Learn to Build iOS Apps in 8 Weeks

Building apps may not be the optimal method to generate revenue for most enterprises anymore (at least not directly), but it is definitely as chic and cool as it has ever been and for a handful of companies - and in certain instances - it is, without question, going to be the only way to be a truly digital enterprise moving forward.

The problem with mobile applications development right now is that the walls of the app garden remain really, really high. Much like early website development, you either have to keep a qualified app builder on staff (on the payroll) or learn to do it yourself. Yes, you can use one of the many automated app builders on the market but the functionality of those systems as you may know is really quite limited.

If you want/need greater control, and the "learning how to build mobile apps" aspect is appealing to you, there's a better way. Learning how to build mobile apps, iOS apps in particular, requires a commitment and some level of expertise - which isn't always easy to do on your own - but it can prove quite rewarding. The problem for many, however, is that they find that even getting to the "app garden" at all requires navigating down a digital path that is mysterious, complex and full of uncertainties and unknowns. Some deeper level of support is obviously needed.

There are, of course, a variety of opportunities to learn some of the necessary coding basics (such as those featured with Website Magazine's August '13 article on "Learning to Code") including Codecademy, Code School, PeepCode, Bloc, Udemy, Treehouse, - but in order to achieve some level of success one really needs to immerse themselves fully in learning to actually build for mobile. That's particularly the case for iOS, which dominates the mobile market and whose ecosystem is a far more challenging dev environment.

For this reason, opportunities are now emerging that cater to those wanting to learn how to actually code to create and publish apps quickly and set themselves on a course for greater success. One of the more interesting opportunities right now is at Mobile Makers Academy in Chicago.

What's interesting about Mobile Makers Academy is that it is an intensive, eight-week course that provides both novice and aspiring mobile developers (including total beginners) an opportunity to observe other iOS developers, engage in discussions (no more working solo), and actually make apps. That's an evolutionary shift in education as well as in the practice of building digital things - like apps or websites for that matter.

Mobile Makers Academy teaches its students how to use all the necessary tools (from Objective-C and XCode, to the iOS SDK and its Interface Builder and Instruments), how to construct the optimal architecture and the many professional practices (performance optimization, debugging, re-factoring) that are required to ensure an optimal mobile experience. The program goes far beyond what you'd receive at a traditional four-year institution and delves far deeper than what you'd likely end up on your own. If you are wondering what kind of apps could be created in a time-frame of just eight weeks - and by a novice developer none the less - you might be quite surprised.

Crimeter: Provides a visual representation of crimes being reported in Chicago, grabbing crime data from the City of Chicago's data portal to feature a record of local crime information. The compass serves as a tool to display the crime levels around a current location based on a four-city block area or within a 500-meter radius.

PickFlick: A filtering and rating app to help users choose which movie to see. The app shows what movies are playing nearby, and then, through the use of swipe gestures, you can easily select or eliminate films from your list. Then, shake the device and th app wil randomly select from the remaining choices.

Is Mobile Makers Academy right for you? Becoming a master at iOS app development is going to take a lot longer than eight weeks, but with solid curriculum and a supportive approach, this might be one of the best opportunities you'll have to keep yourself relevant in a more app-minded world.