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.


Moseying down to the Big Nerd Ranch

I decided to do something interesting with my bonus from work this year.  Well bonus plus saving till September.   Instead of adding yet another certification I decided to modernize my coding skills.  In October I am going to go down to the Big Nerd Ranch for the Objective C/Cocoa Bootcamp.  All my own dime and vacation time.  Heck after 11 years at the same place I have over 4 weeks of vacation saved up that I have to use this year.  If work benefits, great, if not then I can do some things I have been wanting to code up for a few years.  My seat is reserved and its an easy drive over to the Atlanta area when the time comes.  It should be intense but fun.  I have always enjoyed bootcamp environments.   Plus I have a stock of books to read in plenty of time before October.