Onward and Upward

Kelly O’
3 min readApr 27, 2021


Photo by Farshad Rezvanian on Unsplash

Time has a tendency to fly by when you get caught up in the minutia of the day to day and lose sight of the big picture. When Covid hit last year and the world shut down, I welcomed the opportunity to step back and reevaluate my life.

I can’t believe I started my journey into iOS development 7 years ago. Back then there weren’t the resources we have today. I taught myself Objective-C by reading every book I could get my hands on and watching videos of a guy named Bucky on You-Tube. Bucky and his “that’s what she said” jokes had a way of making Objective-C comprehensible. Without him, I never would have managed to get my first app into the App Store. As luck would have it, no sooner had my app hit the App Store than Apple came out with Swift. Thankfully, Swift was a breath of fresh air with its clean syntax, so instead of being deflated, it gave me hope for the future.

While seeking out resources to learn Swift, I was asked to join a small (non-technical) start-up as a partner responsible for organizing the set up of the company as well as all things technical and financial. My sweet spots! I love a challenge so building a company from the ground up piqued my interest. I didn’t need to invest any money, just time, and once the company was up and running I’d be tasked with occasional website updates and taking care of the finances — all of which could be done in a couple of hours on weekends. I figured this would give me plenty of time to focus on iOS. Best laid plans! Instead, I ended up running the company.

While my focus may have been split and my progress slower than I was happy with, I continued to work on iOS projects, one of which was an Enterprise app for the company. I’d known for a while now that running the company wasn’t fueling my soul. In fact, it was doing quite the opposite. I felt like I’d been burning the candle at both ends, working to keep the business afloat and building apps every chance I got so I could broaden my skillset.

Being self-taught, there will always be gaps in one’s knowledge and I wanted to make sure I was ready to transition to full time iOS development. I decided to join Devslopes Academy and make the most of my quarantined time. It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my quest to master iOS development. From the challenging coding assignments to the virtual q&a sessions, to the camaraderie with fellow students, it is definitely worth the price of admission. If you are frugal like me, it’s also way cheaper than the bootcamps that are out there. I appreciated that it was self-paced, because as we all know, life happens. Above all, Nathan and Mark’s mentorship is priceless. The feedback that Nathan gives on assignments is so helpful and well thought out. He always shows you how your code could be refactored, and is extremely helpful in striving to make your code better.

While I’m plugging Devslopes, I should also mention they have a new 30-day challenge meant to help practice algorithms and data structures. Not having a computer science background, this has been a weak spot for me when it comes to interviewing. Being a life-long learner I have a thirst for knowledge so this was right up my alley. I love to challenge myself, and that I did! I’m on day 15 and the assignments are now really starting to ramp up. To make it even more of a challenge I am doing it in JavaScript, a language I haven’t kept up with in many years since I shifted my focus to iOS.

Through it all, I have to say, when I’m coding I am in my happy place. My passion for programming motivates me every day to work on learning something new. I read a quote recently and the gist of it was: “If you aren’t continuing to learn you are heading towards extinction.” Part of what I love about programming is that it is ever-changing and always improving! As they say at Devslopes, onward and upward!