Emin Grbo profile image

Emin Grbo

iOS Developer @TIDAL. Pixel whisperer, maker of things that go "zing!"

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How and when did you get into programming? And into iOS?

I did start thinking about it in 2017, but REALLY started learning at the beginning of 2018 along side my dayjob as a UX designer. As for “HOW”, i literally wrote “coding syntax” in google image search and choose Ruby and Swift as my first two languages. Looking back, i cannot believe i based my future career on such a silly thing, but my reasoning was “I am going to look at this every day, it better f*king look good"

That's quite a way to select coding language :D So I guess 100 Days of Swift was one of the first resources you started with?

Oh no, I actually started 100Days of Swift on my FIRST DAY of employment 😅 I remember commenting on that Pauls post like “this is great timing” First resource was a Ray Wenderlich book “iOS Apprentice”, and after that "iOS Developer bootcamp" by Angela Yu. She is THE best teacher I ever encountered along with Paul.

Do you remember what was challenging to grasp when learning iOS/Swift in the beginning?

Oh boy do I!! It’s the infamous delegate protocol that caused me the most headaches. Also, took me a bit to realise why TableView is so special and has pre-defined methods like ‘cellForRow’ etc…You can see a pattern here with delegates right? 😆

Yeah, I still remember how long it took me to setup my first ever TableView.. Anyway, circling back a bit, I guess having UX background is pretty useful for app development, no? :-) Do you have any resources you would recommend to iOS devs who want to improve their UX skills?

Oh it sure did. Whenever you make something look nicer, it helps you to stand out! Also, for any personal project I can explore screens deeper in design alone, making development process a lot faster!

Resource wise, i have 4 suggestions: #1 Question everything and use logic. If everyone uses hamburger menu, it doesn’t mean it’s good. #2 Follow @MengTo on twitter #3 look at dribble for good examples #4 As it happens i am working on something that might help other devs -> swiftUIviews.dev 🤘

What was your first Apple product?

This is a good one 😅 I should have gotten a Nokia Lumia 920 as a compensation for some video work I did for mobile review website, reluctantly I accepted iPhone 5s instead...been hooked ever since 😅

I actually had Lumia 830 before switching to iPhone 5S.. 😃 You currently work at TIDAL [music streaming service], how did you find the job and what was the interview process like if you can talk about it?

Ah! Then you must be familiar with Nokia N9! :) Such a good system, such a shame 😬 I had few websites monitoring for jobs in Norway specifically, once TIDAL came up i was sooo stoked! 🤘 Interview process was really superb! Fast and efficient. 1st call was just a relaxed chat, then a takehome project, and after that analysis of that project with some discussion back and forth. Project was designed in such a way that any junior could solve it, but had room for depth for some more senior roles. What I liked the most about it was how well organised and relaxed everything was. Never felt nervous more than it was expected i guess :)

That's great! I guess the takehome project included substantial audio part? Btw you moved to Norway already, right?

Strangely it didn’t! That was completely optional and handling queue would take quite a bit of work, so i don’t think it was even mentioned as a requirement. I did it in my test project but literally just tap song to play and thats it. No queue or repeat etc… Yes! Moved here in September 🤘...but I actually “passed” my test JUST before Corona hit…it was March I believe. I sent them some documents on Friday, and on Monday whole Europe was like “STOP EVERYTHING!” Luckily, they never gave up, just postponed stuff a bit 😅

Great stuff, so did you see the aurora already?

Sadly no 😞 Took me a while to get settled + Corona stuff didn’t help either…so travel was quite limited. In the next few months i plan to get a car, and THEN it’s going to be Auroras for life 😆 I do have amazing sunsets here!

Photo of sunset from Norway by Emin

What does working on Tidal app look like? Do you know how many iOS devs are working on the project? Is it more like you have certain part of the app you are responsible or more like "all over the map"?

It is SOOO fun! So many different areas of the app one can have fun with! iOS team is not as big as you would think, so i literally know who is working on which part of the app most of the time. There are like 10 of us at the moment and growing. In terms of responsibility, app is segmented in several teams, but if you wanted to work on a certain feature, nobody would stop you. Everything is quite flexible which is 👌 Case and point...at the moment I am part of 2 teams 🤗. Mainly in the core team which oversees the whole app, and working on an awesome new feature for the “other" team 🤐

Do you have an app idea you would like to build but for some reason can't/won't?

No, i have a list of 30+ app ideas 😅. But honestly i believe around 10 are really “good”, so i decided to work on them one by one, whenever i find the time. First one on the list is a budget app that is shaping up pretty nicely, hope to have it released by April/May! Can’t wait to put it out there!

Nice, sounds like you have something to do in your spare time 😅 Looking forward to the budget app! You have a magic wand... and can change one thing about iOS development. What?

Oh wow...interesting. I am tempted to say “SwiftUI becomes industry standard” but I will be patient for that one as it's only a matter of time and things need to move at their natural speeds. I’d say, never having to write “guard let self = self else { return }” 👌

Interesting.. Maybe let's circle back a bit. Do you use SwiftUI at Tidal?

Yup!! They are quite forward-thinking so they started converting to Swift in general as soon as it was out, and SwiftUI is slowly becoming part of the codebase too. Only in places where it's safe to use it that is...as you are aware there are some things that need polish in SwiftUI so we are gradually moving towards swiftUI definitely 🤘 Fun times ahead!

Great, seems like you truly found a nice place to work! Moving away from work/code.. What do you do to relax?

Basically watching LOTR on repeat and taking long walks with my wife :) I was quite a gamer before deciding to do a career change but since then i had to put games on the back-burner as coding replaces my gaming now 😅

Thanks so much for taking the time! Do you want to give someone or something a shoutout?

Oh man, thank you, this was really fun! As for the shoutout, i gotta say there are a LOT of people i cherish so its REALLY hard make those kind of decisions 😅 Gotta say though, in recent months i've seen quite the increase of WomenInTech which is beyond awesome. And just wanted to say my hats off to the current pioneers in that area. Mad respect there to every single one of you 🤘

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