Adrian McDaniel never dreamed he’d become a tech pro — he entered the workforce as a sales associate for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The marketing and sales guru quickly discovered his knack for diagnosing issues and decided that programming would be a good career change. After building up his tech knowledge as an A/V installer for his own company, this problem solver is ready for the big leagues.
McDaniel is a newly-minted graduate from The Iron Yard’s immersive 12-week cohort for iOS Development. Next on his list to learn? Objective-C programming. He won’t be on the market for long, so grab this ambitious new programmer while you can!
What is your previous education?
I attended Morehouse College for a couple of years before receiving an opportunity to be a Sales Associate with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was the start of my journey in finding my place in society and was integral in defining the person I am today.
What was your work experience prior to aspiring to become a web developer?
Before discovering my love for coding, I was deep in a sales/marketing career, which helped mold my problem-solving and relationship-building skills by working with a diverse set of clients. Once I reached the role of Sales Director, I discovered that I loved diagnosing issues more than selling. This led to my interest in programming. I do have a bit of tech exposure. My first job as a twelve-year-old was controlling a very old lever-operated elevator. It was fun learning how to manipulate the lever so that I could line the elevator up to the floor of each level. As a big kid (i.e., an adult), I’ve sold and trained on computers, TVs, tablets, and phones. I also spent three years as an Audio/Video Installer for a company that I co-owned.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Upon finishing The Iron Yard, I completed a gaming application called Mastermind and a non-profit events app called Pledge. I plan to have Pledge on the App Store soon! I’m currently partnering with another Iron Yard grad on a scheduling application for a personal stylist.
What tech/tools are essential to you as a developer?
Testing would be number one. Test your methods, test your API calls… Test, test, test! I find it important to learn how to read code and research new ways to implement common principles. It teaches me discipline without sacrificing the creative nature of finding alternative ways to solve a problem. I’d also say that I never stop coding. My programming muscle needs to be exercised daily! Lastly, Github is a necessity.
How do you stay informed & on-top of emerging trends?
Following influential bloggers (WeHeartSwift, Ray Wenderlich, etc), attending meetups, making sure to stay in communication with colleagues, and just through the excitement of searching for programming articles in my free time.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I’m confident in my understanding of the principles of object oriented programming and how they can be used in Swift. I’m also talented in incorporating RESTful API Clients and incorporating third-party frameworks. Creatively, I’m solid in making engaging UI experiences using Storyboard within Xcode.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Since graduating I have learned some core elements of C Programming so that I can dive into Objective-C Programming. I’d love to combine that with my growing knowledge of the Swift Language.
Why the interest in the technology field?
Just to be a part of a field that influences the world and helps mold its future is beyond awesome. As a programmer, I get to write stories that could change existence or just bring a little joy. The possibilities are endless!
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I think it would be great to work at an organization that can provide a senior engineer as a mentor and has a positive environment where I can properly grow as a developer (and a person). That can happen at a startup, mid-sized, or a major corporation.