A due update

Posted by Victor on January 5, 2012

Last time I talked about my day job, it was in 2009, and a few things have happened since, so I think an update is in order.

Back then, I was explaining about my hiring by an startup. That startup was ReviewPro, a company whose service is oriented towards hoteliers. They allow them to manage their reputation online, and hotels are certainly interested in their reviews, as most of their reservations are done online nowadays, and a bad review might mean a lot of lost reservations. I did a ton of javascript work there, specially with the Canvas API, and cross-browser CSS and layout. However, I dreamed about the possibility of doing iPhone apps instead.

So, I taught myself how to do it (actually, I had started learning Cocoa when I got my Mac, but wasn’t really serious about it until Apple released the iPhone SDK), and on the summer of 2010 I saw an ad about a company looking for iOS developers. I interviewed there and finally was hired, without actual working experience – though I passed a coding test. I started on Puck Solutions on November 2010.

Being able to spend my full work day working on nothing but CocoaTouch really did wonders for my skills. The very first few days I was still using cheat sheets, but I was soon on top of the learning curve and speeding ahead. At Puck Solutions I did mostly client apps for their cloud software offerings. I learned the ins and outs of the Core Plot framework, among other things, and of the (crappy, in my opinion) Force.com API client library. Thankfully, I was able to use the RestKit library instead. Still, Salesforce OAuth implementation is as backasswards an implementation as they come :(

Anyhow, client work for the iPad apps I was doing dried up, so I was made redundant on October of last year. After a few weeks interviewing mostly with 4 companies, I joined ISIS Papyrus on December of last year. The company is headquartered in Vienna, but they have a R&D lab for mobile development in Barcelona. Two of my pals from the Barcelona NSCoder Nights already worked there, so this was an incentive for me in deciding to join the company, since the kind of development work they talked about in the interviews didn’t seem too enticing at first: it’s mostly implementing the iOS version of a cross-platform widget platform.

However, I’m happy I joined for a few reasons. One of them is the working times, which allow me to spend more time now with my family. The other is being able to work with the aforementioned Cocoa devs, Jose Antonio, of 85% Cocoa fame (incidentally, one of the best Cocoa podcasts in Spanish language); and Guillem, one of the drivers behind the NSCoders España association, and our resident C++ guru.

In the month I’ve been working there, I’ve already stepped out of my comfort zone in a few ways. I’ve started diving into Objective-C++ and C++; and I’m working on a huge cross platform code base. I think I will be getting a ton from this gig, specially surrounded with such a team.

Anyway, that’s it for the update. Let’s see how it goes.