High School Students Get Started with iOS Development!

January 20, 2016

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Mobile Makers alumni and staff were excited to work with high school students on January 20th at the Apple Store on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Students ventured out to begin their iOS careers at the Mobile Makers one hour workshop, “Getting Started with iOS Development.” During the session, these future devs dug into:

  • The basic functionality of Xcode, the professional software developers use to build apps
  • The relationship between the coding language and the effects on the working app
  • The pathways and roadmaps to learning more about becoming an iOS developer

Now you can go through our workshop on your own by completing one of our coding stations and an iOS Developer Scavenger Hunt!

You will need to have the latest version of Xcode running on your computer so that you can actually code. Apple tells you how to get the proper developer tools here.  If you don’t have a device able to run Xcode, skip down to the iOS Developer Scavenger Hunt for some challenges that do not involve coding.

Station: Play with source code

Before Xcode

1. Download the zipped Multiply app project to your desktop.

2. Double click to unzip the project; a new folder named “Multiply” will appear on your desktop

3. Launch Xcode, when the menu “Welcome to Xcode” click on “Open another project” at the bottom right of the menu.

4. Select the Multiply folder (not the zipped project) and click “Open.”


In Xcode

1. Click on the arrow to the left of the word “Multiply” (blue sheet) on the left side of the screen

2. Click on the arrow to the left of the word “Multiply” (yellow folder) on the left side of the screen

3. Click on the word “ViewController.swift

4. Read through the code – see if there is anything you can understand in “English”

5. Run and test the app in the simulator by clicking the “play” button at the top left of the Xcode window. Here’s a Simulator User Guide from Apple to help you work on your own.

  • Try 1 X 3.
  • Try 2 X 2.
  • Try 8 X 8.
  • Try some more operations on your own.
  • What happens to the app? What line(s) of code impact what you see?

6. Change line 59 so that the user sees Han Solo when the answer is 10.

7. Run and test the app in the simulator again.

8. Keep manipulating things in the code to see how the app changes due to your code!

For access to the other stations participants visited, join us at a future event!

Scavenger Hunt

Pick and try out as many of the challenges as you can! If you do not know an iOS developer, try using twitter as a resources to find one who can answer your questions.

Challenge 1

  1. Go to https://www.glassdoor.com
  2. Search for iOS developer jobs
  3. Look at the qualifications and responsibilities for 2 or 3 different positions (HINT: do NOT look for “Senior Developer” positions, those are not for beginners)
  4. Write down anything interesting you notice

Challenge 2

  1. Visit the website: http://www.exploringcs.org/resources/cs-statistics     
  2. Scroll down to “Computer Science Job Statistics”
  3. Find 2 interesting facts about jobs in CS
  4. Write down the three facts that stand out to you the most and one fact that inspires you

Challenge 3

Ask one of the developers to tell you what their favorite class was in high school and how it helps them in their current role as a developer.

Challenge 4

Ask one of the developers what skills are essential to being good at making apps.

Challenge 5

Ask an iOS developer how they first learned to code.

Challenge 6

Choose your own question to ask a developer! What do you want to know about being an iOS developer? Ask one of them!

Challenge 7

  1. Go to http://www.computerworld.com/article/2844020/it-careers/10-hottest-it-skills-for-2015.html
  2. Read about positions #1 and #8
  3. Read about 2 other positions
  4. Write down what you notice about the jobs

Challenge 8

  1. Go to https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc2015/
  2. Read the summaries of the videos
  3. Pick two videos to watch on your own and email/message yourself the link to the video

Challenge 9

  1. Go to https://developer.apple.com/swift/resources/
  2. Click on “Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) under “Guides and Reference”
  3. Once you are in the iOS Developer Library, click on “Build the Basic UI”
  4. Read and compare this to what you did in the coding Station

Challenge 10

  1. Go to https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Swift/Conceptual/Swift_Programming_Language/GuidedTour.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40014097-CH2-ID1and   
  2. Read through the “Swift Tour”
  3. What phrases or directions do you understand?
  4. What phrases or directions do you want to understand better?