I’ve been digging into iOS development recently. It’s eye-opening to say the least. I understand it from a high level, and I’m actually familiar with all the moving parts. It’s only now though that I’ve actually put fingers on keys with it.
The very first thing I felt comfortable with was the Storyboard. It seemed to match the mental process I’ve used since I began web development, specifically mapping out views and segues. However adjusting to the Xcode IDE was another matter altogether. Recently I’ve drifted away from IDEs and have used Vim (or some other form of text editor+command line). It wasn’t long before I understood where things were in Xcode, but there is just something I’m not liking and to be honest I can’t put my finger on it yet. The best way I can describe it is I feel as though Xcode is too magical. It feels like there are too many things not immediately obvious. For example Outlets: I wouldn’t have ever suspected to do with a visual queue. To “drag” a Text field to the actual code file was a little new (to put it generously). After having done it however – it does make sense. But it still feels weird.
The Storyboard reminded me that there is a design step of working through your views and transitions that shouldn’t be ignored. There is a lot of information there. You don’t always work through that kind of stuff if you start with Models and Controllers. In fact if you do start with Models, sometimes it forces your hand with details in Views. Storyboard is a great tool for editing yourself when thinking about Models. And, obviously it’s immediate feedback about the progress your design is making. You know instantly how well formed your app is (or not).