Teaching Training

Girl Develop It Class: Intro to Swift and iOS Development

I had the honor of teaching a class for Girl Develop It (GDI)’s Austin chapter this past weekend. Many thanks to GE for sponsoring the class with meeting space – we had a great space to work and learn in.

I made slides using GDI’s template, which you can view at:

You can also use, modify, or improve my slides – they are open source (using Reveal.js), and available in this repo:

Improvements are always welcome!

I hope everyone taking the class enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed teaching it.

iOS Development Teaching UT Austin

Intro to iOS Development: Part Way through the 2017 Fall Semester

I thought I would drop an update here on my Intro to Swift class at the University of Texas at Austin – this is the fifth time that I’ve taught the class (two years in Objective-C, this will be the third year with Swift). This year has been a lot smoother than previous years because I’m using Apple’s App Development with Swift e-book as a learning resource for the class.

Note – I didn’t really like the confusingly titled “Intro to App Development with Swift” book because it focused too much on strange Xcode playground exercises, and didn’t really get into mobile app development as quickly as I liked.

This year, I’m also focusing on more group exercises in class. Last year, the FDA issued a call for a design for an opoid overdose prevention app that we used as the basis for a design exercise in class – it was extremely topical. I’d like to find something similar for class as well.

Another big change for this semester is that class is now one 3 hour class per week, rather than two one and a half hour classes per week. I’ve found that there is a lot more time to focus on class with this longer format, plus I can split up classes more effectively if we can do review plus learning in the first half, and then exercises, labs, or reinforcement in the second half.

As always, this class is changing – it’s an introduction to programming class for students who aren’t programmers, so I really enjoy teaching it. The challenge is trying to figure out how to make these concepts approachable and to really teach the “How” behind iOS development, not just the “Follow this tutorial”.

iOS Development iPhone Development Teaching UT Austin

Fall Semester 2015: Mobile App Development Class for iOS

It’s the fall semester at the University of Texas at Austin, and I’m teaching my introduction to iPhone app programming class again! This is the third time that I’ve taught the class, and I’m always excited by it.

This year, we’ll be using the Swift programming language, and we’ll also be using Auto Layout from the very beginning of the class for responsive user interface design. Those are two major changes from how the class was taught in previous semesters (Objective-C, and very little Auto Layout).

Because this is a class for journalism students who may have never programmed before, I take a slightly different approach than many of the other iOS programming classes and tutorials. We start with a user-interface driven approach, and then go into programming.

If you’re interested, I’ll be adding links from this year’s class (and previous years’ classes) onto this web site on the Mobile Apps Class page.

iPhone Development Teaching

Created a Toolbar Demo for my students

I co-taught the UT-Austin Mobile Apps class with Robert Quigley in the spring 2014 semester – the class is a collaboration between the Department of Journalism and the Department of Computer Science where students from both departments form teams of five and create mobile apps.

Right before the final demo day, one of the teams, Sono, was showing off their app. It’s a sound recording app for journalists and students, and the key feature is the audio recording. They had a nice custom tab bar, but they wanted it to go away when they were recording, and then come back. I talked to them about doing a simple fade-in/fade-out effect, but I got pretty excited about doing something a little more interesting – what if you could have the toolbar buttons fly away, and then come back?

I went to the right-off-campus Starbucks after class, sat down with an iced coffee for two hours, and coded up JLAwesomeToolbar  – then published it on GitHub with an open source license. They were able to adapt it into their app and show it off during their final demo two  days later, so I was extremely impressed with the coding capability. Here’s a video preview of the effect from YouTube: