed since you first started?

[CG] I started looking into iOS development the day they announced possibly the biggest change of all: the introduction of the Swift programming language. I still ended up learning (to love) Objective-C after I landed my first iOS job, but it was the blank page/fresh start that Swift represented that really caught my attention.

Since then, every year, Apple has slowly expanded the horizons of the “walled garden” that is iOS. They’ve added a dozen “app extensions” that allow an unprecedented (for iOS) amount of inter-app communication. While it’s not quite there yet IMHO, they are also clearly hoping to make the iPad a proper laptop replacement — the inter-app “drag and drop” functionality coming in iOS 11 is too cool!

What are your thoughts on the new iPhone 8?

[CG] I look forward to seeing the announcement of the new iPhone on September 12th, but until then, everything that’s out there is potential speculation 😊

What do you like most about what you do?

[CG] I like to think I’m a problem solver first and a developer second. I really, really enjoy figuring things out. The arc of going from knowing absolutely nothing about a particular problem and then patch-working bits of information together into a solution is my jam! Even when the solution has eluded me beyond my (not insignificant) ration of patience, I always try remember how awesome it’s gonna feel when I do finally find a solution!

What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?

[CG] We have such a fantastic group of passionate and headstrong people here. Literally everyone is smarter than me. (See also: Previous question)

Favorite food:

[CG] TexMex, all the way! Anything spicy really.

Favorite quote:

[CG] Isn’t it better to be in a warm bed rather than out in the cold snow saying “Isn’t it better to be in a warm bed rather than out in the cold snow?” rather than out in the cold snow saying “Isn’t it better to be in a warm bed rather than out in the cold snow?” – Remy Charlip

Favorite past time:

[CG] For some reason I feel like “baseball” is the only acceptable answer here. But I’m not really into baseball.

I think my favorite of life’s simple pleasures is staring out the window while drinking that first cup of coffee on early weekend mornings.

What do you like to collect?

[CG] I love books and love to read. I have eleven bookcases in my house!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?

[CG] Definitely clones. Clones to handle all of life’s requisite miscellany and dull maintenance so I (the original, superior “clone”) can focus on making cool stuff!

What do you do in your free time?

[CG] A lot of the same stuff I do at Linux Academy to be honest. As far as hobbies go, I’m a fairly competent musician, and I’m downright obsessed with stand-up comedy (good or bad, if I so much as chuckle once, it was a good set!).

What’s something you’re really excited about right now?

[CG] Extremely excited about Xcode 9 (to be released alongside iOS 11 sometime in September). The Xcode team at Apple has completely rewritten the source code editor from the ground up and it’s friggin’ sooo much better. Since it’s what I use all day everyday, I’ve been counting the days until I can make it my daily driver.

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