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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”.

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UT Austin

Another Spring Semester UT Apps Class Done!

Every year, I get the privilege of teaching a class at the University of Texas at Austin (with Robert Quigley) where the students get to decide what mobile application project they are going to bring to life, and how they are going to design, test, build, and market it! This is a really creative class that is completely team-based around one project. We split the semester up into two to three week sprint cycles, where the students set their goals and give a short status update presentation. We also tell all the students that they have to submit their apps to the Apple App Store by April 1 – in time to get them approved for the big Demo Day at the end of April.

This class combines journalism and computer science majors into small teams. The computer science majors typically do the programming (in Swift), and the journalism majors film and edit videos, do graphical design, blog about their projects, and become active on social media.

I’ll let the students tell the story of what they did through the whole semester – they blog on UT Apps Class Blog

I always look forward to this class – I’m glad so many of our students get a chance to learn how to work on a team and ship a product. Here’s to next year!

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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.

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UT Austin

Built In Austin and BurntX run articles about UT Apps Demo Day

UT Apps Demo day is tomorrow, but the students’ mobile app demos have already gotten some press!

First up is Built in Austin, with an article titled 6 apps to debut at UT Austin App Demo Day.

Next is burnt x, with Six Apps Made For UT Students By UT Students.

I’m really excited for tomorrow’s UT Apps Demo Day – I’ve seen all of these students form groups, work through issues, and go from concept to working app all in one semester (on top of all their other classes).