The raywenderlich.com Thank-A-Thon!

Felipe Laso Marsetti

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes time to reflect on the things we’re thankful for this year.

Here at raywenderlich.com we wanted to take the chance to express our gratitude and appreciation to everyone and everything that makes being a part of this community great.

So welcome to our first annual “thank-a-thon”! We asked our team members to let us know (in one sentence) what they’re thankful for, and here’s what they came up with – along with some copious commentary from me!

Enjoy as we share our gratitude during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday.

Tools & APIs

We begin showing gratitude to some of our favorite tools and APIs. We use them on a day-to-day basis and likely imagine the days when these weren’t available, particularly for young platforms like virtual reality.

“Thank You Virtual Reality Toolkit!” — by Gijs Bannenberg

“I would like to thank the team behind VRTK (Virtual Reality ToolKit) for enabling me to concentrate on the product and the content rather then on the coding fiddly bits.”

At raywenderlich.com, we’re huge fans of VR and AR, and think it’s here to stay. Given how young the platform is, tools like Virtual Reality Toolkit can certainly ease the process of getting things up and running.

If you’re spinning up a new project, chances are you are using Git or some form of source control to track your history and progress. You may even be using GUI Git apps like Tower or SourceTree, as Kyle shares:

“Thank You Git, GitHub, and SourceTree!” — by Kyle Gorlick

“I am thankful for Git (and GitHub and SourceTree). I can’t believe there was ever a time when I coded without source control.”

I too shudder to think that when I first started coding, I didn’t use source control. I would manually zip up my project folder in order to keep the history, or hit CMD+Z as much as macOS would allow. Thank goodness I found source control, and Git in particular!

Note: If you aren’t using Git yet, you should! You may find these courses helpful along the way: Beginning Git and Mastering Git.

What about communication, correspondence, interacting with coworkers, designers, clients? Slack has become a standard tool across many teams and companies, and Caroline in particular was super thankful for it this year:

“Thank You Slack!” — by Caroline Begbie

“I am thankful for Slack. All my favourite people live there. I’m also thankful for the actual people but there are too many to name.”

The team at raywenderlich.com relies on Slack, amongst other tools, for organization and communication across team members. With its support for many integrations, themes, and vast customization, it can be a stupendous tool for improving your workflow and keeping conversations in a single place (email does feel a bit dated now-a-days). It’s also a great way to stay connected with coworkers, friends, and people you care about.

Some fun of the discussions we have on Slack — and you’ve likely had them yourself on Facebook, Twitter, at events, etc, — involve the whole debacle of USB-A vs. USB-C ports and dongles.

But did you know you can wirelessly debug your iOS 11 apps on-device with Xcode 9? James is sure happy and thankful for this:

“Thank You Xcode 9 Wireless Debugging!” — by James Goodwill

“I am thankful Xcode 9’s Wireless Debugging. I can finally get stuff done when I forget my USB-C cable.”

I think we can all agree that wireless debugging in Xcode 9 is a godsend. No more cable shuffling, specially when using cables for which your computer has no ports. It’s not slow or tedious at all, and my experience has been that you don’t even need to reconnect a device if you quit Xcode.

But if you prefer working with Android, and Android Studio, there is a new language in town that is here to stay. Just ask Steve:

“Thank You Kotlin Android Support!” — by Steve Smith

“I am thankful that Google announced Kotlin as a first class language for Android – this allows me to not only continually learn and improve the quality of my code, but also brings Android and iOS development closer together.”

There is a lot of excitement around Kotlin this year motivated by Google announcing first-class support in Android. Given that JetBrains developed Android Studio and Kotlin, you can expect stupendous compatibility with existing development workflows.

And if you’re looking for Kotlin tutorials, you’re in the right place! We’re going big with our Kotlin tutorials for Android development and have even bigger plans for 2018.

Learning Resources

What fun would all these tools be if we had to learn them all on our own? Here are some great books and learning resources that our team is thankful for.

“Thank You Dive into SpriteKit!” — by Janie Clayton

“I’m thankful for Paul Hudson’s “Dive into SpriteKit” book for bringing choose your own adventure mechanics to game programming.”

Paul’s books are super cool. You should certainly check them out! It’s nice to see a variety of authors contributing to our community.

Another learning resource I think we’ve all come to rely on is StackOverflow.

“Thank You StackOverflow!” — by Eric A. Soto

“I’m thankful for StackOverflow and all of the developers that both ask great questions and also those that take time to provide quality answers! As a community, they make writing software so much better and more enjoyable.”

We’re probably all thankful for StackOverflow. Although you should be checking your platform’s documentation and avoiding the temptation to simply copy and paste the first solution you find, it’s highly likely that you can get help on StackOverflow. It’s almost certain that someone has already run into the same bug or problem and posted a solution.

Some users on StackOverflow are ninjas of debugging, and master of coming up with solutions to problems. So our editor Darren Ferguson convinced author Derek Selander to sit down, and teach the rest of us how to do it in his new book! :]

“Thank You Derek Selander!” — by Darren Ferguson

“I am thankful for the Advanced Debugging Book and for the author Derek Selander, whom without my pushing might never have written the book.”

We’ll certainly never forget Derek’s memorable announcement of his book at RWDevCon this year – pizza suit and all! :]

For learning in general, however, we’ve all likely used raywenderlich.com as a resource at one point or another in our careers. Even as members of the team we’re super thankful for the site and it’s continued support for topics beyond Apple, like Android, Unity, VR, and Kotlin.

“Thank You raywenderlich.com Team!” — by David Worsham

“Looking back on my iOS, macOS, tvOS education, I’m very thankful to the raywenderlich.com tutorial team for their great information and inspiration.”

People

The tools and APIs are great (thank you Git, wireless Xcode 9 debugging, and Kotlin!), learning resources are vast and aplenty, but people — yes, people like you — are what make it all come together.

Let’s see who some of our members are thankful for:

“Thank You Catterwauls!” — by Dru Freeman

“I am thankful for the Catterwauls. Their combination of knowledge, character, and wonderful partnership gave a wonderful first insight into the world of raywenderlich.com.”

You may know the Catterwauls from the video courses they’ve made on our site – such as their recent update to our Beginning iOS Animations course. They definitely exemplify the spirit our team strives for.

Speaking of which, Jessy has some special folks to thank as well:

“Thank You Subscribers!” — by Jessy Catterwaul

“I give thanks to each and every raywenderlich.com subscriber: your support allows our team to constantly improve upon the work that we do!”

Besides getting the opportunity to work on cool projects, probably the best perk of being a member of raywenderlich.com is the friendships and connections you make. Tammy Coron would like to give a shot out to two special friends she’s made on our team:

“Thank You Tim Mitra & Chris Language!” — by Tammy Coron

“I am thankful for Tim Mitra and Chris Language, for the connections we have made, and the friendships we’re building.”

You may know Tim for his podcast More Than Just Code, and you may know Chris from his book 3D Apple Games by Tutorials.

George Andrews would like to thank another especially giving member of our community:

“Thank You Daniel Steinberg!” — by George Andrews

“I am thankful for all of the learning and support received from Daniel Steinberg (@dimsumthinking) as I dove into iOS development for the first time years ago.”

Daniel is not only a fantastic author and speaker, but also a great person as well. Be sure to catch his The Game of Life talk coming next year at RWDevCon 2018.

Having a mentor, or great friend to talk to and grow personally, and professionally, is also something to truly be thankful for:

“Thank You Readers & Team!” — Marco Santarossa

“I’m thankful to Ennio Masi (@EnnioMa) for the long conversations about computer science and all his tips. He let me improve as a person and developer.”

Thank you!

Most importantly, what we’re most thankful for is you, yes YOU dear friend! Without your support, feedback, encouragement, and continued participation in this wonderful family we call raywenderlich.com, none of this would be possible.

You’re the reason we do what we do, and the fuel that keeps us motivated to create the best learning content possible. Ray’s quote sums up how we feel:

“Thank YOU!” — by Ray Wenderlich

“Thank you to all for the readers who have been supporting us for the past 7 years – it’s been amazing seeing this site grow from 1 person into a team of 150+ developers and authors from all around the world. Thank you for reading our site and making everything we do possible – I’m truly grateful!”

Wrap up

And thanks it for this year, folks. There were dozens and dozens of quotes from our team, we had to choose from a select few so as not to prevent you from the holiday festivities. :)

What about you, what are you thankful for? Leave us a comment below and do share with us. Again, we want to thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Team

Each tutorial at www.raywenderlich.com is created by a team of dedicated developers so that it meets our high quality standards. The team members who worked on this tutorial are:

Felipe Laso-Marsetti

Felipe Laso is a Senior Systems Engineer working at Lextech Global Services. He’s also an aspiring game designer/programmer. You can follow him on Twitter as @iFeliLM or on his blog.

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