Keeping an Open Mind

Today I want to write about Brexit. Well not quite. Brexit is only tangentially related.

I woke up on Friday the 24th, rolled over, and grabbed my phone. The first thing I did was google the result of the UK referendum. Did they vote to stay in or leave the EU? I was pretty sure I knew the answer.

I am not British, so why am I interested? I do have some British friends, but I am also completely fascinated by the implications for Europe and the world. I happen to live in Europe and the world.

Brexit result

I was shocked.

I had expected the Remain campaign to win by a landslide.


While I read lots of facts about it online, most of the opinions about the referendum I received via Twitter.

Who do I follow on Twitter?

Mostly developers - iOS, Android, and game.

This made me realize how homogenous the opinions in my Twitter feed are. And this concerns me.

Keeping an open mind is an area I am constantly trying to improve in. I firmly believe that the only way to grow and learn is to be able to recognize that there could be more information out there that needs to be considered. Being willing to change my mind based on new information, while difficult, is extremely important to me.

From my Twitter feed, I was only receiving intelligent arguments and opinions from one side. I was blind to the reality of how big the other side actually was. The complete picture escaped me.

This worries me. A lot.

I did not do a good job seeking out other information in this case.

What does this have to do with development?

The iOS developer community can often behave as an echo chamber. It makes some sense. Generally like minded individuals will share a lot of the same opinions.

I do not mean this in a derogatory way, either. I only discovered this community a little over a year ago and I have met a ton of fantastic people. There is a reason why I am attending four conferences this year after going to my first one last year.

My need to keep an open mind, however, is why I keep a toe in the Android world.[1]

Android is important to iOS developers

I listen to Material to help me keep in touch with what Google and specifically Android are up to. It also doesn’t hurt that the hosts are quite entertaining.

Despite being fully invested in the Apple ecosystem, I love the idea of Android. The competition is good for both platforms. It drives innovation. Each one makes the other stronger.

Apple loves Android

By not dismissing Android outright and by trying to learn about it as much as I can, I am a better developer.

Remember back in the day when iOS developers mocked Android development for having to support a bazillion screen sizes? I did not. I learned from it and was ready long before Apple expanded it’s lineup. The multi-resolution solution[2] I came up with for my Gus apps – influenced by porting them to Android – worked right out of the box.

Having to deal with cheaply made, low-resource-having Android phones lead me to write much more efficient and mobile friendly code. My iOS customers benefit from this, too.

Back to Twitter

Thinking about it more, I probably will not change anything about my Twitter “problem”. Most people I follow on Twitter, I follow for a reason.

Instead, the solution for me will be to try to recognize situations, where I am only receiving information from one side. I can then go out to other sources to try to learn about all the other opinions available. This won’t be easy, however.

And while this usually will not result in a change of opinion, it will allow me to be better informed and strengthen my thoughts one way or another.

That and I should not be as surprised as I was by the Brexit result.

Opinions? Comments? Good or bad, let me know on Twitter. After all, I am trying to gather more information about all of my opinions! I’m @yonomitt.

Have a nice day,

  1. Well, I do have some Android apps, too.  ↩

  2. Awesome new band name  ↩