February 2020

What comments are for

by Joey deVilla on February 21, 2020


In case you were wondering how long you could keep on using macOS 10.14 “Mojave” as a developer targeting any Apple OS, the answer is “not too much longer.” I was presented with the dialog box above when trying to run the beta for Xcode 11.4 on my MacBook running Mojave.

I was doing all this as part of updating The iOS Apprentice, 8th Edition, a great book for people who want to get started building iOS apps. It’s available in both electronic and dead-tree formats, and when you buy an edition, you get updates of that edition for free!


Technology bias

by Joey deVilla on February 17, 2020

While reading What to Do When Machines Do Everything during lunch, I ran into the paragraph above, which proposes a technological solution to American students’ low academic scores compared to those of students from other advanced nations. I think it’s rather telling about the authors’ technology bias that they go straight to a tech solution rather than suggesting that it might be a good idea to borrow some ideas from the educators and school systems in those other countries.

Hey, I like tech as much as the next techie, but there are many times and places where lower-tech solutions are far more cost-effective.


Me, looking at the code written by the previous developer

by Joey deVilla on February 16, 2020


It’s going to be a busy week in Tampa Bay, with the Synapse Summit taking place at the start of the week. Even if it weren’t happening, there’d still be lots to do — the scene here is growing in leaps and bounds. Make sure you get out there, catch an event that interests you, learn something, and make connections and friends!

Here’s what’s happening in Tampa Bay this week!

This weekly list is posted as a voluntary service to the Tampa tech community. With the notable exceptions of Tampa iOS Meetup and Coders, Creatives and Craft Beer — both of which I run — most of this information comes from Meetup.com, EventBrite, and other local event announcement sites. I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the dates and times listed here; if you want to be absolutely sure that the event you’re interested in is actually taking place, please contact the organizers!

News: Imagining possibilities

Synapse Summit 2020

Synapse Summit 2020 has come and gone, and the third iteration of the annual conference can be judged a success. With a reported 7,000 registrations, a great keynote appearance by Sara Blakely, and gathering the bright lights of the Tampa Bay tech and entrepreneur scenes in one place at the same time, I think it’s safe to say that it’s now a well-established regular ritual, and that’s a great thing.

In case you missed some of the local reports on Synapse Summit 2020, I’ve gathered a few below:

In all those conversations, I argued that It is true that the Summit is Tampa Bay’s tech scene collectively tooting its own horn. There’s nothing wrong with that. While it doesn’t directly solve some serious problems in Tampa Bay, it is a necessary piece of their solutions. Showcase events like Synapse Summit are necessary, because they show us, the region, the country, and the world, that great tech things are happening in Tampa Bay. They help us recognize the strides we’ve already made in the area, and encourage us to continue. They bring together our local tech scene, and create the connections and collaborations necessary for innovation. They make people beyond the Bay think “Hey, maybe I should make my way down to the Suncoast.”

Simply put, events like Synapse Summit lead us to do one of the most important questions in science, technology, and community: to imagine possibilities.

Tampa Bay Metro: The post that struck a nerve

Last week, I posted a map of a hypothetical Tampa Bay Metro system on my personal blog. Such a thing — five major rapid transit lines spanning Tampa Bay, Old Tampa Bay, and surrounding areas — will likely never see the light of day, but wow, did it get a lot of attention and response! With thousands of views on both my LinkedIn account and the blog, it seems to have struck a nerve.

I think it’s another data point for my Synapse Summit argument — sometimes, you need something inspirational, even if it doesn’t immediately solve any problems. I like the idea that the map is inspiring people to think about the possibilities.

View the post (and see a link where you can buy the map as a poster) here.

Ignite Tampa Bay 2020: Speak or sponsor; this is your chance!

If you have an idea — especially one that exists only in the world of ideas right now, but could be a reality in the future if we decide that we want to make it real — your chance to share that idea and inspire people to make it real is coming soon! Ignite Tampa Bay, which I like to refer to as “Tapas-sized TED talks”, is happening on Thursday, April 16th in St. Pete. If you’d like to speak or sponsor the event, go to the Ignite Tampa Bay site and sign up!

This week’s events

Monday, February 17

On Monday, OK! Transmit, the art and technology meetup in St. Pete, is holding the first of their Luminous Art Meetups, where you can learn how to build your own LED (light-emitting diode) circuits to create beautiful animated light art. You’ll need to bring stuff — an Arduino Uno, a laptop to program your LEDs, and a USB A/B cable — but the results will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 18

Suncoast Credit Union and the Tampa Bay Tech4Good MeetUp will team up on Tuesday to host a Tech Security Fair. The fair will feature 4 topics/tables include:

  1. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – this will provide plans to ensure your business/nonprofit survives in the case of a disaster, security breach, etc.
  2. End Point Security – volunteers will help you understand what malware and anti-virus mean, and give recommendations on what tools you should look into to protect yourself from digital threats.
  3. Password Management – you’ll learn best practices to ensure you have a password that will prevent being hacked, and learn about multi-authentication.
  4. Information Security – learn everything you need to protect your key information and platforms, such as your Data, Websites, Internet, Wifi, etc.

Wednesday, February 19

If your schedule doesn’t allow for after-work gatherings, how about a before-work one, such as the UX Coffee Talk on Wednesday morning? Meet the people at Tampa Bay UX Group and discuss usability, user interface, and user experience topics in the “lean coffee” format!

Thursday, February 20

High Tech Connect’s next get-together happens on Thursday at the Microsoft office. On the agenda are High Tech Connect’s new job board, along with presentations by Microsoft, MiSource (staffing), Atmos Effect (a . startup), and the Children’s Cancer Center.

Friday, February 21

Friday’s Tampa Bay Kanban meetup is about dispelling the myth that Kanban is only good for [ insert domain here ]. It’s actually applicable in all sorts of fields, and you’ll learn that it’s good for anyone who is overburdened and have lack of transparency for the work they need to do.

Saturday, February 22

Sunday, February 23

Do you have an upcoming event that you’d like to see on this list?

If you know of an upcoming event that you think should appear on this list, please let me know!

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The truth about programming for Apple platforms

by Joey deVilla on February 14, 2020

This is old news to iOS/macOS/iPadOS/watchOS developers, but it’s worth repeating. That’s all right; I’d rather code in Swift than Objective-C.

Given the fight between Google and Oracle, I’m certain that if Google was the mother in the comic, Java would be Objective-C and Kotlin would be Swift.


If the 4 major mobile providers in the US were cast as the four houses at Hogwarts, Sprint would certainly be Hufflepuff. And not top-tier Hufflepuff, either, but their remedial class. In the Parade of Losers, Sprint are the baton twirlers:

Sprint’s satisfaction ratings are so low that even Boost Mobile has higher scores than they do.

On the other hand, T-Mobile (full disclosure: I’m a happy customer) consistently has the highest satisfaction scores.

I’m certain I’m not the only person asking this question about the merger that was just rubber-stamped: Forget about 5G for a moment — will combining the two make Sprint better, or T-Mobile worse?