Why iOS?

Why iOS // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

A question I’ve been asked a lot is: why did I choose iOS development in particular?

There are a couple answers I usually give. Swift is a really beautiful language (I actually think its verbosity is one of its stronger traits), I’m always astounded of the amount of meticulous thought that has been put into the design of iOS, an app is a program that you can take on the go … the list goes on.

But those reasons all start sounding shallow after a while. Why did I really want to pursue iOS development? It’s important to step back and re-assess these big life choices every now and then. I thought about it for a long time, and realized that the one reason that all the others stem from is this:


Mimi x the Bae Area

Silicon Valley // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

I’ll be in San Francisco this winter working as an iOS engineer for Motiv, a company that makes fitness-, heart rate-, and sleep-tracking rings designed to be on your finger 24/7.

I’m really stoked. It’s terribly hard to concentrate on finals right now (if this post reads really choppily, it’s because I’ve been at it all day and should really sleep).

Since I’ll be working full-time, I most likely won’t be able to post as frequently. That being said, I have a ton of cool stuff planned for every single series and I literally can’t wait to bring them all into reality. I’m going to try my best to release an article at least once a week. If I’m being super slow and unresponsive on here, you can check out what I’m up to on Twitter!

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

An Interview with Sam, UO Music Intern

Urban Outfitters Music Intern Interview // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Although (usually) subtle, in-store music helps to set the tone of your shopping experience.

Sam is the Music Intern for Urban Outfitters. He helps curate the songs you hear in store (I totally don’t have a playlist consisting of remixes and covers of this UO song or anything…). We talked about personal tastes in music and aesthetic, and how a prospective UO intern can stand out.


Announcing: URBN Intern-Views Blog Series

URBN Intern-Views // #myURBNSummer // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

It’s that time of year again — a time when college students eagerly send in their resumes, cover letters, and application materials to companies of their choice in order to land a coveted summer internship.

A lot of people have messaged me since I started posting interviews with the URBN Class of 2017 interns, asking me for more tips, tricks, and experiences I had while I was with the company.

I’m really nostalgic for my time there. It’s where I met my best friend, and turned twenty-one, and learned how to be a halfway-decent software engineer. I had such a good time that I spent the entire first week back at school incredibly homesick. Even now, the Navy Yard, University City, SEPTA, Old City, and Fishtown have a special place in my cold, dead heart.

I was looking through my stuff from the summer earlier and realized that I hadn’t posted all of the interviews I’d held. I’m going to publish them — along with the interviews that are already on here — as the URBN Class of 2017 Intern-Views (yes, pun intended) blog series. As you’ll see, URBN is such a big place that literally every single intern experience is different, and that’s what makes it so much fun! I was an engineering intern with the IT department, but learned a lot from other interns who were doing completely separate things.

Through this series, you’ll get a better idea of what it’s like to work there (and get some tips and tricks for the application process, too!). #MyURBNSummer was the coming-of-age story I didn’t know I needed — hopefully you’ll have a similar experience.

As usual, feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns. Enjoy!

Getting Swifty at Big Nerd Ranch: iOS Essentials Bootcamp Review

Big Nerd Ranch iOS Essentials Bootcamp

tl;dr this was the best career and life decision I have ever made.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review. I was not contacted by Big Nerd Ranch to do any sort of endorsement; all opinions expressed are my own.

That’s not an exaggeration. If you’re determined to be an iOS dev and want to learn both the fundamentals of Swift as language and how to intelligently design iOS applications in the shortest amount of time possible, then Big Nerd Ranch’s iOS Essentials with Swift bootcamp is the program for you.


7 Things I Learned From My First Software Engineering Internship

Software Engineering at URBN

Between Wednesday Sips and weekend brunch and countless escapades through the city this summer, I began my career as a software developer.

I got to attend daily stand-ups and work on tickets for the Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie iOS apps with the other engineers, and had an opportunity to lead a three-intern team in developing Snap & Match as part of my intern project. This internship made me learn a lot about good software engineering habits, both technical and non-technical. Here are some of the big ones.


Introducing Snap & Match, an (Unofficial) Urban Outfitters iOS Application

I’ve been devoting a good amount of time over the last two weeks to my new girlfriend, a real cutie who is a personal stylist of sorts at Urban Outfitters.

She’s pretty, knowledgeable, and can make anyone look fantastic. Her name is Snap & Match … and she’s an iOS application that I’ve developed for my summer intern project with Billy as the backend developer and Natalie as the UI designer. Her codebase is all Swift/Objective-C code (no storyboards for me!). It was truly a pleasure getting to know iOS development through her.

Sad analogy aside, I’m actually really excited to show you this app. It’s something that fifteen-year-old me, who only wore the colors navy and white, would have appreciated. They do say to be the person you needed when you were younger, so…


The Secret to Creating Elegant Solutions

I recently discovered a pattern for how I learn and absorb information from the world.

Whenever I’m picking something up for the first time, be it a programming language, new song lyrics, or a different route to drive to work, I never memorize or “get” the whole thing at once. One small thing sticks, and everything else builds around it.


A Visit to URBN’s Distribution Center & Terrain

URBN Intern Visit to Distribution Center and Terrain

URBN Intern Visit to Distribution Center and Terrain

A few days ago I visited URBN’s East Coast distribution center with a few other interns.

Located in Gap, Pennsylvania, this center handles both store and direct-to-consumer merchandise. I learned a lot about how product is received, ticketed, handled, and shipped at URBN. I also got to see Terrain, URBN’s plant-nursery-slash-café.

URBN Intern Visit to Distribution Center and Terrain

URBN Intern Visit to Distribution Center and Terrain