This is a Twitter Space recording, so my audio sounds way worse compared to normal. But hey. It is good content regardless.
On January 26, Stefan Blos and I hosted a Twitter Space called “iOS Coffee Chat: Staying up to date with iOS development”.We hope to do more of these. This episode is the permanent archive of that Space.
Recommendations to get started?
Just try https://netnewswire.com/ (free) and add some website to it. If you want to look for (a lot) more feeds, go look at iosdevdirectory.com. Make sure not to overwhelm yourself when you get started with RSS readers. In the end it is just another inbox you probably want to keep at or close to zero. So build up gradually and do not be afraid to remove a feed if it is just too much.
The second approach is to sign up to a few newsletters listed in these notes, or (again) go look at iosdevdirectory.com for a lit of newsletter. And yet again, slow and steady beats signing up for all of them.
If audio is more your thing? Listen to my podcast (AppForce1). I will have a weekly episode with new articles of the week. I also have a digest newsletter containing the same links and links to all content I released over the week in some capacity.
Lead Software Developer
Learn best practices for being a great lead software developer.
Please rate me on Apple Podcasts.
Welcome, everybody, that this is a Twitter space about how you can stay up to date as an iOS software developer. But as Stefan already mentioned, pre show, it's also something that applies to any software developer out there. So yes, we are going to be talking about iOS and apple and things relate to that. But if you just take out the links that and contents source that we mentioned and replace those with anything that is clickable to your tech stack, probably the whole thing that we're going to talk about is going to work brilliantly for for your case as well. Yeah, just a quick intro, who the two of us are, Stefan and I are colleagues at stream, we both work in the Developer Relations part of stream. So we are very much outward focused, we, we tend to like create content, try and go to conferences, speak at conferences, make sure that any input that we received from end users, and as developers of our product, halfway into the company to talk at a technical level, and be able to help us improve their life and work and results with our SDKs stream creates a chat and a feed based product. That's who the two of us are. Yeah, basically, before we begin, is there anything that you want to share what you'll be working on that? Today's the farm?Stefan Blos:
Sure, sure. Also, thanks for the introduction, I couldn't have put it into better words. So today, for me, it's where basically I am working on on a clone of a popular messaging app right now, which has some some challenges, but I'm preparing to create a piece of content around that. So that has been my my work so far today. What about you?Jeroen Leenarts:
Well, basically, I've been so yeah, basically be working on pushing a block article that I got released on the on the stream block. But also, later today, in the evening, I'm going to be working on some interviews that are recorded from a podcast. So plenty of things planned, also going to bring my daughter to her gymnastics class. So just just the usual things really on the Wednesday for me. So yeah, that's that's basically it just a bit with content and, and also doing some tech stuff on that, because I'm actually investigating how flutter and native iOS development compare, because that's something that I think it's interesting to just do as a technical exercise. And who knows, maybe it results in some content as well. How did we end up in this space? Because to really dive in, so meaning iOS development, Stefan? Yeah, that's probably a long story. So what do we want to share about that?Stefan Blos:
Well, I just just want to keep it really, really quick, I think. So I can start with that. I mean, I've been I've been basically a self taught iOS developer, I have a CS degree. But basically, that had nothing to do with iOS, really. So I just dabbled around with that, in my spare time. And I've been working, and other other realms as well. So as a web dev, also some Android, but iOS is deeply connected to my heart. So that's why why that's the space I ended up.Jeroen Leenarts:
Now, basically, I've been doing software development in some capacity for 20 years, I do have some sort of related education before that. So started software development in 2002 already, so I'm, I'm literally at 20 years, right right now. Been doing all kinds of backend stuff with Java for 10 years, and then switched over to iOS. And I've been doing iOS development since I think it was iOS SDK three, or four. So a lot of Objective C that I did back in the day. And lots of code that I've written in various capacities, had a lot of fun when When Swift was launched, you know, probably people who were around at that time as iOS developers still remember the migrations you had to do between swift versions, which was sometimes quite challenging. And yeah, just been doing software development on the iOS platform for over 10 years. And along the way, I started doing all kinds of thing with with RSS feeds. And but yeah, we can probably dive and switch into that right now, Stefan?Stefan Blos:
Yeah. I mean, that's already an interesting contrast, because you mentioned that you've been working with Objective C before or you started with, with Objective C. I didn't I didn't start with Swift. But I think that's gonna be an interesting contrast to see how the two of us are approaching different things. But yeah, let's start off because, as you already mentioned, you have a podcast, and you do regular episodes where you shout out interesting articles from the community. But I mean, I mentioned that It is quite a bit of work right to keep up with everything and to select the interesting articles. And that ties in pretty well with the topic of this series. So, tell me a little bit about your strategy.Jeroen Leenarts:
Where to start? Yep. Yeah, indeed, every week, I release a podcast episode for Monday's. And usually I have like five links in there that I think that are interesting. It's a little bit like your newsletter format. So you probably a lot of people in here know like a newsletter like day for Where's iOS, def weekly, he has also got like, sort of like a curated list of links. And I pretty much do the same with my podcast. But to get those links, I need to consume a lot of content, content that is on topic, iOS specific, because that's like the only the only thing that constrains what kinds of content can end up in my podcast, it has to be iOS related, otherwise, I won't link it. And what I basically do is, I just observe a lot of a lot of websites, actually. So I think it's right now over 350 websites that are monitored for, for new content on iOS specific pieces. And to do that I use RSS feeds. So that's just one of the ways that you can stay up to date with, with content that is published by by websites and article form content. So for people who don't know what RSS is, it's, it's a syndication format that allows you to have a client on your on a web client, on your, on your on your screen, that fetches the content from all these websites, and then presents it to you in a condensed format, so that you can just see all the headlines, and pick out the ones that that pop into view and then have read through of those. But I also monitor things that are happening on Twitter, of course, when when other big activities happen in the developer ecosystem. I also keep an eye on that. But my main source of information in regards to iOS developer content, are those RSS feeds. So yeah, so any questions on that already? Stefan?Stefan Blos:
I have a question. But I kind of want to I want to mention that. If there's anyone who wants to ask questions on her or his own, feel free, just just tap the mic, and we can invite you up on stage. But the question I have like, there's, you mentioned that it's around 350, RSS feeds already? Did you Did you just sit down one evening and say, oh, let's let's research 350 people or feats to add to my list here or was that like, a process that took took,Jeroen Leenarts:
basically, is still back in the day, like 20 years ago, it was quite normal to stay up to date with with websites through an RSS reader. And then at some point, Google Reader was the thing. And what Google Reader provided was a sort of web interface with that, that basically did this RSS feed aggregation. So you could have like, your RSS feeds registered within Google Reader, and then Google Reader would display those articles to you on screen. And Google Reader was really big back in the day, it was like the number one RSS feed aggregation service that was available. But unfortunately, Google, in their wisdom, decided to accept that product. And there was like a huge void that then existed, or that was looking like it would exist with this service not being available. So what happened then is that a lot of companies and a lot of parties, they, they basically jumped into this space, because Google Reader was such a good surface, that there was no competition possible anymore. So how can you compete with an awesome product that is free, right? You can't make any money on that button. When Google Reader acts, their surface, new parties came in and actually feedly.com is one of those services that I personally use. And that was started right back then, through a crowdfunding campaign. And I stepped in as as one of its earliest backers. So I have like a feedly.com lifetime subscription that's been running for 10 years now already. And so basically, I've been doing RSS feeds for for quite some time. And over the years, my list of feeds that it observed has significantly changed, of course, because I was first into Java and I switched over to iOS. So that was a big, that was like a big cleanup I needed to do. But what I initially did was just if I find an interesting article through some means, and they have more content that is interesting, I would try and add that website through my to my feet reader surface, and then steadily that list grew over the years. Of course, at some point, other content, curated content aggregators, also So started doing the newsletters. And I became aware of those. And one that really stood out was de fer were with his iOS deaf, weekly newsletter. And to just help himself, he actually created a supporting website for that. And that's the iOS dev directory. And that's just a huge list of of websites and other forms of content that have an RSS feed available so that you can just take his list and put it in your RSS feed. So that was a big addition to all the content that I was already observing. And by doing that, I've been doing that for years, I just noticed that I really like staying up to date in this way and add notes that every time that I shared with somebody or let them see on screen what I was doing, people were actually surprised with what I was doing to stay up to date, because they literally told me like, Dude, that's like, so much content that you that you have on your screen, and so much stuff that passes by each week, how do you pick up on what's interesting to read? And how do you know what to skip? And because you can't read everything, right? Because right now, on average, there's like, on iOS, specifically, there's like 120 articles each week that, on average, that like appear on my, on my feed reader. And basically, I go through all of those, but most of them, I just check on the headline level. And at some point, you also know, you can just have like by based on experience, you know, which headlines are interesting. And you also know which content creators are worth checking out. And which ones are a bit more hit and miss in the sense of whether or not the articles any good. So that's a bit of a judgment call that I need to make to just see, okay, I'm going to, like pick out these ones. And usually for off these 120 articles, there's like 2025, that are that make the first cut. And I read those in depth. And then based on that I select five or six articles that I like most. And those are then brought into my podcast to be shared with me the community, really, at least the audience have a podcast. So you can imagine that just observing so many RSS feeds, that's something that I like doing. It's something that other people could be doing. But I don't know if it's something that's for everybody, because I think you stay up to date in a very different way. Right, Stefan?Stefan Blos:
Yeah, I can I can also chime in because you showed me your feet for Feedly. And I was also already feeling desperate only seeing so much content being aggregated there. So yeah, very, very differently. But before before I will dive into that, we have a we have someone who has a question, and I hope I'll pronounce the name correctly, it's way far. So if you unmute yourself, feel free to ask whatever you want.Unknown:
Okay, guys, thanks for having me here. Okay. I'm civil engineer. And I have no prayer CS background, and I'm just learning to code. Okay. I plan to make some some of my idea into app. But every time I start something a, I hit some wall. Like I I'm not sure what, how I should proceed next. Okay, so what are the frameworks? I should? I should strongly learn to make myself a better developer. I'm not sure if we made that question, correct. I'm not a native English speaker.Jeroen Leenarts:
That's a it's a good question wafer. It's a bit off topic for the space that we're doing. But what works best is just going through the content that is made available by Apple said that they have their swift UI UI Kit tutorials available. And basically, I would just make sure that you go through those. And if there's any specific areas that you run into a wall, for, obviously, try searching for that. Online, because there's especially on the iOS ecosystem, there's just a ton of people writing stuff. And most likely the thing that you're running into that somebody who wrote an article about that some sort of how to some sort of introduction, and that might just be the thing that you need to do to get yourself unstuck. So I would just try googling a little bit for that. And yeah, and if that if you still run into an issue, I'll definitely try and voice your your issues on Twitter. And there's a good chance that somebody in the iOS trader space sees you tweet, and maybe can point you with a few things in the right direction. So that I think that's the data some of the things that you could try and do and Wayfarer.Stefan Blos:
Yeah, great, great. Awesome. We have another one has a question I just invited to up to stage I think it's connecting. But I can definitely second what your own said there. Also, I really enjoy a YouTube for anything related there if I have specific problems, because also the community tab is pretty large. And there's a lot of content being shared there. So that's that's pretty, pretty amazing. Okay, I think it's still connecting. So, yeah, once that's finished, you can can ask a question. But aside from that, I will continue, because you're only you asked me how I keep up to date. And I could say, I'm very, very, very less structured than you are there. You mentioned that RSS feeds are one of the central things to your, to your, to your way of working here. Actually, for my personal website, the RSS feed was broken for quite some time. And someone mentioned it to me and asked me what it is. And I didn't know that. So I was I was checking that. And I realized I was using the the publish SDK from from transcendental, which is a basically a swift way of creating static sites. And I just commented out the RSS functionality. I don't know why it happened some some time. But yeah, that was why that didn't work. So yeah, that pretty much shows the amount of impact that RSS feeds had on me recently. But before I continue, unless you have a question, so feel free to ask that first. And you have to unmute yourself. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.Unknown:
Hi. Thanks for having me. Thanks for this new format. Sharon. Also, thanks for your podcast, I enjoy listening to it. Keep going. The question I have is, we already learned that you're using Feedly as, as a web service, do you also use any specific client reader client these days,Jeroen Leenarts:
I could add data because I've been a user of the reader app for quite a while. And but the thing that I noticed in my workflow, because I really liked the reader app, both on the Mac and also on the iOS platform, is that some of the aspects of my workflow didn't really work that well, because I need some way to mark content as a interesting piece of content. And with within the Feedly products, they have like the ability to transfer something from your timeline. So it's pretty much just a list of articles into like a sort of a board. And I use this board as a staging area for my first selection. So that didn't really work in the reader app. But if you're just interested in getting started with, with RSS, and just getting a feel for if this is something for you, definitely feel free to check out apps like reader, another. RSS is also a great option, which is free was created by Josh Holtz. And he's, he's the current maintainer between fast behind Fastlane tools. And you can just find another RSS on on the App Store. It's a free app. And because the reader app is a paid app, but there are some different options available out there. And what's really typical typical about iOS developers is that quite often, an iOS developer needs some toy application to get started. And one of the types of applications that they quite often take the get their hands on is either a podcast app, or it's an RSS reader app, because that's like, I don't know why. But that's one of the typical two areas that iOS software developers tend to experiment is my experience. And so there's a lot of small RSS related applications available on both the Mac App Store and on the iOS App Store. But the challenge is finding one that's at least decently and halfway good. And I know that the the reader app is an excellent one. And the another RSS one is a very good basic one. So just to get started, those are two very nice options to to have a look at. So no, I don't use any specific native clients for my feed management because the the web interface that Feedly provides is good enough for my situation. But that's also because I have like a bit of additional workflow after I sort of like consumed content, and that's why having a native application didn't work out for me right now, because maybe somebody creates a product that does work out. And if you but of course, Feedly is not the only service that is available. Another great one that I've heard of is feed pin, for example. And we'll make sure to have a number of services in the, in the in the links that we are going to publish after the show. It's just a bit of Googling, and I know which ones are any good to have as a as an RSS backend. Because the thing with observing RSS feeds, it's nice to have like a back end because that allows you to sync things between your devices. Because another RSS does support syncing between devices. But it uses iCloud sync. And, yeah, we all know that that doesn't really work that well for every situation. And I hope Apple really fixes that. But it is something to be aware of that. If you want to use your RSS feeds. Significantly, it's really nice to have the option to be able to be on the go and check them out on your phone and just mark them. And then when you get back at your computer to death just have like a curated list for yourself with articles that you think I'm going to read those because those seem to be interesting.Unknown:
I think that's the same thing. Think, though, I think reader does sync with iCloud as well, if not mistaken,Jeroen Leenarts:
has different backends that they support. So it's iCloud sync, they can attach to Feedly they can attach to feed Ben. Exactly, I think one or two other services as well. And just having this syncing option available in some capacity is really nice. But I had some not so nice experience with experiences when using iCloud syncing,Unknown:
I think, okay, yeah, I'm using reader myself. Um, so for all other listeners who wonder it's spelled our wed our if not quite mistaken. Yeah,Jeroen Leenarts:
you can't miss it. If you search for that on the on the App Store. There's not many, like, there's not not many keywords hogger. So on that term on the app stores.Unknown:
Okay. Thank you. Yeah,Jeroen Leenarts:
thanks for your input.Stefan Blos:
Thanks. So quick reminder, if you have questions, feel free to ask to be invited on stage. And we'll invite you up. And you can ask any questions you have. So yeah, we were talking about how I tried to stay up to date with everything happening in the community. And I have to say that Twitter is really my my main go to app here, because I tried to keep my feet as clean as possible to have really valuable people to follow. And mostly they are either publishing content themselves, or they are retweeting or liking other content that is relevant to me, which is really helpful. So that's, that's a nice thing. And the other thing that mainly keeps me in the loop of what's happening right now are newsletters, because, as you mentioned already, there, there are many that are out there. Like the I think the three main ones I really like are the iOS weekly. I also enjoy the I think it's called swift UI weekly by by Mohit. I don't want to pronounce the name too wrong, but I hope I got it, at least close to correct. And also, someone who's actually in this space, Adam rush, he also started a newsletter called SwiftKey rush, which I really interest so far. So these are, I think, great ways to keep up. Because I mean, other people are doing some curated content. They're distributing for free. And I think that's one of the really nice aspects we have in the community that people are really willing to share their knowledge. And to basically do this without, without requesting too much from us there.Jeroen Leenarts:
Yeah, because that's what's interesting there that you mentioned, a third way of of staying up to date with content because I'm at one end of the extreme, I'm at the one of the extreme ends of the spectrum. And you're well not not that I completely at the other end, but you do a much more laid back. And yeah, just see what pops up. And you don't really seem to mind if you miss something, which is fine, because if something is important, Twitter exploits and you cannot miss it. And there's some in between that you can do as well. And that's basically leaving it up to two other people to to do the curation and to figure out what is good content to consume. So definitely if you don't want to invest the time, but you do want to stay sort of up to date with what's happening in the developer sphere. Just go looking for some newsletters that were already mentioned by by Stefan, because just observing a newsletter, you get like a weekly email, most likely with most of them maybe every two weeks, but it's it's a nice overview and quite often the person Writing the newsletter also give some color comments on on the actual content and why this specific article is interested to you. One of the people that really stands out in this fashion is Anton from LA, he also has his newsletter. Probably if you ended up at his site, at some point, you've got this annoying, subscribe pop up in your face on his website. I don't know why he does that, but probably to build his newsletter, but his actual newsletter is really good. Because every LinkedIn he mentions, there's like a little highlight. Okay, you should read this, because and then he explains why he thinks it's an interesting theory. And, and the same goes with with Adam. Really, that's, that's the colleague that that's the fun already mentioned. And I'm curious actually to ask Adam if he feels comfortable sharing that with how he stays up to date with, with content that he puts in his newsletter, because I think it's actually quite on point with what we're talking about. So Adam, if you're capable, just accept the invitation and share what you can, we'll see. And so yeah, Twitter and newsletters, that's what you do, Stefan.Stefan Blos:
And I quickly want to want to add on that because like, if there's if there's interesting pieces of content in a newsletter, it will also again, lead to lead to me discovering new people to follow. And because a lot of people who post stuff are doing this regularly. So it's also a nice way of discovering, covering new people and new content creators. So that's also a very nice, nice thing to have. I think.Jeroen Leenarts:
So. And while we are like, sort of like getting to the end of this Twitter space, I think, if there is anyone in the audience that has something to add something that they think is also a good idea if you want to stay up to date with content, because otherwise, I'll do a quick recap of the things that we talked about. And then we'll just have to see if there's any questions.Stefan Blos:
Yeah, just a quick, quick, quick, honorable mention for keeping up. I really like the way the taptap DC content is created recently, because the there's this Apple Developer App by Apple, and they even post a lot of videos and content throughout the year. So aside from not being able to watch all the videos we are interested in during kleptocracy week. There's also a lot of stuff that will be added throughout the year. So it's always interesting to check that from time to time to see if there's new, new content produced there.Jeroen Leenarts:
And you know, what's fun with that, all the content that is in the Developer App of Apple, if you look good enough, you if you search good enough, you can also find all that content available in harvest as featsStefan Blos:
are very, very nice.Jeroen Leenarts:
So yeah, just just to recap, yeah, if you want to stay up to date with with iOS developer content, there's a couple of things that you can do, you can go all in, in the sense that I do just monitor a ton of RSS feeds. And maybe used to while you're doing that. So that's to like reader app or another RSS feed reader. Probably if you're doing it at some point, you want to have some sort of syncing going on between those, those clients. That's interesting websites available for that, that support that you can either use iCloud syncing, or you can use a service like feedly.com, or you can use feedly.com. Next to that, you can really dive into the newsletter route. So just sign up for a bunch of iOS related news letters. I highly recommend the iOS def weekly on Tom finales newsletter, Swift with Majid, it's a great newsletter to follow as well. Adam has a nice newsletter that swiftly rush.com. And there's a couple more, but we'll make sure to link those up as well. And if that's not your thing, just being on Twitter, and just following a number of people, most likely, people will share what they create. And if you just scroll through your timeline a little bit, you'll probably get the highlights just as well. And most of all, what's also really nice way to stay up to date with with what's going on in developer ecosystem is just, it's just interacting with people just going to local meetups, if you're able, and if it's still possible, in spite COVID restrictions or online, things that you can join. That that's also a very good way to just interact with people and just to just hear what people are doing and what's really working for them at conferences is also a great way because that's also a way to mix up with new people that you're not familiar with. And Yeah, if there's not any questions, then I'd say, Thanks for your time. And thanks. Thanks, weStefan Blos:
have we have one more, one more person on stage. And it's Adam finally worked, he had some technical challenges. As always, he managed to overcome those and will now be here and share quickly share his, his take on the whole staying up to date thing.Adam Rush:
But by the way, it doesn't work on on desktop, so I'm on my phone. So maybe it's a Twitter limitation. I'm not sure what's going on there. But, but yeah, it's great, great to be on. And this is awesome. Awesome chat you're having. In fact, thanks for the mention. As well, I was kind of just working away whilst listening and then heard the name job. So appreciate the shout out. I think for for my tips, because I've kind of just just been in the process of, of setting all of this up. So the thing that I kind of do is, I dedicate a whole day to curating content for the previous week, and, and also a whole evening, actually going through each one that that I like the look of. So I actually try to read all the content that I share, which is very time consuming. But yeah, I just feel feel like if I'm the one saying, hey, you know, come and check out this article, then I should be, I should be at least consuming it. But it also gives me some some great ideas for for the content that I'm either missing, or I should at least cover as well on my website. So it's a great exercise for me. And it's really nice that people also enjoy, you know, that the result of that work, essentially, the other thing I like to do as well is I am also using just Holt's Mac app called otter RSS. So I, I like to follow many people's RSS feeds and see what's going on there. But it also means I can subscribe to Apple announcements as well. So I get all the developer news fairly quickly, just so I can share about that to fellow fellow people in the community. So that that that tends to be what I do. In terms of the website, I have a list of fins that I want to write about on trailer. So if there's nothing fresh in my mind, I'm just going through that list and basically covering covering those topics. So So yeah, that's typically how, how I like to work. Everyone can subscribe as well, if you're if you are you interested. I have my own website now swiftly rush.com. And you can also subscribe as well. But yeah, I appreciate the shout out. And hopefully there's some insight there that people can can use.Jeroen Leenarts:
Now, what's interesting that you mentioned there, if that is again, the the RSS feeds by by Apple, and also the RSS feed reader by by Josh holds the another RSS reader. And so basically, it lines up quite nicely with what we already mentioned. And yeah, it's just I think if you want to stay up to date with what's happening in the iOS developer community, or any software developer community, it's just finding those those bits of information either yourself or have somebody do it for you. And, as mentioned, a couple of newsletters is a great way to just keep tabs on like the main items that are happening. And as Adam also mentioned, reading the content is, is the most time consuming part of staying up to date with with all this because as I already mentioned, I picked like 20 ish news news items that I tend to really read in depth 2025 and make take my pick from those. But I have a different workflow compared to Adam. Basically, I draw a line on my on my backlog of news items, and then I just then that's up till that point, that's potentially content for my next podcast episode. And then it's after that line, then it's content for my next podcast episode. And it's just doing the headline scan, and then do the first selection and then read what's left and do my final selection based on my read throughs. So um, that was that, I'd say thanks for your time. Again, Stefan and I actually Adam as well. We all work at stream we're currently hiring. So if you have any questions, we're still looking for an SDK developer on the iOS platform, especially if you're in the US time zone, which is quite unlikely, considering the time that we're at right now. Versus like, really bright and early in the morning, they're also make sure to follow us online, probably, if you're in this Twitter space, you're already doing that. And just keep an eye on that. The timeline of hours for the dimension of the content link with all the links and stuff that we talked about, and that we mentioned during this Twitter space. So thanks for your time. And I hope to share something else with Stefan to you all. At a later date. We're going to evaluate how this Twitter space worked for us and then come up with a new topic that we can share about and then also attach some thoughts or ideas. Feel free to send them to us either through DM or through Twitter mentioned both is fine. And, yeah, let's just stay up to date with everything that's happening. Thanks for your time.