Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Converting a Large AngularJS Application to TypeScript Part 1

I work on a project that uses AngularJS heavily. Recently we wondered if using a preprocesser like CoffeeScript or TypeScript for our JavaScript would be beneficial. If our team is going to switch languages, we would need to be able to convert existing code over without much pain and we would have to find enough value in switching that it would be worth the conversion. I had read an article that stated that because TypeScript is a SuperSet of JavaScript, you could convert a plain JavaScript file to TypeScript by changing the extension to .ts and not much else would need to change. I wanted to test out this claim, so I took a file that I was familiar with, an Angular Controller, and tried to convert it to TypeScript to see how much effort it would take and then try to figure out where we would benefit from using TypeScript. This is what the controller JavaScript file looked like to start out with: ( function () { 'use strict' ; angular .module( 'app'

My idea for Hearthstone to add more deck slots

Recently someone asked the Blizzard developers for more slots for decks in the game Hearthstone. The response was that they are talking about it and looking into it, but no decision has been made yet. One of the concerns over adding deck slots is that it could complicate the UI for Hearthstone and make it more difficult for new players to understand. I have what I think would be a good solution to add more deck slots without increasing the learning curve for the game much if at all. First I would take a look at the current selection screen for starting to play a game. It defaults to showing the decks that are custom built by the player if they have any custom decks, and there is an option to page over to the basic decks. This basic deck screen is perfect for how I would change this process. Instead of having 2 pages of decks, 1 for basic and 1 for custom, you would just see the select a Hero screen. Then once you selected the Hero you wanted, you would see all of the decks that

Gamify TDD

I like it when things that would not normally be associated with games add concepts from games as a way to incentives you to accomplish things. Why simply go for a run if you can have an app that will track you and give you a gold star if you do better than you did the last time? Why go to the coffee shop that only gives you coffee if the other one will give you points that you can redeem for free drinks eventually? I was recently introduced to C odeSchool , an online training system similar to PluralSight, it has video courses and challenges you can take to prove that you retained what the video taught. CodeSchool also adds badges and tracks to your learning, so as you complete a video and its challenges you get a badge. Complete a collection of courses within a specific discipline and you become a master of that discipline. Some of these incentives are not tangible and really don't mean much in the real world, but they tend to work for me. If I start working towards a large g