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Portland, OR (US) Freelance Interactive Designer Joined about 5 years ago
Wow, talk about a land-grab.
And yet I somehow want to do it, especially at $1.
It may not be a good buy for you, but that doesn't mean it's not a good buy for anyone. Certainly Apple is aware that this is a very niche product, and that even for most "pros" (e.g. the designers visiting this site) an iMac or iMac Pro is probably a better solution and value.
But no need to assume that means it's not a great purchase for some people.
Wow, lots of really negative comments here about agencies. Those are fine opinions, but having worked both internally on products and quite a few years for agencies (both contracting and full-time) I think both are fun and challenging and worthwhile — and each has its pros and cons! I'd be happy to expand on that another time.
For getting hired at an agency: Be willing to start as a contractor. Having hired many designers (mostly as contractors) at the agency where I led design, I'll be honest, the #1 qualifier is "Can this person actually, literally do work, and do it in the time they said, and more specifically the time we need right now?" So for that, I'd say start reaching out to agencies, grab some coffee, send them interesting postcards. I received a postcard every few months from a designer, and each one made me laugh — when I needed a designer right away, he was on the list to call.
Hiring at an agency is insane — it's all based on projects and contracts, so an agency will often suddenly need either contractors or FTEs, and they need them this week. That's why it's so important to build that relationship ahead of time, because when an agency has that problem, suddenly you're their solution. Don't wait for an opening on LinkedIn and apply, just meet them. In my experience, a huge percentage of agency hires are based on "I know this person is available and someone has vouched that they got work done".
If you build that relationship, and you hit your deadlines, they'll come back. Someone who can deliver is gold in the agency world.
Once you're in, it's your job to make sure you do good work in the agency world. The owners are busy worrying about other things (business), so don't expect them to care too much, though it's a great idea if you occasionally find something that the agency owner thinks is really cool and just play to that hard — nothing wrong with being remembered.
Be sure you're open to working the way the agency operates — if they want Sketch files, use Sketch, if they say they want it all on a team Dropbox folder do that, use whatever the plugins they do, etc.
Finally, don't waste anyone's time. Owners or creative directors or UX directors or whoever are crazy stupid busy. Name a client or two they know you've done work for, share your work, listen to their problem, then negotiate on how to solve it. Boom, you're in.
Good luck, and I hope the agency world is fun and exciting for you!
I hear you. Making web stuff didn't used to be so complex, but that's the reality now.
And especially in a team, it totally works to specialize and go deep on design.
That said, sometimes you'd be surprised what you can accomplish with simple code when you let go of what the cool kids say, especially on the web. I love this article from Jeffrey Zeldman calling for less complexity.
Oh, I don't think it's important for people to learn their first programming on Swift. I'm saying it really doesn't matter much. Frankly, I would slightly recommend learning Python, but the approachability of Swift Playgrounds on an iPad is pretty great too.
For anyone considering learning programming (we are on a designer forum here, not Hacker News), my suggestion is to worry less about which language you learn and more about the resource you use to learn it. Do you have a good course geared toward your interest? Do you like learning really easy stuff in a friendly way on an iPad? Are you hoping to learn just what you need for a specific project? These things matter way more. And once you learn programming concepts, learning new languages is actually pretty easy, so don't stress.
I don't get why people get cranky about languages. It's fun to have favorites, but it's also fun for other people to have favorites, and at the end of the day we're all creating amazing (and sometimes stupid) things.
Let's go make cool things and celebrate each other as we do!
I have to be honest, if developers have choice (as the author states), then why be upset with Swift? A dev is free to use something like Xamarin, so who cares?
I come from a web dev background, but personally I love working with Swift because of pretty great Apple tooling (Xcode, Playgrounds, Instruments), powerful language features (fast performance, automatic reference counting), and tight integration with Apple's frameworks (better for documentation and also native application behavior and performance).
And most of my background is web dev, not native, but for me, Swift is a good choice for making an iOS application. That said, why should anyone else care what choice I make?
Swift isn't doomed or something. It's here to stay. Use it if you want, or don't. Erlang ranks far lower on the Tiobe Index, but smart people still choose it. Motivated people are working on making Swift good on the server, but right now in my evaluation the tooling is lacking there. So, choose the right tool for the right job.
Also, for what it's worth, Apple has been embracing open source for awhile now. Just check out their GitHub page. Note they even have a bunch of Python packages, including great ML tools and integrations with all the major ML tools out there.
One of the key goals in the design of Swift was to make programming more approachable and teachable.
Swift Playgrounds on the iPad is a really interesting extension of that: make learning programming fun.
The basics that you learn in Swift Playgrounds lessons are universal (give or take), not particularly tied to Apple frameworks. Students learn things like variables, functions, and loops, not things like submitting signed code to the App Store. These lessons apply to nearly all practical programming languages and applications.
I'd love to hear how this works for people who aren't using Material Design. Is it good for general use, or primarily for Google's design system?
This is always wise. Never update mission-critical software when the mission is critical.
• rolls up sleeve to show gnarly scar from mistakes of the past •
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.
My fave is Presentable, with Jeff Veen. Thoughtful and super friendly, with smart guests.
High Resolution was a delightful 25-part series with some excellent interviews, recommended even though it's a couple years old.
I'll echo that Wireframe by Adobe (with Khoi Vinh) is also thoughtful and high-quality, but feels just a tad over-produced to me sometimes.