Mobile Makers: Day 1 Checkin

I couldn’t be more excited to finally start Mobile Makers¬†today! In just 8 short weeks, I’ll have a new super power: iPhone application development!

As part of the program, we’re asked to reflect on our day by answering a few prompts. I’ll be blogging those on here as part of the experience. So here it goes:

0. Where did you get to?

I’m really happy with my progress. All the pain of learning Java in Stanford’s CS106A, then Ruby, the Ruby on Rails, then going to Dev Bootcamp, then learning JavaScript and everything else I needed to be a web developer is definitely paying off BIG TIME!

I had no problem with getting through the Mobile Maker’s prep materials – mainly reading the Big Nerd Ranch Objective-C Guide¬†and watching a few Lynda.com tutorials. And I even went ahead and started the Big Nerd Ranch iOS Programming book.

Today, since it’s the first day, we mostly talked about learning. In the afternoon, we had a short lecture on pointers and arrays, and then got into groups of four to figure out two challenges, which were really fun. I’m happy I was able to finish the challenges while helping out some of the other members of my group.

1. What did you learn?

Although not related to the material, I love learning about XCode shortcuts. Our challenge involved a pre-existing XCode project, and we just had to fill in the missing code for one of the methods, one to confirm whether or not a string is a palindrome and one to sum a string of comma-separated integers in C.

I had a problem locating the names of the methods when I first opened the program, so I asked one of the instructors to show me how I would go about doing that. Turns out, XCode has an “Open Quickly…” option, which you can use to search your code. Just go to File -> Open Quickly. The command shortcut for it is “Shift + Command + O”. I’ll be using that one a lot!

Another way to do that (the longer way), is to just got the left pane, where the folder layout is, and click on the search icon. And, of course, if you know which file the function is in, you can just do the standard “Command + F” to find what you’re looking for.

2. What questions are you left with?

As I’m going through the Big Nerd Ranch iOS Programming book, where they just magically use convenient and correct functions to get the job done, I’m getting pretty nervous. In the real world, when building iOS apps, there is no security blanket. I’ll have to look through the API Reference to find the functions that I need to use in my application. But how do I know what to look for if I don’t even know what’s there? I’d like to get a much better grasp of how to look through and read the API Reference.

I’m also interested in doing unit testing with iOS. I know it would have helped A LOT with the challenges we were working on already. But I’m not even sure where to start. Since unit testing is not ingrained in iOS development culture, it’s going to be a slightly uphill battle to learn it.

Well, that is it for day. Now, I have to go do my evening hack and see if I can go through more of the iOS Programming book. I’m going to be an iOS developer!!!!

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