Alt-U stands for “Alternative University”. The idea is simple – why pay for an expensive degree at a traditional 4-year university, when you can learn how to be an expert iOS developer in a fraction of the time and money?
Alt-U has three types of classes, for beginners to experts. This past week, I attended their first ever class – one for beginners called the iOS Apprentice – and wanted to report back on how it went.
Keep reading to find out what the class was like, my favorite thing about the class, and how to get a massive 25% off discount for the next beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes!
Alt-U iOS Apprentice Highlights
The class started off with a bang. Attendees dove straight into Xcode, and by the end of the first day had written their first app!
In the second day, the class took a step back and learned more about Swift, making heavy use of Playgrounds:
From there, the class continued to make more apps, learning about topics like table views, Auto Layout, data persistence, networking, publishing to the App Store, and much more. It was a lot to cover in just 5 days!
My Favorite Things
I had a great time meeting the students and hanging out with Five Pack Creative and the team. It looks like the students learned a lot and had fun too – here are a few comments from the evaluations:
“Alt-U breaks concepts down into easy to understand chunks.”
“I love your staff’s eagerness to share their industry experience & best practices, along with not only how they implement, but why.”
“Five Pack Creative team has been phenomenal. Great teachers!”
Here are my three favorite things about the class:
1) Hands-On Focus
Rather than just listening to someone talk, you got to actually follow-along with the instructor as he coded up apps, or taught you Swift in playgrounds. This fits in great with our hands-on focus here at raywenderlich.com.
After the demos, there would be hands-on labs where you could try things out on your own. I think the mix was effective and really helped make the class interesting and fun.
2) Five Pack Creative Expertise
One thing that makes this class particularly strong is the expertise of the instructors from Five Pack Creative.
These guys make apps for clients like match.com, American Airlines, and Tapity every day. As such, not only do they teach you how to code for iOS in Swift, but they also teach you things you need to succeed in a real-world environment, like working in a team, using git, using JIRA, agile development, and more.
This also allowed them to do cool things like show off real-world code they’ve written for clients, tell war stories, and even share content from video tutorials and books they’ve made at raywenderlich.com. It was truly being taught by battle-worn experts!
3) Excellent Food
I know this is a silly thing to mention, but hey I thought it was awesome so needed to say something :]
The food at the class was incredible! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was included and boy was it good.
There was a huge variety of food, including salad bars, pasta stations, carving stations, multiple buffets, and delicious dessert. It also helped that the venue was nice and close to the airport!
Where To Go From Here?
Speaking of which, here’s the next three classes coming up at Alt-U:
- iOS Apprentice (Aug 1-5): For beginners – the class I wrote about here. If you missed it, another offering is coming up soon!
- iOS Journeyman (Aug 22-26): For intermediate developers. Covers asynchronous development, networking, Core Data, and more.
- iOS Master (Oct 3-7): For advanced developers. Covers functional programming, app architecture, custom Collection View layouts, and more.
I spoke to the guys at Five Pack Creative, and they were nice enough to offer raywenderlich.com a 25% off discount for these next 3 classes! Just add it to your cart and enter this coupon code: RAYWENDERLICH.
Note the discount expires on June 24, so be sure to snag it as soon as you can.
I hope to see some of you at an upcoming Alt-U class – and if you have any questions or comments about any of the Alt-U classes, please join the forum discussion below!