CodePath Bootcamp: Learn Android & iOS the Better way

CodePath Bootcamp rocks! I have been building products for the iOS platform since 2012. As the mobile market exploded, I started to feel like I was missing something. It took some time to shed the iOS ego and acknowledge that 85% of mobile users in the world are on Android. And this isn’t going to go away. And, pre to 2016, I knew little about servicing that massive market segment, Android. It was time to change that and skill up on Android mobile development.

So I began the search for a bootcamp that could instill me with new powers. In the past having completed various online courses through edX, Stanford University and Kauffman Fellows Academy this time I wanted to do something different and go offline. Unlike online self learning, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. I didn’t want to give myself the luxury of falling off the wagon. Among the noise of the internet I finally saw the light.

Enter CodePath

Enter CodePath

CodePath is a 8 week bootcamp program ran both online and offline. Classes are ran by experts in their respective fields — CodePath cofounder Nathan for Android and his cofounder Tim for iOS. Alumni also play a role contributing to weekly classes online and offline. It’s a nice tight network of professionals advancing education in hot fields like mobile development & design.

There is an extensive and up to the date online resource of information for Android and iOS (links below). Unlike books or most online resources that can go out of date fast. CodePath’s online resources are always up to date since they also form the backbone of the offline classes.

Classes are Free. Seats are Limited. But, don’t be fooled, this is premium education. Apart from applying to get in, successful candidates get phone screened and then have to prove their commitment with pre-work (coding project). I love this approach. It keeps the bar high!

Facebook CodePath Cohort
CodePath iOS 2016 Alumni at Facebook HQ

Sponsored by Silicon Valley’s Tech Giants

Each class is sponsored by a tech giant in Silicon Valley. Hello to other tech companies 👋 — pay attention.

When I attended the Android bootcamp class it was sponsored & hosted by Uber at Uber HQ. Then later when I attended the iOS Swift bootcamp, Facebook was sponsoring it and hosted us inside their garden-roofed fantasyland (love that place!). AirBnB also participated in sponsorship in SF.

Tech Giants sponsorship provides insight into the vibe and energy of these companies and ability to speak to the folks that work there. Side note; if you want a job there this is a more qualified with less hoops method of applying.

More companies should be doing this. If anything it demonstrates a level of commitment to STEM education in Silicon Valley. This is why every tech company should be sponsoring such educational programs. Furthermore, what a brilliant way to enrich your existing and future staff with modern education that allows them to hit the ground running.

I know Mobijutsu

Matrix Neo Ninjutsu

If you seen The Matrix you may recall Neo being uploaded with Ninjutsu code and having his mind blow with this new knowledge. This is how I felt at CodePath.

You know you have to get your s**t together in the 1st week of CodePath when you hear about the structure of the program and attendance requirements.

The best way to summarize this is it feels exactly like when you get a trainer at the gym for the first time, get pushed and you then realize stuff you never knew you were capable of. You move to a new bar! In the first 4 weeks you will have built 4 apps and mastered mobile development.

Life after CodePath

Nearing the end of the 8 week program I got a sense of accomplishment and some sadness that the end was near. I met new friends, worked with amazing people and pushed myself to new limits.. and I survived.

Knowledge is Power. With Knowledge you can Create. In Silicon Valley this is what creates value. An ability to bring something to life just from an idea is uplifting. It is an ability to Execute.

I now know Android and have few Android apps under my belt. I also understand the ecosystem and understand the lifecycle of building on the platforms of the future, mobile.

Mobile is the future (we all know this) and this future is 1/4 owned by iOS and 3/4 Android.

iOS vs Android

Nature gives and also takes based on utility. To maintain momentum and this new knowledge, one needs a good plan to keep on executing. I plan to put it to good use through; (1) giving back to the CodePath community and (2) by applying my mobile skills to the road ahead in 2017.

Thank you Nathan and Tim for your education, persistence and my flood of never ending questions.

~ Ernest

Links


Ernest is an Aussie Software Engineer based in Silicon Valley. When not doing a baby freeze then you’ll find him floating in an isolation tank.

Follow Ernest on Twitter => https://twitter.com/ernestsemerda

Your Life with a Smartphone filled with distractions. Here’s how to focus, get stuff done and stop the noise.

It feels like it’s never going to stop right? Information overload. Who isn’t bombarded with too much stimuli from the fast paced world we live in? Stop the Noise!

A friend recently tweeted this article from AFR. The article is about an individual who “liberated” himself from the noise of his distracting smartphone. His solution was to replace his smartphone with the old school Nokia phone capable of SMS and phone calls only. Maybe some WAP too 😉

nokia-phone-old-school

Is this extreme? Yeah I think so. Are there simpler methods to quieten down your world without going as extreme? Sure there are. Many actually. Let’s take a peek at each.

Your smartphone

Your smartphone is calling you for your attention every time an email arrives across all your n email accounts. From your uncle’s cat tweets to your cousin Billie posts about the latest pizza he had for breakfast. Oh let’s not forget the calendar on your phone nagging you about that meetup you have tomorrow night. Oh the distractions. They all arrive on your smartphone in the form of a buzz, vibration or light flicker. Yes you can get your phone to blink the camera light. The switch is under Accessibility settings.

Stop the Noise

Note: the following instructions are for the iPhone only. I’m sure Android has similar.

  1. Turn on DND (Do Not Disturb) by swiping your screen up and pressing the moon icon. Your phone will stop buzzing and/or vibrating. Make sure you add your favorite contacts inside your contacts app so at least they can reach you via phone.
  2. Turn off most apps Notifications. Head into your phone’s Settings > Notifications and turn them off. Be smart. And decide which of the top 5 apps you need to bug you. Every time you install an app it gives sneaks in full Notifications. Unless you are explicit when you first run the app. Most peeps press Ok hence the Notifications burden.
  3. When focusing, place the phone face down. This will stop the stream of notifications invading your lock screen from disturbing you. If something is urgent they will call you. If the person is important (favorite) contact the call will by pass DND mode.

And that’s it! Your phone is now quieter.

Get Productive!

  1. Offload all the nonsense in your head for processing later. This way you can focus on the task at hand. Use a tool like GSDfaster app which has GTD at its core of collecting stuff into a trusted source. GTD is a method that works well for me and countless others. When our short term memory contains 7+ to-dos, a FIFO (First In First Out) algorithm kicks in. You only realize this later. When that deep uncomfortable feeling creeps in. That thing you forgot pops up and you panic in a “drop everything and do this before I forget” mode. Not an effective way to function in today’s busy society. Offload everything from your head into a trusted source. Focus and get things done faster stress free.
  2. Focus on 1 thing at a time for a set period of time. The feeling of having completed something is relieving. Remember that multitasking is a misnomer. Humans have one processor with many threads spawning processes every few seconds. Hold on, that’s like a traditional computer. Yap. The way multitasking works in humans is these chunks of stuff get processed by context switching. Unlike a machines, you have limited energy. So most folks never end up completing stuff to feel that relief of achievement. Best method I’ve found to help you focus is The Pomodoro Technique. It forces you to do 1 thing in a set period of time.
  3. Unplug & Relax your body and mind with exercise, meditation and/or sensory deprivation. This is how you unplug & recharge you batteries after a long day. It also helps you learn to focus better. My favorite form is exercise and the isolation tank for sensory deprivation. Both are easy to get into and have immediate results.

Sensory Isolation Tank Pod

Finally I’m going to leave you with an important tip. Busy is just an excuse. We are all busy. We make time for things through prioritization. Next time you want to say you are busy carefully think about it for few seconds before answering. More on this in a future post.

So there you have it, some great techniques and tools to reduce the noise, stress and get more stuff done in 2016!

~ Ernest