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Monday, 12 April 2010

My iPhone Bootcamp 2010 London Experience

First a foremost, a big thank you to Hermione Way, Jonathan from iPhone Bootcamp and everyone from Techfluff.tv for giving me this lovely opportunity to learn iPhone development this past weekend. For those of you who didn't hear about the iPhone Bootcamp previously, here's a link to the first time I blogged about the iPhone Bootcamp Scholarship. This experience was really something else and definitely worthwhile. I'll try to see if I can sum it up, although I know it will be quite hard!



The Bootcamp took place on the 9th through 11th of April 2010 at the Park International Hotel, London. If I was asked to describe the experience in one word, I would say 'intense', but what do you expect, it's not called a bootcamp for nothing. We were about 17 people (I ended up being the only girl, ladies where are you?!!) who participated in the program and it lasted from 10am-6pm, or rather I should say 10-6pm + X! There was so much to cover we usually ended up staying past 6pm each day. We had lunch breaks and lots and lots of coffee. Our instructor was Charles Gamble of PerculaSoft, a very patient and great instructor. He has been programming for over 13 years, and developed a number of apps for the iPhone already. We had a mix of people all with one interest, to develop apps for the iPhone. Most of us had experience in one programming language or the other and some had already dabbled into developing for the iPhone. I had experimented with Java and PHP programming during my Masters degree so I believed that would help me in the programme. It just did.

Note: this might get a bit technical...

Day 1 was a walk-through and introduction to the iPhone SDK. This included Cocoa-Touch, Interface Builder and Objective-C programming and design patterns - focusing on Model-View-Controller (MVC) and Delegates patterns. We built a very basic iPhone application, which displayed 'CoffeeMate' with an image.

Day 2 was where it started getting more intense. Our basic app began to grow, having tabular data and multiple pages, which meant learning to use delegates, UITableView and UINaviationController to navigate. We learnt about file systems and how to store and retrieve files. We implemented Core Location for our app, a cool feature that lets you pin point your current geographical location. Finally, we learnt about Web services, how to retrieve information from the Internet using published APIs and displayed it in our app.

Day 3, the final day. We used the location feature to actually pin-point our location on Google Maps using MapKit (which was really cool) and did some Core Animation for simple animation with our front page. We also looked at some useful tools for debugging memory management and leakage. Eventually, we touched briefly on developing apps for the iPad, which is quite similar to the iPhone with some slight variations.

All in all, it was definitely a worthwhile experience for me. I got lost, a number of times, especially on Day 2. I broke my code so many times while implementing new functionalities but Charles was always there to support and guide me. One thing I would say is if you don't have any experience with OO programming then this might be a bit too much to take on. But if you're experienced and you're looking for a crash course on iPhone development, then it is the way to go.

Going forward, I want to see how I can use my new found knowledge and combine it with my current career in SEO. Who knows, you just might see my app in an iTunes store near you...

Once again, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who made this opportunity worthwhile, including friends and loved ones for their support.

P.S.

How could I forget the fact that I had my very first interview by Techfluff! That was class, I felt like a celebrity, lol... I'm really curious to see it! I'll post it here once it's out, unless I was absolutely horrible in it!

Updated: I saw the interview. It was alrightish.... So here's my first interview
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