Review of “iOS 9 and Swift 2: Step It Up” video tutorial by Michael Rudowsky on Udemy

Category: Reviews
Review of “iOS 9 and Swift 2: Step It Up” video tutorial by Michael Rudowsky on Udemy

It’s been a year since I started exploring Swift. I built several simple applications just for fun.

Believe me or not, during this one year of learning and researching I’ve seen almost every resource, book and tutorial available out there. I could make a long list of tutorials that were a waste of time, foolish, non-detailed and the quality was very poor. But it will be much easier to list tutorials and books that I think are really well done!

To start of I’d like to mention that those “adventurous” tutorials and many others listed on Udemy are very childish and really piss me off. They’re just waste of money and time. When you pay your money and when you invest into yourself, into your tuition it means that you are hungry to get knowledge that you can later put to work. When you pay money for a course or a book you expect that the instructor has done his part of job as much seriously as it can be.

Your expectation is that instructor will not give you the final formula and talk Bla-bla-bla, but will explain the formula. Everybody loves jokes but too much of it will lead you to nowhere. Tutor has to have deep understanding of topics he’s teaching you and then give you specific reasons and explanations why you use that formula and what does each symbol in the formula mean.

So this article is about a great resource/video tutorial I recently discovered but till I get there, there’s couple of things I’d like to say.

Let’s take a look at this code:

func loadData(urlString:String, completion: (result:String) -> Void){
     let session = NSURLSession.sharedSession()
     let url = NSURL(string: urlString)!

If you don’t know what this code does yet let me tell you: this is a part of code that deals with reading data from REST API. Do you like my explanation? I guess not, because I didn’t tell you anything about loadData function or completion: and so on. That’s that most of tutors do. They give you some code, tell you couple of things and that’s it. Really? I could’ve read documentation on Apple Developer’s page too. Thank you tutor for wasting my time! I want my money back!

I might be exaggerating a bit but this is what happens most of the time.

I’d like to mention video tutorials by Lynda.com, especially those by Simon Allardice. He’s the ACE of teaching! He’s tutorials (iOS 8 App Development with Swift 1 Essential Training) might be a little out of date at the moment of writing this article but definitely were the best before Swift 2 release. If you want to start learning Swift basics from scratch you have to check his older videos.

Another quality resource – PacktPub. I did write a Review Of Mastering Swift 2 and the author did really good job, except some code for working with REST API’s. But it’s a worthy reading.

Ok, so what about the review of iOS 9 and Swift 2: Step It Up by Michael Rudowsky you might ask. Let me tell you: this man is the most passionate and most dedicated instructor of 2016 I’ve seen not only on Udemy but elsewhere.

At first I wanted to jump right into the app development but after couple of minutes I realized, Mr. Rudowsky doesn’t waste your time. He uses your time to teach you and tell you as much as you can memorize. I started absorbing each and every word since the very first minutes of the videos. Before starting to code the application, Michael Rudowsky covers everything you will be dealing with when developing the application itself. So when you reach the coding section everything looks familiar. Everything seems super easy and cool. Nothing remains obscure. He tells you the story behind each line, each function and each piece of code. And I think this is what all tutors have to do. This is the real journey into Swift and iOS development.

Anyone can be some kind of super developer, he might have read Apple’s whole documentation but it doesn’t mean he’ll be able to pass his knowledge to you. Michael Rudowsky definitely has that ability of being an instructor.

Being organized? Well most of tutors don’t pay attention to where your files are placed. They only care to give the code that eventually makes no sense to you (you just copy/paste it) and then tell you “Now you are ready to be a paid professional”. Whaaaaat? A paid professional? But we just put NSURLSessions and JSONObjectWithData into the controller!?

Mike takes time to create Groups, so each file – Model, View and Controller are in the respective groups and everything looks professional and clean.

Source control? This is one of the most important parts of development nowadays! At the beginning you might be a team of one developer but if you are looking forward to work for someone or with other developers in a team you have to know how to work with Git. Don’t worry, Michael has got your back!

And the code! I do pay attention at code – a lot! If I don’t like the code, if it looks dirty - it bothers me. I love when code for an application is neat and clean, when everything is in its own block, documented and so on. I’d like to say that it was always a pleasure to watch Simon Allardice to write code, even in Swift Playgrounds. Michael Rudowsky is no exception in writing clean code.

When you watch iOS 9 and Swift 2: Step It Up you not only learn Swift and iOS app development in the deepest details but you also get to learn how to write beautiful and clean code. It’s a good habit that Michael teaches you in this course, not directly but behind the scenes. When you show your code to your team mate or your employer they will understand that you know what you are doing.

What do most of mobile applications do? Well, they connect to web services, grab data and display it to the user. This means that every valuable course on Swift 2 and iOS 9 application development MUST cover working with REST APIs and parsing JSON into table view.

Many of resources do cover those topics and I could list you many books and video tutorials that cover it for only one reason – “Yeah this course covers everything”. First of all you can’t cover everything in one tutorial or a book. Another fact is not all of them do it well. In many courses they just touch upon JSON and show you very elementary code, code that is incomplete and code that looks very poor. I think it’s not only a matter of what you do, it’s a matter of how you do. The quality of code is what makes you as a developer or as a tutor/instructor stand out and be the premier league player.

You have to check out Michael Rudowsky’s way of working with REST API. That’s how you do it! He goes through each detail, considers different scenarios and even configures NSURLSession. I didn’t know I could configure it.

In addition to good course content, really detailed explanation of each part and clean code, Michael Rudowsky does cover very important topics: application lifecycle and ViewController lifecycle. This is the second tutorial I have seen these topic being covered. Essentially I learned it in Simon Allardice’s tutorials at Lynda.com.

Every good developer should know how to use dispatch_get_main_queue and Mr. Rudowsky explains it. Perfect! By the way this topic is covered in this tutorial too. It's by Devslopes.

In his course, iOS 9 and Swift 2: Step It Up, Michael Rudowsky takes a complex application, brakes it down and makes it easy to understand the concepts that eventually make you think and act as a developer. This example application teaches you to explore more and look at code in a simplified way. You will learn much more then working with API’s and playing a video.

The most important thing is that everything that is covered in this course will give you great foundation and finally you’ll be able to make use of each piece that you learned in this course to build next successful iOS application on your own or just an application that you will be proud of!

Conclusion

Hopefully my spontaneous article will make sense to you. It’s really hard to choose a course that is for you that is worth the time and every cent you paid. I just wanted to highlight quality work that some online tutors do. And in this case it’s Michael Rudowsky. There are tons of video tutorials, tons of books but which are the best? Don’t look at the number of students. Explore the contents, don’t get fooled but huge content, many hours and funny greetings and promises for adventures. I would recommend starting by Lynda’s Swift basics, then some example app development by Lynda and definitely Mike’s awesome video tutorial. I would not recommend some resources but maybe I’ll do it in another article. If you are interested in choosing the courses so you don’t waste your time and money I can send you the list. Simply reach me on Twitter or by E-mail. Cheers!