Getting ready for App Development: An overview.

So you decided you want to learn iOS App Development, right? You’re in for a very interesting ride. We just prepared a small checklist that will help you wrap your head around everything and get a broader view of what tools will be used and which kind of knowledge is expected from you. As always, there are many ways to accomplish things. Some people don’t have the money to own a Mac so they choose to use a Hackintosh, for instance. We will not be paying so much attention to “edge cases”: we will be focusing on getting you up an running with the most common workflow.

  • Computer: Apple/Mac.
  • Operational System: Mac OS X. Preferably the latest version.
  • IDE: xCode, Apple’s Integrated Development Environment.
  • Basic Knowledge: Concepts like conditionals and looping.
  • Specific Knowledge: Swift. Apple’s development language.
  • Specific Knowledge: Apple’s Libraries like UIKit.
There are at least three different approaches to learn this kind of knowledge: using online tutorials, attending on-site or “face-to-face” courses and studying by yourself using books or other kind of content like YouTube videos.

What is your learning style?

Online Courses

Practical with a lot of freedom.

Learn on your own pace.

Paid or free, there are several different options for you including videos and exams.

School or Bootcamp

Face-to-face learning.

You also get to do some networking

The number of iOS development bootcamp and courses available only grows bigger.

Self Taught

Using tutorials and other resources

Not completely self taught though

Learning on your own is the most common choice.
Eventually you’re going to need to get hands-on experience. Nothing substitutes the learning that comes from actually doing things. For some people this is scary. Other people look forward to it!

Online Courses

Treehouse LogoTeam Tree House:

One of the most well known platforms for learning computer related subjects. Their iOS Development Course covers everything you need to know to get started developing your own apps. Part of the exercises on this track is actually building, with a step by step explanation, at least 3 different apps.

One of the good things about TreeHouse is that it gives you a 14-day Free Trial: it’s plenty of time for you to start and completely finish the iOS Development with Swift track. And it’s also enough time for you to understand if you like their teaching method and decide to sign up (or not) to their paid plans.

If you need to learn Objective-C (the original language in which apps were developed) they also offer a track on that matter.

Udacity LogoUdacity

Udacity’s has offers a free introduction to iOS programming and that is a great way to see if you like their teaching method. There are other iOS related courses, including an iOS Nanodegree: Udacity’s “compact online curriculum designed to get you the skills that employers believe are key to get a job in technology”.

Udacity has partnered up with some of the big tech companies (like Google) to format and determine the content of their courses. The Nanodegree usually takes some months to be completed. Not the cheapest option available but definitely a more complete one.

udemy logoUdemy

Udemy is a platform where anyone can create a course, share it and make profit out of it. With a 5 star rating from over 410 reviews, this Apple Mobile App development course is a huge success on Udemy and has almost 10k people enrolled right now. The US$ 200.00 pricing is also competitive compared a Nanodegree for example.

Udemy actually has many more courses on Swift, including the famous iOS 9 Adventure: build 14 iPhone apps with Swift. Definitely worth checking out.

There are obviously other choices around. But it is currently impossible to keep up with each and every course or online learning platform. If you feel the need to find other alternatives, please check out Pluralsight’s Swift Courses and CodeSchool’s Objective-C track. If you feel we left a important resource outside this list, please let us know in the comments section.


Coding Schools & Bootcamps

Make School LogoMake School:

They offer two different choices, based on your needs and goals: there’s the Summer Academy 2 month program that takes place in 3 different locations: San Francisco, New York and Palo Alto (Silicon Valley). And there’s a two year program that is actually considered a Product University for both founders and developers.

Make School has a strong tradition in the Hackathons environment. The Summer Academy is specifically focused on iOS Development but the two year program actually spans over a wide range of interesting fields like fundraising, market research, pitching and UX (User Experience). Make School has been through the Y-Combinator program and have a very strong networking in the Valley that is extended to their students (specially during the 2-year program).

flatiron schoolFlatiron:

An intensive 12 week program that cover both the Objective-C and Swift language. Throughout the program “students are required to be on campus Monday to Friday, 9AM to 6PM at minimum”. And, besides that, they require each student to complete at least 15o hours of preparation (or pre-work) before arriving on campus.

The iOS Development Immersive is a complete package that also offers training for interviews, career counseling and networking opportunities.


Their iOS Program offers one on one mentorship with an Experience iOS Developer and also offers the chance to learn by actually building a real app. The interesting thing is that they do offer several pacing alternatives: some people might want to finish the program faster, dedicating more time each week while others might not have that option. Part of their program is also helping the student set up a portfolio with as many as five different projects to be showcased.

There are obviously other choices around. But it is currently impossible to keep up with each and every course or online learning platform. If you feel the need to find other alternatives, please check out this guide to developer bootcamps. If you feel we left a important resource outside this list, please let us know in the comments section.


Self Taught iOS Development

raywenderlich logoRayWenderlich:

The “goto” destination for many iOS developers. Ray (and his team) offers a lot of free content with the option to subscribe to a paid plan that gives you access to video tutorials as well. His tutorials are constantly updated and fresh content is offered on a regular basis.

It is also interesting to notice that he offers extensive quality content for game developers, with tutorials about Sprite Kit, Unity and the Unreal engine. Besides that, there’s a lot of interesting resources, like the forum and different articles.

If you are a more experience developer, we have also compiled a list of useful resources in our App Store Developer round-up, check it out!