I’ve been busy all this week watching lectures and video tutorials and reading books. All in a bid to learn how to develop iphone applications. Here’s what i’ve been doing…
I paid $25 to subscribe for a month to lynda.com and to view their 12+ hours or so of iphone dev videos. Hugely valuable. They have three courses related to iphone development.
- iPhone SDK Essential Traning (6 hours 52mins)
- iOS 4 App Development New Features (2 hours 42 mins)
- iOS 4: Building Data-Driven Applications (4 hours 49 mins)
I’ve watched the first two from start to finish, so in total i’ve watched over 9 hours of video. As a result of that, i can create small basic apps like ‘hello world’ ones. Basically click a button and play a sound or get a message to pop up on screen. That’s the kind of level i’m at which may not sound like a whole lot of progress but believe me, it is.
Remember, i’m coming from a windows based background. I only got my first ever Mac two months ago. So i’ve had to get used to the Mac way of doing things plus i’ve had to install their tools and get to grips with them and hardest of all, learn how to code in Objective C, their programming language of choice.
Objective C is where i’m struggling most. Simply learning the syntax and figuring out relationships between all the headers files and everything else. In terms of theory, i get it, but it will take me longer to get to grips with Objective C. However if you look at a lot of apps, they’re pretty simple anyway… so simple that yes, even i could build them as my skills stand at the minute.
Learning from Stanford University
Yesterday, in between recording my first vlog and editing all that video, i started watching the first of 25 video lectures from Stanford University in their ‘Developing Apps for iOS‘ course. This is a real course, taken by Stanford students but it’s also available, for free, on iTunes university.
I figured that if i can keep up to date in that course, by the end of it i should have everything i need to know & more about basic app development. After all, i’m learning from the best so if i can’t learn from those guys, i’ll never learn.
The only problem i have is that i need, realistically, about 50 hours of free time to watch the videos and practice as i go along. I have 4 ‘free’ days next week and then i’m away in Barcelona and straight back in to college on the 18th. However, i also have to do some work on my social media dissertation next week plus no doubt i’ll be distracted with other work too so i’ll be lucky if i can dedicate 25 hours to this course next week. And that’s being optimistic.
This course is taught over about 3 months but i know myself studying an entire module is very doable in a week, especially when there are no exams 🙂 You just have to be dedicated. We don’t have video lectures in college or podcasts of lectures and it’s a great shame for this reason… we’re forced to come in and learn at a certain time, on a certain day. So the chances of me being alert and motivated at that same time every week are extremely slim. So if i have a bad day, it means i lose ground or could miss out on some important material. If all lectures were recorded and available to me, i’d have no excuses. It would be more beneficial if i could learn in my own time, when i’m at my most alert and of course only i know when that is and everyone is different…
So it will be very interesting to see how much i can do after all of this studying, how much and can produce and what i can produce, if anything.