A few years ago, I bought my first Apple Watch and it literally changed my life. By closing the watch’s activity rings, I began to form healthy habits and eventually achieved a really long daily streak. It’s rewarding and it provides a sense of accomplishment. In short time, it becomes an addition. While it’s healthy to stand, exercise, and burn calories, it’s still an addiction. What happens when you need to take a sick day but you also want to close your rings? It all comes crashing down.

Almost every app out there that promotes forming good habits using streaks faces this dilemma. Integrating sick days could be a solution, but deep down you know that the streak ended and your charts will forever reflect that. …


After years of using various cross-platform frameworks to publish games and apps to Apple’s AppStore, I decided that for my next app, Apoklisi, I was going to switch to a native approach. SwiftUI seemed promising and so, I decided to give it a shot. Apoklisi is a daily goal and habit tracker. Simple enough of a concept, but the interface is so unique that I knew that there were going to be some hurdles.

Unlike other habit trackers, Apoklisi uses an eclipse to display your progress. A full eclipse means that you’re hitting your goals. Missing these goals causes the moon to diverge away from the sun. …


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I have a confession to make. When I first began my career, I was under the impression that the more complicated and longer code was, the more skilled the developer had to be. How can a dozen lines of code compete with hundreds that do the same thing? The latter was clearly doing more, meaning it had to be better.

A few years into my career I met a fellow programmer who was undoubtedly brilliant at coding. He had memorized an entire framework’s documentation, he was utilizing techniques that were considerably more advanced than what we were doing on our platform, and he never failed to showcase his love for regular expressions by applying them everywhere. He was hired and given a simple project to do — update an existing piece of code by adding a tiny new feature to it. This was two days' worth of work at most. Roughly three weeks later, he finally delivered his code which resembled more of a patent application compared to the simplistic version it replaced. …


There are two types of people in the world: those who follow, and those who lead. A senior developer’s role is to provide guidance and insights to his peers using their vast experience, they are a leader. While they may have to make some of the more difficult technical decisions, they also serve as mentors for the rest of their team. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of developers who are confused or misguided as to what it takes to become a senior. Here are some of the traits that I personally look for when vetting a developer.

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A senior developer is not someone who is old

I’m not entirely sure where this misconception came from but I do have some suspicions. Maybe it’s the word senior that throws people off, much like a geriatric pregnancy refers to a woman who is over 35 years old–much younger than the name implies. Another explanation would be that seniors tend to be older by the sheer fact that they have more years of experience. Don’t discount yourself simply because other people are older than you, age is not a factor. It’s possible to be younger than a teammate and still be their superior. …


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The simple yet effective user interface of the Nest. Even without ever using one you know how it works.

User interfaces are tough. As a developer, it’s hard conceptualizing an easy to use interface with all the information that we have in our database. As a designer, it’s easy to build something visually appealing while ignoring crucial specs. A product person is a good mediator who can find some middle ground between good design, user experience/interface, and developer constraints–unfortunately not every company has the luxury of having one.

Sometimes, we need to put on a different hat and work on things that we’re not necessarily comfortable in. …


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Potty training a toddler is one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do in recent memory. …


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Can you read this? Then you can code

Learning to code can seem foreign and intimidating to an outsider but it’s actually a skill that’s surprisingly easy to learn. In fact, here’s some good news, if you can read a parking sign then you already know how to code, you’re just unaware of your awesome gift. If you can’t read these signs, then this article will at least prevent you from getting new parking tickets.

Understanding the parking sign

Before we begin, let’s make sure that we actually understand the parking sign. This sign is more complicated than it should be so let’s break it down into three simple to understand blocks.

Top Block — Maximum Parking Time

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The top block tells us that we can park here for a maximum of 2 hours. …


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I’ve been building websites, software, and services a couple of decades. I’ve worked with, managed, and mentored a few dozen full-stack developers. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with many people who have struggled with similar problems. I too have fallen victim to some of these developer pitfalls. The following is advice on how to overcome the most common ones.

If you want eggs for breakfast, don’t build a farm.

I see this one all the time — many developers will over-engineer a simple project because of the prospect that one day they might need to add extra features that are not on the plan. This makes the code more complex, takes longer to write, pushes back deadlines, and requires a considerable amount of testing. Instead, try to focus on the task at hand and not what the project may possibly look like in the future. …


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Last year, I decided that it was time to build my first video game. While I have a ton of experience building websites, a video game was an entirely different beast. …


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I’ve always struggled to maintain an exercise regime. In my late twenties, I embarked on my first real exercise program, Beachbody’s P90X. At the time, P90X was a game changer for me. I was never overweight but I did have a few pounds that I could part ways with. It was exhausting but I managed to complete the entire one-hour-a-day for 90 days program without skipping more than a handful of workouts. I was, at the time, in the best shape of my life.

My success story didn’t last very long.

With P90X completed, I no longer had a routine to follow and I started to lose my momentum. My motivation gradually declined to the point where I found myself only going to the gym once or twice a week. Within a year, I regained the weight. I tried several different programs and ultimately lost hoped as I watched my metrics ping-pong back and forth. Out of desperation, I tried redoing the entire P90X program on several occasions but I didn’t have as much free time as I did the first time and ultimately gave up. I was never able to replicate my original results. …

About

Terry Karavoulias

Founder of @Karaverse in Montreal. Director of Engineering. Creator of Pizza The Pie.

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