Big Nerd Ranch – ObjectiveC and Cocoa Programming

Well I had a really fun time attending the ObjectiveC/Cocoa programming bootcamp from Big Nerd Ranch.  I went in with seriously rusty programming skills.  I probably have not looked at C code more than casually in over ten years.  But I made a small effort to start going through Aaron Hillegass’ third edition Cocoa programming book before I went.  I just could not get far into it on my own with home, work etc taking up time.  So I just made the conscious decision to relax and remember I was doing this for myself.  Not for work.  Not for yet another certification.  But for fun.

I actually drove down.  That Friday my wife finally got to user her Christmas present from last year.  Ten laps driving a racecar at Talladega. That worked out real well.  Because it was only a 40 minute drive tops from there to Banning Mills for the class.

It was strangely relaxing at class because my blackberry only could get signal on the hill leading up to my cabin from the main building.  So basically once a day I checked my berry and made a phone call or two. Some days not at all.  We did have Internet in the class room.   There was wireless at our cabins but it was spotty due to the fact they use a partial directional panel antenna at the main building pointing toward the various cabin areas.  Not the best wireless design in the world.  Honestly after a long day of class.   Some personal project coding after dinner you had no brain power left when you got to your room for more computer stuff.  You would just crash.

Each day I got up around 730am, got ready and walked down to the main building by 8am.  I would get my laptop setup and ready for class.  Let it check email and pull down twitter updates.  At 830am promptly we would have breakfast.  Class started right at 9am and ran till lunch.  After lunch came more class.  At about 230pm each day we went for the daily 30 minute hike.  More class till dinner.  After dinner you could come back to the class room and catch up on exercises or work on a personal project.  Aaron would answer any questions you had and point you in the right direction.  

One of the guys, Ryan C. Payne, from class took photos of everything at class.  So I did not break out my own camera.  You can check them out over in his mobileMe gallery.  Check the one out with the whole class on the last set.  Who knew ObjectiveC nerds had their own gang sign?  Of course is has to be the square brackets. “[]”  

It was a great time for everyone.  It really helped me get back up to speed to the point I can write code on my own on the mac.

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3 Replies to “Big Nerd Ranch – ObjectiveC and Cocoa Programming”

  1. I have a couple of very basic apps that have been published to the App Store. One is basically an informational app for my workplace that consists of a series of views with buttons, weblinks, transitions, etc. The other is a couple of views that will play random sounds when pressed (no, it's not a fart app ). However, my workplace now desires an upgrade to the current app that will allow the same basic info in 14 different languages (among other changes), and since I am the only one that has worked with this I am the guy that has to get it done…

    Therefore, I feel I have reached a point where I need to get some formal training on developing for the iPhone, and I am interested in Big Nerd Ranch. However, I was wondering…

    Are the BNR classes suited for someone with a very limited knowledge/experience with object oriented programming? When they recommend having some knowledge of C or other object oriented language, are they referring to the philosophies behind those languages or the syntax?

    I appreciate any help with this. I really want to do this, but I don't want to spend $5000 to spend a week banging my head against the wall and then walking away with nothing but frustration. I am a quick study and willing to learn, but I am trying to get some insight on what exactly the pre-req's are for BNR. I've sent messages to them, but have not heard back.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide!

  2. My opinion is you are best served if you have some experience in using some programming language before you go. It may not have to be a lot but if you have not produced some programs on your own of some sort it will be overwhelming. I imagine though if you have gotten some apps onto the app store then the beginning iphone course would likely be within your range of skill and fill in a lot of holes that come from being self taught.

    Also if some of your effort is benefiting your employer can they not at least share some of the cost with you? If they are expecting you to do an app that is really contributing to their business I would think it fair they bear the cost period. Just my opinion of course. I do think based on your post that it would be rewarding for you for what it's worth.

  3. My opinion is you are best served if you have some experience in using some programming language before you go. It may not have to be a lot but if you have not produced some programs on your own of some sort it will be overwhelming. I imagine though if you have gotten some apps onto the app store then the beginning iphone course would likely be within your range of skill and fill in a lot of holes that come from being self taught.

    Also if some of your effort is benefiting your employer can they not at least share some of the cost with you? If they are expecting you to do an app that is really contributing to their business I would think it fair they bear the cost period. Just my opinion of course. I do think based on your post that it would be rewarding for you for what it's worth.

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