Every year around the holiday season, we enter “Code Freeze”, a time where we don’t release any code changes to our e-commerce site or API unless they are of utmost priority and are low-risk. Code Freeze is a time where we can all relax a little, breathe easier, and have some fun. It’s also a great time to pay off tech debt, but that’s the topic of another post that’ll probably never be written.
This year, one of the cool things we’re doing during Code Freeze is an iOS hackathon. We’re basically shutting down development for two weeks. Why? To have fun. We’re proud of our hacker culture, and giving the team a chance to learn and try out a new technology is something that we’re really looking forward to. And who knows? Maybe we’ll get lucky and find that one or more of our engineers can move over to the iOS team. It’s frustratingly difficult to find and hire quality iOS engineers, so this could be a great opportunity to fill a much-needed position on the iOS team.
iOS Crash Course
The concept is simple. Any of our engineers who are interested (and they all are) will spend a week taking a crash course on iOS, presented by Jimmy, our Sr. Manager of iOS Development, and Jamie, our Sr. iOS Engineer. This crash course will consist of classroom time, independent study, and hands-on experience. We’ll likely utilize educational tools such as Stanford on iTunes U and/or the tutorials from Ray Wenderlich.
After the week-long crash course, we’ll spend a week hacking out some simple but amazing iOS apps. We haven’t yet decided on exactly what these apps will be, and of course, we’ll get feedback from all of the participants regarding what we should work on. One idea is that we can make several tools which port functionality from our Admin site to iOS. This is awesome for a couple of reasons. First, we should be able to hook up to existing HauteLook APIs. Second, we’ll end up with a suite of tools that our co-workers throughout HauteLook can actually use to do their jobs on a daily basis. Courtesy of the HauteLook Engineering team!
We’ll Keep You Posted
Within a couple of weeks, this blog should have posts by multiple engineers, detailing their experiences with the iOS crash course and hackathon. Hopefully everybody will have fun. And maybe we will find our next iOS engineer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!