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Learning iOS

I am a .NET Developer by experience and knowledge, but am a huge Apple user at home. Just about every piece of technology that I own is made by Apple, and I own just about 1 of every major product Apple sells. Given my affinity towards using Apple products, I thought it would be fun to expand my development knowledge by trying out iOS development and try to create an iPhone app that I could use for myself. My goal is to share what I learn, what hurdles I overcome, and how I feel about development differences between .NET and iOS.

Some of my initial thoughts and questions. How will working in Xcode differ from Visual Studio. Visual Studio stands pretty far ahead of any other IDE I have ever used in terms of both built in functionality and amount of extensibility. One of my Must-Have additions for Visual Studio is NCrunch, and tool that continuously builds the Solution and runs Automated tests against the latest code. NCrunch is fantastic in that I can code away, and build my tests without the need to manually build and run tests. When I am working in an environment that allows for quick build times, NCrunch really does wonders for my productivity and enthusiasm towards building new features and tests.

Will Xcode have a feature like NCrunch built in? If not, will there be an add-on that works similarly? How do Unit Tests work for iOS and differ from .NET. This will probably be one of the first things I want to find an answer to when I start working on iOS apps.

I am also curious to find out how much of my .NET knowledge can be translated into iOS. Will it be a large learning curve and be extremely different than what I know currently, or will I be able to apply a lot of the things I have learned about programming best practices and use them for iOS development?

My main source for learning will likely be through PluralSight, a video training site. I have used PS as the key tool for growing my .NET knowledge and general programming best practices, so I expect to be able to learn iOS through their videos just as well. I was also suggested a book, Beginning iOS 7 Development, by a coworker, so I have purchased that and will use that as another resource.

Given that iOS 8 and Swift were recently announce at WWDC, it might make sense to start out by learning the latest and greatest, but I am going to begin with iOS 7 as my focus. I expect given the book, and videos on PluralSight are mainly focused on iOS 7, that I will be able to find answers to questions much more readily by targeting iOS 7. Perhaps as I continue to learn and get comfortable with iOS in general I can look into some of the new features and have enough knowledge to know where I could benefit by using them.


  1. It's April 2017 now. Did you find anything for Xcode that is comparable to NCrunch for Visual Studio?

    I've used NCrunch on my previous job, and it is utterly amazing. Not only makes unit testing feasible, it makes it (dare I say!) fun and enjoyable.

    I'm at a new job, and I have to use Xcode. An enormous code base, that has been around for decades. I would not bother to add unit tests to existing code, but for new code being added unit testing may very well be something to consider.

    Assuming there is a decent unit testing framework for C++ with Xcode, and something equivalent NCrunch to drive the process.

    Without a suitable unit testing framework and the unit test driver, unit testing would be dead in the water.

    1. I have not, although I have not done any iOS development since I wrote these articles so it is possible something is out there and I am not aware of it.

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