inessential by Brent Simmons

Polish polish polish!

I’ve been working heavily and steadily on iPhone code lately, and it occurs to me that writing iPhone apps is like writing poetry while writing desktop apps is like writing prose.

I’m sure it’s been said before, but the point is still good: in an iPhone app, everything counts so much — every design choice, every line of code, everything left in and everything left out.

I was 16 years old when I got my first job. I was a busboy in a seafood restaurant with a view of the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. Big cargo ships went quietly by, gliding along the short cut through the peninsula, watched by people eating crabs, oysters, and shrimp scampi.

Whenever things got slow — which wasn’t that often, actually — Neelai the manager would tell us busboys to polish the silverware. "Polish polish polish!"

She always said the same thing, with humor but also in a tone that said: this is non-negotiable.

Sometimes I hear her voice as I work on iPhone code. You can’t hear her voice in text, which is too bad — you’d know why I’ve never gotten "Polish polish polish!" out of my head.

In fact, it’s in the plain middle of my head, right in the center, where the oldest stuff that sticks stays.

Not a bad start for a poet — or an iPhone developer.

Thanks to Google, I’ve found that she’s a real estate agent now.