blogAugust 31, 2022

iOS first - a story of curiosity and dedication

Alina interviewing Ionel, iOS Consultant

Article presentation
onel, iOS Consultant for OceanoBe

Putting iOS first is the story of dedication and perseverance from our colleague Ionel, iOS Consultant here at OceanoBe. Discover his journey and advice.


The story of meeting Ionel is one that dates long ago. It was my first time meeting the OceanoBe team and he struck me as the type of person who says little and with deep meaning. He added some very on-point notes and was invested in what we did at the time, which was the assessment of the company values

He is obviously very intelligent and clever, and when he talks everyone goes a little quiet around him trying to listen very carefully. Getting to do this interview with him was quite enlightening. I found out that he started coding at a very young age and that his curiosity pushed him to become as good as he is now. Needless to say, iOS is his passion, but what you will find out is that he is the type of person that is willing to put in the effort in order to create smart solutions. So without further ado, I leave you to discover the interview with Ionel, iOS consultant, and team leader.

Alina

Getting to know you

  • Hi Ionel. In your LinkedIn profile, you are an iOS know-it-all, which is by the way so true. Could you tell us more about your professional journey so far?

Yes, but it took quite a while before I got to iOS. My first experience was an internship summer at a software security company, and after that my real first job experience was a little bit of everything, from Android, iOS, and Windows Azure. I will say that it was very interesting to be able to interact with different platforms and I was able to learn much more at the same time and draw parallels between these technologies, the differences, the pluses and the downsizes. At the time the most interesting platform for me was Windows8, I mean the environment was better and it was more developer friendly. Now we are beginning to see the same happening with Apple technologies, which is great. On the other hand, Windows was never as popular for users. My interest stayed with iOS and after my first job, I was dedicated to it and even assumed the team lead position in due course.

  • Why do you love iOS? What made you choose this particular field? 

iOS grew on me. As I said, Windows was more developer-friendly in the beginning but iOS had the UI and development environment. Of course, in time, it became more accessible and easy to work with.

  • What’s your favorite thing to do right now?

Gaming. I do play Dota and recently played a game called Stray, which was quite interesting.

  • What are 3 words that would best describe you?

Curious is one of them because I love to learn new technologies and things that are not necessarily in the job description. One of the latest was Jupyter Notebooks in Python. I am also a perfectionist in the sense that I prefer to have things done in a certain way. And lastly, I am a perpetual procrastinator (smiling).

Growth

  • You started back in 2011 as a full-stack developer and now are close to 11 years of experience.  What is that like? 

Well, actually I started coding in 6th grade using Pascal and I attended a series of contests and olympiads. In high school, I moved on to a C++ amateur level, and by that time I finished building a game. 

  • Really, what game was that?

It was a Rubik's cube in 3d where you can do specific actions with the mouse, at the time it was quite interesting. I was really interested in the subject and would go on forums, back then there was no Stack Overflow, and I asked people different questions to find out solutions. I think in those days I really had the patience to write a lot of bad code (smiling). I would spend hours building this novelty code but now I prefer it to be super easy and simple. That is something that comes with experience. 

  • You have built quite an impressive portfolio of projects and managed cross-functional teams. Were there any challenges along the way? 

Somehow I always ended up being the one with the most experience in the team and will usually spend time teaching and helping others. The most interesting experiences are definitely when all the team members are on the same level and we get to socialize and drive each other. 

  • I know you are also a scrum master, how did you decide to pursue this path? 

It happened organically, I was in many teams' scrum master. The reason, I think, is because I like to be so proficient with the tools used and I am quite organized. I really enjoyed working in Jira, there are many options for reports and I enjoyed discovering and learning them. With that in mind, now I find scrum to be a little bit overbearing. After much research, I saw that many were giving up some unnecessary tasks, like example estimations. The newly adapted approach is modern agile that is based on the 4 pillars: make people awesome, deliver value continuously, make safety a prerequisite, and experiment and learn rapidly. Somehow I find that having a successful sprint is exceedingly hard to do now and the new methodology could be effective if the whole organization is on board. 

  • You are a content creator and your profile on Stack Overflow is in the top 10% of the website. You obviously believe in continuous learning and growth. Can you share more insights on that?

Yes, I do have a good reputation in the top 10% and my profile reached 300.000 people or something like that. The thing is I really try to give good and considerate answers and put relevant information out there. Somehow Stack Overflow has become a more cold environment, so to say. Sometimes the answers are really good but most of the time they are plain. Stack Exchange, on the other hand, has really good content. For example, they have the UX field where people really ask good questions and you can definitely find detailed and thought-through answers.  There are also people that upload content on social media and Youtube which is definitely interesting nowadays. 


oceanobe-ios


Innovation

  • Moving towards innovation, I would like to know what is your definition of it. 

I’d say you have to create easy tooling so that you can make your job easier. Working on mobile you can always find yourself depending on back-end and there are ways that allow you to not get stuck and make progress under any circumstances. 

  • In terms of delivering innovative products, what are the main challenges one can face in the development phase? 

I think that the more advanced you are in your career then the slightest the chances are you start a project from scratch. The most difficult part is taking over legacy projects from others. On the other hand, there are always new technologies coming up that have support only on the newest versions of iOS. There are many clients that have 1 or 2 old versions that need maintenance and it’s hard to innovate on them. For the new technologies, you have to play with them in your own time until it’s the moment to use your skills on the job.

Excellence

  • Talking about OceanoBe, what made you join the team? Is there something you really appreciate about our community? 

For most companies, the reason I joined was that I knew someone within or saw someone giving a presentation. Here I know Ciprian, iOS architect, who was a colleague from the university. When I first started working here it was quite the thing, we were a small team and we had a tight bond. It does also help that we have a flat management style, it’s really refreshing and makes collaboration very easy.

  • What advice would you share with people who would love to be great iOS developers?

Most probably they should get out of their comfort zone, read articles, try to help others, and assume responsibilities that are not in the job description. Looking back, with the old technologies it was not that easy or pleasant to work with them. Now we have such simple and more elegant solutions in iOS, that really allow you to be successful so to say.

Experience

  • What are the top 3 lessons you have learned during your career so far that you would like to share with us?

Well, I think there are some lessons learned from each of my experiences:

  1. The first job gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of technologies, and to explore and compare them. That is a very great experience to have at the beginning of your career.
  2. At OceanoBe we worked with a program called Charles and it was a very unique tool that we helped build and introduced in the onboarding process at the time. 
  3. The last was my experience of trying to roll Swift on a new IBM controller. With the help of some people online from the Raspberry Pi community, I managed to get it working on Ubuntu 32bit. It was a lesson that taught me a lot about how finding the right people will help you achieve the impossible sometimes.


We conclude here our interview with Ionel, iOS Consultant. We thank you for reading it and we hope that you have been inspired in your journey. 

As always please feel free to check our Join our team page to learn more about OceanoBe’s values, team, and open opportunities to meet our amazing colleagues.

#TimetoBeDedicated