Back to school with guerilla training

This week I found myself back in the classroom learning how to make iPhone apps with some other developers.

My expectations for the course

I certainly was not expecting to become a master iPhone developer after three days but I was hoping to get a good insight into what it would take to build an app. Furthermore, I was looking forward to meeting a few other like-minded and self-motivated web developers and subsequently learning some things from them.

My last experience of being taught programming was eight years ago in a beginners Java course at university where I struggled – to put it mildly – to grasp what the teacher was trying to teach me. Therefore, I was a little apprehensive about going somewhere and being taught programming again:

  • would I struggle to understand like I did 8 years ago?
  • would the class be full of more advanced programmers?

The answers to both those questions were yes, but in reality it was still a much better experience than that Java class all those years ago. I didn’t feel pressured to prove my programming credentials amongst the other attendees and although I struggled to ‘get’ it all at first – so did a lot of people and I certainly didn’t feel isolated.

What we learnt

We were shown the very basics of how an iPhone app is constructed in Xcode using the programming language Objective-C.

  • On day one we were walked through some very basic concepts of app develoment by the tutor
  • On day two we were put into small teams and we attempted to see how far we could get building our own apps
  • On day three we demoed what we had (or more truthfully, hadn’t) built so far then we proceeded to be shown how to use some more of the iPhone’s core API kits

It turns out that iPhone app development isn’t easy at all and day two allowed us to see what problems everyone was facing when trying to build an app with little experience of the Objective-C language and all the different iPhone API kits (like maps).

By mid-morning on day three I was finally starting to get some of the concepts and remember some the nuances of Objective-C.

Course details

The course, ran by Guerilla Training (and taught by Sam Easterby-Smith) spanned three days (9:30am-5pm each day) and was a mixture of hands-on learning and seminar-style teaching. It was based at madlab in Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter.

The cost of the course was £489 (plus booking fee) which for this type of training is very inexpensive and in fact, Northwest Vision & Media, a government funded organisation was able to provide a substantial rebate for this course to North West freelancers/small company owners.

Would I recommend it?

Yes – definitely. I got exactly what I wanted from this course – it met my expectations and I’d certainly be interested in attending similar events in the future.

4 responses to “Back to school with guerilla training”

  1. You’re a brave man for venturing into the world of Objective-C. It’s not something I can ever imagine myself getting to grips with. Nevertheless, it sounds like something that could come of some use somewhere down the line, so it’s probably a good thing that you decided to learn a thing or two.

    Some of us are still trying to further our skills in PHP..