Empower Apps

I'm excited to have on the show Michigan's own Swift Student Challenge Distinguished Winner Dezmond Blair on to talk about everything from his learning and mentoring experience at the Apple Developer Academy to his experience at WWDC 2024.

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Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Blippy Trance" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
  • (00:00) - Who is Dezmond Blair?
  • (03:06) - Apple Developer Academy
  • (09:29) - Coding Mentor
  • (14:41) - Swift Student Challenge
  • (26:19) - Call for Students
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Creators & Guests

Host
Leo Dion
Swift developer for Apple devices and more; Founder of BrightDigit; husband and father of 6 adorable kids
Guest
Dezmond Blair
Aspiring app developer and Apple Developer Academy grad with a passion for innovation and solving real-world problems. MTB enthusiast. #iOSdev #innovation #mtb

What is Empower Apps?

An exploration of Apple business news and technology. We talk about how businesses can use new technology to empower their business and employees, from Leo Dion, founder of BrightDigit.

[00:00:00] Who is Dezmond Blair?
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[00:00:00] Leo Dion (host): Hey folks. Before we begin today's episode, I wanted to let you know I'm open to new opportunities this summer and fall of 2024. If you're looking for someone who has an expertise in swift, whether it's iOS, watchOS, tv, vision, Mac Os, or Server side, swift, reach out to me. You can find me@brightdigit.com and you can reach out to me there, or you can just email me at leo@brightdigit.com.

[00:00:27] Leo Dion (host): Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy the rest of today's episode. Welcome to another episode of Empower Apps. I'm your host, Leo Deanne. Today I'm joined by Desmond Blair. Desmond, thank you so much for coming on.

[00:00:44] Dezmond Blair (guest): Leo, thank you for having me. I'm super excited to be here today.

[00:00:48] Leo Dion (host): Congratulations on your Swift Student Challenge. Win. You have been working through the Apple Developer Academy and you had an exciting time at Dub Dub, and so today I just wanted to talk a little bit about your experience there. But before we begin, I'll let you go ahead and introduce yourself.

[00:01:07] Dezmond Blair (guest): Okay. Sounds good. So as you guys know, my name is Desmond. I have been in computer science for about a year now. Mostly working in app development. When I was about 21, I went into computer science. I received my associate's degree. From there, I transitioned to development or sorry, I transitioned to it.

[00:01:28] Dezmond Blair (guest): Did that for a time, realized it wasn't for me, and thankfully found out about the Apple Developer Academy where I am now. And have spent the last 10 months doing app development.

[00:01:38] Leo Dion (host): Awesome. So let's start off by talking about it was interesting you said you did it and then that was it for you. And then you went to do you wanted to join the Apple Developer Academy. What was the decision? I. How'd you come to that decision and what was the big difference, between what your, IT work you were doing and the swift work you were doing at Apple Developer Academy?

[00:02:00] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, of course. There was a big difference actually. I was doing it contracting for some time and I realized as much as I love helping people, and as much as I love doing what I'm doing, I, I felt creatively what's the word? Just like I couldn't express myself, everything was always done by the book, by the rules, and you have to go step by step with a lot of people to make sure you know why this isn't working and helping people fix stuff.

[00:02:25] Dezmond Blair (guest): I realized that, like I said, I wasn't really expressing myself creatively. And because I had a degree in programming already, I figured, let me look for different options. Let me look for different options where I can express myself and where I might be able to actually start developing things and making projects that could, help people.

[00:02:43] Dezmond Blair (guest): Thankfully I got accepted into the academy. There is a one month program it's called the Foundations Program, and that's actually what I'm teaching now. However, for the Foundations program, it's just a one month version of it to see if it's right for you. Through that one month program, I got to work with some really amazing people.

[00:02:59] Dezmond Blair (guest): Built an app called Reminiscent. And from there, like I said, my, my journey's just been all, all iOS.

[00:03:06] Apple Developer Academy
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[00:03:06] Leo Dion (host): Um, so in case people were wondering, you're in Detroit we're specifically talking about the Apple Developer Academy in Detroit. We were just talking before the show, how I had Sarah on Sarah Greter on a couple of years ago talking about it. What was your biggest surprise? I guess getting into the Apple Developer Academy and that experience.

[00:03:25] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah. And just so I can clarify for the audience too about what the program is and kinda what we do there it is a 10 month course. Meant to train you to become a world class developer as the Gilbert Family Foundation puts it. So we spent the last 10 months doing six challenges. Each challenge, we are creating an app.

[00:03:42] Dezmond Blair (guest): They don't have to go on the app store. However, these apps are what you use for your portfolios. All these projects, you're working with different people constantly, and you always have a great team of mentors who are there to help you during every step of the process. And when I first did the foundations program and I was introduced into this environment, I, I was enamored.

[00:04:01] Dezmond Blair (guest): Honestly, I, I had not seen such passionate people in such a great big space before. And having that and seeing that passion from everyone else really is what inspired me to continue in this journey.

[00:04:12] Leo Dion (host): So what, I'm almost curious, what were like the first things that you learned or what were, what were the first big challenges that you faced getting into iOS development? I.

[00:04:24] Dezmond Blair (guest): I'm lucky enough that we offer this program here in Detroit. However, my, my biggest challenge was self-learning at the Apple Developer Academy, I. And all the academies around the world, what's, what's really pushed is CBL challenge-based learning. And so the mentors aren't there to hold your hands or teach you these complicated topics.

[00:04:44] Dezmond Blair (guest): They're there merely to guide you in the correct direction to find out more about certain topics.

[00:04:50] Leo Dion (host): Okay. Interesting.

[00:04:51] Dezmond Blair (guest): and so a lot of it came to my own self-discipline, my own learning, and really. Taking outta the program, what I put into it. And that's, that's something all the mentors would say as well. You get out of this program, what you put into it.

[00:05:05] Dezmond Blair (guest): And so even past my learning there at the academy with the 10 month course, I also decided to join a bootcamp on top of this course just so that I could further my education in an iOS development. Yes. And two, two bootcamps.

[00:05:20] Leo Dion (host): what was the other bootcamp, if you mind me asking?

[00:05:22] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, so the first one I did was the iOS accelerator course from an organization called Code Echo. And the next month after that, they actually started the first Vision Os Bootcamp. And so literally right after doing the iOS accelerator I jumped into Vision Os.

[00:05:38] Leo Dion (host): What was your aha moment or like the moment that amazed you re in regards to doing iOS development?

[00:05:46] Dezmond Blair (guest): One of my big moments was actually the first challenge that we did. So after doing the foundations course and then getting into that 10 month course and doing our first challenge, I got to work with some really passionate people a really great team who let me take charge on the direction of the development.

[00:06:01] Dezmond Blair (guest): What we ended up doing was like a really nice app for academy learners where they could then see all of their fellow students see their class roster. All in a beautiful deck of cards. Organized as a contact list would be.

[00:06:15] Leo Dion (host): Nice.

[00:06:16] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah.

[00:06:17] Leo Dion (host): Let's get a little bit more into what your interests are as far as in IOS. What are some things that you think, as somebody new to this what are some, some concepts or APIs that you're like, man, I wish I saw more of that. Or, I think there should be more of that, either from the app what's on the app store or from as far as educational material out there.

[00:06:42] Leo Dion (host): Does that make sense?

[00:06:44] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yes. I, I, I think I see what you're saying. Because I had a, I had a significant problem also finding different learning resources prior to doing those bootcamp learnings. And so what I would've liked to see more of is actually something that I did a lot of the Swift Playgrounds. They were a really great resource for me to get in and start learning as they have a lot of great beginner content for someone who's never coded before in their life.

[00:07:06] Dezmond Blair (guest): Or for someone who is like me transitioning from a coding degree. However, I've never learned Swift before. And so what I did was the get started with apps course on playgrounds, and that's really what enlightened me on the different capabilities of what we can do in the iOS ecosystem. I'd like to see more people playing with kind of the different animations and stuff that are available in courses like that because I feel like it's underutilized in a lot of the apps that we use.

[00:07:33] Dezmond Blair (guest): And the ones that do it right are the ones that succeed, for example, Duolingo. Their animations are smooth, clean, beautiful, and people rely on this app merely for those animations alone, so

[00:07:44] Leo Dion (host): Where do you see playgrounds in the learning experience? Because as you probably noticed, there's certain limitations as far as what you can do in playgrounds. Do you think they're like good for, do you think they're just good for like raw educational material?

[00:07:59] Leo Dion (host): Because there is some stuff you can do on playgrounds as far as like creating. I don't know, like a playgrounds file that you can deliver and show people how to do stuff, if

[00:08:09] Dezmond Blair (guest): yeah, no, I know exactly what you mean. And that's a really great part of the Apple Developer Academy as well, is just past those. So to answer your question first, playgrounds is a great first step. I think that's like where you get your feet wet before you, dive into the world of iOS. And with, being a part of the Apple Developer Academy, we had mentors who would create those custom playgrounds to excel our learning.

[00:08:31] Dezmond Blair (guest): Those are what really helped me in my journey at least, to thinking of myself as a developer. They would include little challenges in there, kind of like, like lead code challenges and stuff like that. I. That when I did it, and without the help of, internet or anyone else I, I truly did feel like a, a good programmer at the time, because I was able to solve those challenges and solve those problems without, any assistance.

[00:08:52] Leo Dion (host): I, I do wanna keep talking about playgrounds 'cause it interests me as an educational tool. How far do you think one can get in playgrounds before one just needs to start? I. Getting into X code when it comes to learning app development.

[00:09:07] Dezmond Blair (guest): Leo, I'll be honest with you, I for the foundations, that one month course, I coded my entire app in Swift Playgrounds.

[00:09:13] Leo Dion (host): That's awesome.

[00:09:14] Dezmond Blair (guest): honestly, yeah, I, I think that was production ready. And so I, I think there's a lot of capabilities just as long as you have somewhere to start, somewhere nice and easy to start

[00:09:23] Leo Dion (host): Oh yeah. 'cause like X code is overwhelming. And I also feel like when I want to teach somebody like.

[00:09:29] Coding Mentor
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[00:09:29] Dezmond Blair (guest): I had something I wanted to add on to the fact that you said about the about Xcode specifically.

[00:09:35] Leo Dion (host): Yeah, go ahead. What were you gonna say?

[00:09:37] Dezmond Blair (guest): It's part of my course actually to teach Xcode to the students as part of the foundations program. And honestly, I, I always tell my students like, yo, just do playgrounds first.

[00:09:47] Dezmond Blair (guest): You could, you could code your whole app in playgrounds and then just transition to X code when you're ready, because it is a big learning curve. Having students who even are already computer science majors when they see an environment like Xcode, they're like, this is way different than any other IDE we've ever worked with, or anything like

[00:10:04] Leo Dion (host): Yeah, it is.

[00:10:05] Dezmond Blair (guest): it, it, there's actually a learning curve to just xcode alone. Which is why I tell my students, just start with playgrounds, you'll be okay.

[00:10:12] Leo Dion (host): Yeah. So as far as code mentoring, like besides handholding a little bit on X code, what did you learn? What have you learned from that experience? Now that you're on the other side of the table, so to speak? I.

[00:10:24] Dezmond Blair (guest): I've definitely learned a lot about about people and about how much you put into something. When I see my students, when I see that passion in them the same passion, that I had when I first came into the program, when I see that passion in them, it, it elates me. It, it makes me want only the best for them.

[00:10:41] Dezmond Blair (guest): And I, I feel really proud for my students a lot of the time because I see them doing such amazing work, in my class, and I'm just, I'm impressed, I, I end up learning from my students sometimes more than I have on my own journey.

[00:10:54] Leo Dion (host): What are you surprised that was a big challenge teaching your students or mentoring your students, I should say?

[00:11:01] Dezmond Blair (guest): Two things. One is building relationships. Part of the foundations course and part of the developer academy in general is that you're always gonna be working in groups. It's a big collaborative effort and getting people together actually is a lot harder than I thought it would be. As far as coding wise we have a pretty challenging curriculum for them.

[00:11:19] Dezmond Blair (guest): And so I believe the hardest part is definitely when we get to we structure it in week. So week one is when we're going over the CBL process, helping them find an idea. Week two, we're going over design, helping them, figure out what they want the app to look like. Week three is coding. When we get to actual development, setting up a backend, setting up a database solely using swift.

[00:11:42] Dezmond Blair (guest): Ends up becoming a big challenge for a lot of the students because they can't really conceptualize view models or and swift data alone isn't really quite there yet towards making stuff like that. And I've started to introduce that as a supplement to, view models and observed environment objects.

[00:11:59] Dezmond Blair (guest): However, it's still quite a challenge to, to get front end coders to learn the backend essentially.

[00:12:06] Leo Dion (host): are you writing your backend in?

[00:12:08] Dezmond Blair (guest): So like I said, we use only Swift and so we'll use just a lot of stuff like state objects, environment objects, and if applicable, then we'll use a Swift data model.

[00:12:18] Leo Dion (host): Okay. When you say backend, you mean like the data end on the front end? Not like

[00:12:23] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, no. We, we definitely, with the foundations course only being a month long, we don't.

[00:12:29] Leo Dion (host): I was gonna say.

[00:12:30] Dezmond Blair (guest): Encourage students to set up something on the, on the web or use third party frameworks at all, really.

[00:12:36] Leo Dion (host): Yeah. Yeah.

[00:12:36] Dezmond Blair (guest): because it becomes very complicated and it becomes a lot more learning on your, on your own self, to be able to do something like that.

[00:12:42] Dezmond Blair (guest): However, one student we did have set up a Firebase backend for, for their app, and that was really impressive to see.

[00:12:51] Leo Dion (host): Yeah. Or you could do like one of these mock node servers that just spits out stuff from a REST API fake or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. What what have, what has, what have students when they get into the class, they're like, I want to make blah, blah, blah app. What are they mostly saying? What kind of apps do they want to make?

[00:13:12] Dezmond Blair (guest): Mm. So I'll be honest, I've seen a lot of budget apps. I've seen a lot of travel apps. That's another very common one. And this all goes through that collaborative process. People get together and all of them have all these different ideas that they wanna work on. And when they're trying to find one thing that they all wanna work on, it always ends up being something, what's the word?

[00:13:34] Dezmond Blair (guest): I don't, I don't wanna say. Something, something that someone's already done before. There's already a billion travel apps, there's already a billion apps that teach you different languages. What we do at the academy is we try to help them use that CBL process to find a unique problem and then find a solution to that unique problem so that we're not, so that we're not making, the same app over and over.

[00:13:55] Leo Dion (host): Like one of the first things you learn when you get into freelancing is how often people want to come up with these really great ideas and it's dude, just take two seconds to look on the app store. It's already there.

[00:14:06] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah.

[00:14:07] Leo Dion (host): yeah, it's a little bit hard to communicate that with people who are really set on their idea, but, yeah. Was there anything else you wanna mention about mentoring that you really enjoy or are really surprised by that experience?

[00:14:20] Dezmond Blair (guest): I just wanna say how proud I am of like, the students that I have worked with already. It's been a really great journey to be in this position and to be able to mentor. I've, I've never had an experience like this, so being in education has been a, a big jump for me. However it was a lot of fun, to say the least.

[00:14:38] Dezmond Blair (guest): It was a lot of fun.

[00:14:39] Leo Dion (host): That's awesome. That's awesome.

[00:14:41] Swift Student Challenge
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[00:14:41] Leo Dion (host): So besides that you were you, you won the Swift Student Challenge and congratulations on that. That's awesome. And this is specifically for your app. Is it MBT Extreme?

[00:14:58] Dezmond Blair (guest): M-T-B-M-T-B

[00:15:00] Leo Dion (host): extreme. Okay. Which we'll get into it in a little bit, but how'd you find, how'd you find out about that and what was that process like?

[00:15:08] Leo Dion (host): I guess c because I'm not totally familiar with how that works.

[00:15:12] Dezmond Blair (guest): Okay. Yeah, so let me go into context about what the Swift Student Challenge is as well then. So the SW Student Challenge is a yearly challenge hosted by Apple themselves, and the idea is to get students from around the world. To join this challenge and send Apple some of the projects they've been working on.

[00:15:29] Dezmond Blair (guest): And so everyone can apply. You just have to be a student at any college and be passionate about mobile development. And so being a part of the Apple Developer Academy, that's what gave me the criteria to be able to to apply as a student. And about halfway through the academy, we are about.

[00:15:49] Dezmond Blair (guest): Three, four months in at this point, our mentors introduced to us what the Swiss student challenge was. I was just like, you, I had no idea what it was, what the different rewards were for doing this. And so for some time I wrote it off and put it in the back of my brain. We were working on challenge four or challenge three or four at the time.

[00:16:08] Dezmond Blair (guest): And so me and my team were actually super busy with making our application and doing whatever we had to do. N

[00:16:14] Leo Dion (host): Right.

[00:16:15] Dezmond Blair (guest): now, maybe a week before we had someone one of the design mentors from Apple actually come in. And he gave us a great talk about the Swift student Challenge, why we should do it, and what it means to Apple themselves when they see students submitting for this challenge.

[00:16:31] Dezmond Blair (guest): And really what they told us is that this is your step one, to getting a job at Apple like. If you're submitting to the Swift Student Challenge and you have other engineers reviewing and judging your, your your projects, this is what's going to get you a step in the door for most people.

[00:16:50] Dezmond Blair (guest): And so when I heard that, I decided to hunker down, take this super serious. However, I only had about. Two, three days left to submit something. And so I had an idea in my head already of what I wanted to do. It was just about making it happen In that short time span,

[00:17:09] Leo Dion (host): And yeah. What was your idea? Let's talk about it.

[00:17:13] Dezmond Blair (guest): my idea was to bring anyone on a mountain bike with me or I'm on a mountain bike ride with me. I love biking. It's. One of my passions, I go every weekend. And so what I wanted was for everyone to be able to experience that as well, whether you're from here, from around the world, or can't even hop on a bike in general.

[00:17:32] Leo Dion (host): How long had the Vision Pro, this is a Vision Pro app, right?

[00:17:35] Dezmond Blair (guest): This is actually just an AR experience for the iPhone and the iPad currently.

[00:17:40] Leo Dion (host): wow. Okay. That's awesome. So did you have to like deep dive into AR kit and stuff?

[00:17:48] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yes, yes. And quick too, so that I could create something. Within those two days,

[00:17:53] Leo Dion (host): How was that experience?

[00:17:55] Dezmond Blair (guest): it was it was really great actually. I did the augmented reality playgrounds that was offered from Apple, and I got to actually meet the person. When I went to Dub dub, I got to meet the man who, I actually made that, that playgrounds, that Swift Playgrounds, and so him and I got to talk about it.

[00:18:10] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, it was really, really cool. But that, that helped me as well as looking online just for maybe other people who have done similar projects. I don't know if you've seen the Clash of Clans ad, but there's this one where it was on Facebook for a long time where you're riding hog rider. You, you are a hog rider and when you look down, you can see the little pig and you can actually use your phone to look around in the environment. And that's, that's really where I drew my main inspiration from, was

[00:18:38] Leo Dion (host): That's awesome.

[00:18:38] Dezmond Blair (guest): a classic glance. A

[00:18:41] Leo Dion (host): As somebody who's interested in getting into AR kit, what would you say was the biggest thing you had to get over?

[00:18:48] Dezmond Blair (guest): the biggest hurdle, and I still have it now, that I am working with Vision Os development is finding and creating. 3D assets.

[00:18:58] Leo Dion (host): Oh, okay.

[00:18:59] Dezmond Blair (guest): that has been kind of been, been my main challenge. In

[00:19:02] Leo Dion (host): Do you use like Reality Composer for that or.

[00:19:05] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yes.

[00:19:06] Leo Dion (host): or what.

[00:19:07] Dezmond Blair (guest): Currently mostly just reality Composer Pro. I had access to an iPad from the academy with the LIDAR support, and so all the models that I have created and have been creating have solely just been using reality compose or using object capture specifically.

[00:19:23] Leo Dion (host): That's awesome. So you won, you got to go to ww DC, talk about it. What was that experience like?

[00:19:33] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, of course, of course. So actually after the challenge we had about a couple months downtime, or I, I'll say one month, I'll say we had one month downtime for them to, judge all of the different applications. Go through and talk about, who they want as a winner or not. And I really expected nothing out of it.

[00:19:53] Dezmond Blair (guest): Like I said, I only, I only had a couple days to work on this, and so for my finals submission, I threw it in the back of my mind. I might win, I might get something out of it, but I, I didn't expect anything, like I said, I only had a couple days and didn't think it was the greatest thing that I'd ever made, so I.

[00:20:09] Dezmond Blair (guest): Had no, no idea that it would come to what it came to. When we got the announcements, we were actually in class. And so a couple other learners and I were just sitting there refreshing the site, constantly, constantly trying to see if, we ended up as a winner for this challenge.

[00:20:25] Leo Dion (host): Yeah.

[00:20:27] Dezmond Blair (guest): thankfully my friend Min was around and he told me that they were uploading the results.

[00:20:32] Dezmond Blair (guest): We first seen his, that he was a winner, and we were all super excited. We were all super pumped. And I kept refreshing mind. I didn't see anything at first, and when I looked down, I seen a different screen than what my friend had. I was like, Hey, this is, I'm, I guess I'm a winner, but it says distinguished.

[00:20:49] Dezmond Blair (guest): I, I don't, I'm not sure what this means. I, we looked down a little bit further and it turns out that Apple themselves wants to fly out 50 other learners as part of the distinguished winter program. 50 other learners to go to Apple Park see the event, WWDC, and they had a bunch of special stuff programmed, just for us, just for us 50 distinguished learners to go and see Apple Park on a set schedule.

[00:21:15] Dezmond Blair (guest): Oh my gosh, it was incredible. When we actually got there to California 49 other learners and I were all in the same hotel and. Luckily, my girlfriend and I had a couple days extra where we spent just exploring California. However, when it came time to the conference, they had a set 7:00 AM We had to be on a shuttle going to Apple Park.

[00:21:36] Dezmond Blair (guest): The first day we got to explore infinite Loop, so the original, the original offices where Steve Jobs himself was. And that was a really cool experience because not only did it set the tone for what the conference was gonna be like for us. But it really gave us a good idea of how how appreciated I guess we were by these people at Apple.

[00:21:56] Dezmond Blair (guest): They had everything laid out for us. Food, water, any you ask and they'll deliver it. They had such a great, amazing team over there supporting us the whole time. And so it really, truly felt like an award ceremony for us for three days straight.

[00:22:12] Leo Dion (host): That's amazing. Anything in particular that you haven't mentioned about that experience?

[00:22:18] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yes.

[00:22:19] Leo Dion (host): blew you away. Yeah. Go ahead.

[00:22:20] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, we we actually got a couple like panels from engineers at Apple, so people have been working there for 10, 20 plus years at Apple. We got to hear people tell stories about Steve Jobs and what it was like working with him when, he was still with us. We got to hear the actual people who created the Vision Os product, the Visions Pro.

[00:22:43] Dezmond Blair (guest): We got to hear a panel from them going over how they conceptualized this. When they were prototyping it, they said they had just a room wall to wall with TVs to try and, simulate what this would look like in an actual environment. I just thought stuff like that was just so cool. Not only that, but day three we actually got to. Meet with engineers in our field. They took a look at our projects, determined kind of what team they'd wanna send us with, and we got to have a personal conversation walking around Apple Park with these engineers. And I was lucky enough to talk to a couple people from Reality Kit and Reality Composer and talk about kind of like what I'm learning and, put myself out there.

[00:23:22] Dezmond Blair (guest): It was such a great experience. I really can't vouch for it enough.

[00:23:26] Leo Dion (host): That's awesome. Yeah, that sounds like an awesome time. So what's next for Desmond? What, what do you wanna work on next? Or what are you planning on doing the next come, few months left? Was there anything from dub, did you, have you had time to even digest what's come out from Dub dub that you're like, oh, I wanna work on this, or have you, has you been, has it been too hectic,

[00:23:49] Dezmond Blair (guest): i, I'll be honest, it's a bit of both. I haven't had a lot of time to actually work on this stuff. However, in my mind I have a lot of ideas of different projects that I wanna work on. Specifically regarding vision os. What I want to do ultimately is use a lot of tabletop kit there. That was one thing they announced that I was super excited for.

[00:24:07] Dezmond Blair (guest): I'm actually a big board game nerd myself, and so I'm constantly, every time I go to a party with friends, I always got a board game on the ready. That's quick and easy to play. And so I have a lot of great ideas on tabletop kit that I know would work because I've played these games with friends in an environment where you need a game that's fast and easy to learn.

[00:24:27] Leo Dion (host): Yeah. What games are you playing right now?

[00:24:29] Dezmond Blair (guest): I'm actually getting into a super complicated one, if you've heard of Warhammer.

[00:24:34] Leo Dion (host): Yes.

[00:24:34] Dezmond Blair (guest): it's a pretty old game, however, very, very difficult to pick up. There's a lot of moving parts and a

[00:24:40] Leo Dion (host): How long does it take to set that game up?

[00:24:42] Dezmond Blair (guest): oh, dude, like at minimum like an hour to set up, and that's just getting all your models

[00:24:48] Leo Dion (host): of those games.

[00:24:48] Dezmond Blair (guest): and.

[00:24:49] Dezmond Blair (guest): Reading a book on what each and every one does. Like you gotta create squads and oh my goodness, it's, it's a bit of a challenge. However, I'm trying to make something like that easier so that anyone can jump in and learn what it's like to play the game.

[00:25:01] Leo Dion (host): You've hit it. If you can make it easier to set up a table with the game. With Tabletop Kit. That's where the VR stuff Yeah. I love touching the things and the cards and the chips and all that characters, but what if somebody accidentally knocks it over, or, yeah. That's, yeah.

[00:25:18] Dezmond Blair (guest): Specifically with War Hammer too. Like a lot of those models get really expensive too. And, and most people my friend, actually, this is a perfect example of this. They work very hard on painting the models. And so you have these plastic models. You have to sit there and move each and every little part.

[00:25:36] Dezmond Blair (guest): Painting the inside of the legs or like the outside of the armor, putting gold varnish on each and every corner. And he does it and they look beautiful. Those are actually some of the models that I used using object capture. Those were some of the models that I used in the, test app of this that I've created so far.

[00:25:53] Leo Dion (host): Yeah. Yeah. I just know War Hammer, I, I believe the story is War Hammer was the reason why Blistered had to come up with Warcraft was because they couldn't get the rights to war Hammer. And that's where Warcraft and all that stuff came from

[00:26:08] Dezmond Blair (guest): Oh,

[00:26:09] Leo Dion (host): yeah, that's, that's how. Yeah. So there you go.

[00:26:14] Leo Dion (host): Back to the day. Yeah. Anything else you wanna talk about before we close out?

[00:26:19] Call for Students
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[00:26:19] Dezmond Blair (guest): I definitely want to add that if you are a student, and this is something just for any learner out there, actually any age as well, if you're interested in iOS development or just programming in general, I would recommend doing a Swift student challenge. Also it's a great opportunity for you to get yourself out there and get your projects recognized.

[00:26:38] Leo Dion (host): Yeah.

[00:26:38] Dezmond Blair (guest): anything else to add? Other than that, not yet. I'm working on some other stuff in my own time. However, I'd like to start a podcast of my own someday, and so I I'm actually have something in the works where I'm creating a blog first. It'll start like an email letter. But until then, not yet.

[00:26:59] Dezmond Blair (guest): Not yet.

[00:27:00] Leo Dion (host): One thing at a time. One thing at a time takes years. Yes. Desmond, thank you so much for coming on. This was fantastic. Where can people find you online?

[00:27:09] Dezmond Blair (guest): You can find me@x.com. At des does iOS, D-E-Z-D-O-E-S-I-O-S. You can find me on LinkedIn at Desmond Blair. That's kinda all the socials that I really use,

[00:27:23] Leo Dion (host): awesome. It was really great to have you on and talk to you about your experience. I think a lot of us are just happy for you and glad to learn a little bit more about what goes on behind the scenes with the Swift Student Challenge. So thank you for that.

[00:27:38] Dezmond Blair (guest): Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me, Leo. I hope this comes as a good inspiration to any other students who are looking forward to working with Apple in the future, maybe, or just into Iowa's development.

[00:27:48] Leo Dion (host): People can find me on Twitter at Leo Dion. My MAs on is Leo G Dion at c Im My company's break digit. Just go to break digit.com where you can subscribe to our newsletters. If you're watching this on YouTube, subscribe and please, and if you're listening to this on a podcast player, please give us a review.

[00:28:08] Leo Dion (host): Thank you so much for joining me for today's episode, and I look forward to talking to you again. Bye everybody.