While most professional IT folks are more interested in developing Android apps than Apple apps, Stanford University's free iOS lecture series may turn your head.
Professor Paul Hegarty has posted on iTunes U an amazing bundle of six free one-hour lectures. The lectures and slides for his Stanford course CS193P cover the nuts and bolts of building an iOS program and getting it distributed through the App Store. Hegarty assumes you know the basics of the C language and object-oriented programming: class interactions, inheritance, protocols, instances and variables, and the like.
The lectures step you through the iPhone SDK and Xcode 4: Foundation Framework, UI design, multitouch, memory management, Objective-C, iPhone APIs, power management, animation -- basically everything you need to make a real, breathing iPhone or iPad app. He makes heavy use of the Model-View-Controller approach to design.
Stanford students generally take two prerequisites before tackling this course. They're also available for free from Stanford on iTunes U. The first, Programming Mehodology, covers object-oriented design, encapsulation and abstraction, decomposition, and testing in 28 one-hour lectures. The second, Programming Abstractions, tackles data abstraction and algorithms using C++, in 27 one-hour lectures.
In all three courses you get to see the same lectures that Stanford students see. All that's missing is the homework feedback, exams ... and credit.
Stanford University News sums up the course by quoting Hegarty: "I don't think that what I'm doing is just teaching them programming. It's an opportunity to teach them some computing fundamentals in a real world environment."
It's hard to beat the result: Your very own iPhone/iPad app, built from scratch, and some serious bragging rights.
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