Monday, January 3, 2011

Re: Programming apps for iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad)

I'm nearing the end of the first semester of a year-long iOS development
class. It's a very fun, very small class -- two bright students, neither of
whom has had any formal programming experience before (one had absolutely
none, the other had taught himself ActionScript)... but both of them have
been eager to dive in and get their hands very, very dirty. Week 2, I found
myself explaining memory addresses, references and reference counting in
more detail than at any point since college compsci exams, because the
students wanted to know. So, short version: I've got an abnormally wonderful

We've been using the Big Nerd Ranch iPhone book, which we have been _very_
happy with. But it pre-supposes a fair amount of familiarity with either
C/C++ or object-oriented programming in general. I've been filling in those
gaps for the students as we go.

With two weeks to go in the semester, with no formal programming experience
between them, the students are about 75% of the way through writing an app
to scrape the school website for homework assignments and then present them
as a hierarchical list. (Phase 2, they hope, will be a full-blown to-do
app.) It's been a combination of using the recipes from the book and doing a
bunch of guided (by me) reading of Apple Developer docs and Stack Overflow.

-- S

Seth Battis / / / @battis / (323) 638-7384

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