Ivan W. Lam. Terrible. Great. And everything in between.
Ivan W. Lam. Terrible. Great. And everything in between.
I managed to get some bandwidth this Memorial Day Weekend to advance on my iPhone programming lessons. You’d think that I should spend my time enjoying the nice weather here in the Bay Area during this long weekend (which I did a little yesterday), but actually, this is what I really wanted to do now that I finally have some free time away from work.
Here’s a screenshot of the exercise on the basic iPhone controls. It was sort of tedious to go back and forth on the book and get all the code and settings right, but I’m starting to get how it all works, at least on the interface side. Pretty soon, I can make something practical!
I enjoy learning, and I’m glad that I don’t need to spend a fortune to “attend” lectures at famous universities around the world to do so.
Even though I would still have to find time to sit through the video lectures, which add up to a lot of hours, if I’m passionate enough about a certain subject, I would make time to watch them all.
Either that or watch something else (currently Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution) on my iPad.
I started playing around with Xcode and going through the book Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche that I checked out from the library. I only went through two tutorials before I got busy again at work. I also only have a few more days left before the book expires, but I’ll probably renew it and perhaps buy the book if I find great value in doing so.
I also bought an Objective-C pocket reference book and try to get myself familiar with the language. So far, probably 30% comprehension; I need to do the actual coding as I’m reading the book to really understand what it all means.
The screenshots are from the two tutorials that I went through. Super basic, and I didn’t understand half of what they told me to do. But I’m excited of what I could do.
Last Thursday, I attended a talk by designer Debbie Millman, who is currently the AIGA president, and so many other great things.
I’ve enjoyed her design-themed online radio show “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” for many years, and I was excited to see her in person and listen to one of her insightful and articulate lectures. I thought she was going to promote her new book, which I was all ready to purchase that evening and probably get it signed. But there were no books or book-signing in sight, and the topic of the evening turned out to be about branding, which ironically, I wasn’t expecting.
It’s good to step back once in a while, take a break, and evaluate what it is you’re doing in both the small picture and the big picture.
Thus begins another school year for my alma mater. For the past two years, I gave some advice to design students (2007, 2008), whether they just started, or that they’re one year from graduating. I reviewed the previous entries recently and noticed that they still all apply. Whether you should follow what I say based on my current career status is another thing.
Nonetheless, I will add onto the list, though since I sort of ran out of design-related tips for design students, I’m going to instead offer advice from my post-graduation experience to all students.
I mentioned variations of this in the previous lists, but it’s important to be explicit about this one, especially since I really believe in it. Schooling may end after graduation, but you never stop learning. As a side advice, don’t assume you know everything, because you don’t. Be humble and ask the right questions when you don’t know. I’ve never actually seen recent graduates get cocky in jobs, but I’ve heard that it happens quite frequently.
We’ve heard of the term “zero carbon footprint” in the past few years to bring awareness to the sustainability movement. But even if we all go zero carbon right now, what happens to the years when we didn’t do much about the environment? Don’t we need to do even more than zero carbon and go into the negative territory to bring the environment back to its sustainable state?
I suppose I am sort of looking at this like the national debt. We have a debt, and at the same time we try to balance our annual budget. Even if we don’t have any more deficits, we still have a debt. We need to have a surplus every year to get us back in the black (even though I am told we intentionally will never pay back our debt, for certain economic reasons).
I know that right now, we can’t even get to absolutely zero carbon, so getting negative carbon is even harder. And I’m pretty sure that involves more than planting trees for every whatever product we buy.
Normally, my design process is based on the “form follows function” philosophy: you have a problem, you define the criteria/limits, and you build your solution up from that. But I’m beginning to notice that there are times in my design process where I would immediately come up with a “cool” solution, and then I look for meaning and useful characteristics of the solution to explain my “reasoning” afterwards. When I think of that, I am reminded of the “BS your way” approach to presenting your projects.
Just watched a photo essay presentation by Rick Smolan at TED about the photographer’s experience with a young girl in Korea in the 70’s (or 60’s, I’m not sure. The whole time I thought it was recent because the clothes didn’t really date the times).
Really interesting and moving story to listen to and find out what happened to the girl. Sort of gives you hope about journalists’ (and reflectively, designers’) roles with the work that they do.
Also gives you about 20 minutes of wondering why this girl looks so much like Shawn Johnson and doesn’t look like her face ever changes as she grows up.