What I’m Doing *Now*

I recently moved to Edinburgh and made this page to help explain to new friends “what I do” 1 but it’s turned into a great way to keep myself “on-track” with a number of personal goals, so I’ve continued to update it each month.

A bit more background on the /now page idea
Making your own /now page is a helpful way to focus on, and refine, aspects of ongoing self-improvement. In the past, I’ve found yearly goals can be too big (which can feel daunting), whilst daily or weekly goals tend to be too small (so can feel insignificant). This ties in with something ‘famously’ said by Bill Gates: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Focusing on a small number of important goals on a monthly basis feels practical and achievable… and over the course of a year they’ll add up (at least, that’s the plan)!

Who I Follow

For keeping up with design, creativity and technology (particularly iOS), I recommend getting to know these people if you don’t already:



  • Continuing to learn iOS app design and development in Xcode and Swift. Still early days but the latest beta of Xcode 8 with its improvements to storyboards is awesome, and makes for quicker design iterations and testing.
  • Starting to build out my movie sharing app, plus a couple of other smaller projects I haven’t talked about.
  • Designing a portfolio website for a photographer.
  • Not playing Pokémon Go 🙂



  • It’s Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this month, so I’ll be catching up on videos from the various developer sessions in San Francisco. There’s some big new releases to learn about including the latest versions of iOS 10, OS X (I mean, macOS!), tvOS and watchOS 3! Not to mention Swift 3 and Xcode 8! Busy busy busy!
  • While also continuing to dive into app design and development, I’ve decided I should share what I’m learning… so I’m putting together a brand new website at DOSWIFT.net which will be launched before the end of the month [UPDATE: the site went live on June 27th with the first video tutorial covering some of the great new features in Xcode 8 and Swift 3!]


  • Launching the new website for the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling.
  • Continuing to learn app development for iOS, programming in Swift. I’m developing a movies app for couples to share films they’ve both seen, or want to watch together. I’m learning techniques like using a live database to store information (via Firebase), fetch information from an API (TheMovieDB), cache images locally to optimise loading, and design what will eventually be a good-looking UI. I’ve also been introduced to the concept of unit tests, so am looking to implement some robust tests too. If you know of any good resources to learning this stuff, please drop me a line 🙂


March 2016

  • Getting to know everyone at Tribe Porty, a new coworking space I’ve joined in Edinburgh. Check it out here!
  • Learning iOS 9 / Swift 2 development
  • Learning JavaScript
  • Meeting new people in Edinburgh – agencies and freelancers
  • Small number of web / graphic design projects
  • Reading more great new books (primarily on life and work)

February 2016

New This Month…

Continuing from January…

  • Web & graphic design projects
  • Reading
  • Learning JavaScript
    • In addition to Eloquent JavaScript, noted below, I’m now using courses on Pluralsight and problem-solving exercises from ProjectEuler.net
  • Meeting local creatives in Edinburgh
  • Learning from others (always!)

January 2016

  • Web & graphic design projects.
    • This isn’t taking up much of my time right now, I just have a small number of great clients, and my two goals are simply to do good work with interesting people, and cover my basic costs, to allow me to do more.
  • Developing and releasing my own side-projects.
  • Reading
    • I plan on reading at least a dozen good books in 2016 – see above – because I read very little last year, and reading is important!
  • Learning JavaScript
    • I’m mostly comfortable with the written word, plus HTML, CSS and PHP. 3 I’m now learning JavaScript, because it’s everywhere, it enables interesting things to happen on the web, and it will serve as a route into more hardcore “programming” which will help me to wrap my brain around developing apps for iOS. It would be great to get into creating apps rather than thinking about them just from a UX/usability perspective. I’m starting my JavaScript journey with Marijn Haverbeke’s Eloquent JavaScript.
  • Meeting local creatives (in person!)
    • Expanding your horizons is always important. I’ve joined Creative Edinburgh (you should too) and have been going to events like Creative Circles and Creative Mornings.



  1. Thanks to Derek Sivers for the “now” page idea: http://sivers.org/now
  2.  Side projects are awesome – because.
  3. From building my own websites in the 90’s, developing a company intranet in the 00’s and clients’ websites in the last 10 years