Starting on your iOS Journey

Jonathan Cabrera
Apr 14, 2018 · 4 min read
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So you decided you want to take a dive into the iOS pool and create your own apps for the world to use? Great call!

Like you, I took this decision four years ago and that’s how I started my journey to become an iOS Developer. For me, it wasn’t straightforward at the beginning so I will try to help you kickstart this journey.

So, how do you start this iOS adventure? It depends on your preferences:

You prefer reading and learning-while-doing: The Big Nerd Ranch Books

This is how I started. These guys have been publishing books and doing workshops on Apple programming since before iPhone, and they have nailed down how to learn this without getting bored.

These books will teach you the essential concepts of iOS programming, and at the same time, they’ll ask you to type in a lot of code and build a bunch of applications. They introduce concepts as they are needed (no theory first, practice second as we learned in school). So by the end of the books, you will have both knowledge and experience.

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If you don’t have any experience with object-oriented programming, start with Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. If you already have some experience with OOP, you can skip ahead to iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.

You prefer learning by tutorials: Hacking With Swift

If you want to learn by creating games, have any or no experience programming and like the tutorial approach to learning, Hacking With Swift is your best bet.

Hacking With Swift includes 39 projects you can follow and an introduction to Swift — all available for free via web. If you choose to purchase the book, it will include more goodies like an Xcode tips and tricks video, a guide book with revision notes and exercises, and a quick tips wall chart.

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The projects go from creating an image viewer to making a Flappy Birds clone, and a lot of them are games or at least very interaction-intensive apps, so you will learn a very broad range of topics and frameworks with this.

Paul Hudson, the writer, has a book updates policy too in which you get for free the updated book for future Swift versions.

You prefer lecture videos: Stanford University’s iTunes U Course

If you are more of a visual learner and you already have a programming background, this course is excellent. Paul Hegarty has been imparting this class at Stanford University since 2010 and by following this course you can have the Stanford experience without moving to California and for free (more or less). It’s also updated every 6 months so you can make sure you are learning the greatest and latest.

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If you don’t have a computer science background and strong object-oriented programming knowledge, this course can be a little scary and difficult to follow, as it has too many concepts to swallow. Keep reading for a better suggestion for you.

You prefer a video course: Ray Wenderlich’s Course on Udemy

The Ray Wenderlich website is the authority on iOS programming tutorials, publishing new ones each week, and the team has created a great iOS 11 and Swift 4 for Beginners course on Udemy.

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It’s a massive course with 350 short videos and content going from the basics of Swift and iOS like table views and AutoLayout, to more advanced topics like animations and Core Data.

Udemy courses are very frequently on sale so you should be able to grab this one for less than $20.

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