Three ways to learn programming on iTunes U

Jul 8, 2014
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Three ways to learn programming on iTunes U

If you’d like to pick up some programming know-how, there are several methods for doing so. One of the neatest ways is iTunes U, which offers up several ways to learn on your own time. Often free, you can get up to speed in no time — and on your time.

Apps

iTunes U often taps several sources, but all educational in nature. Apps are among the best ways to learn in an intuitive way, and there are some great ones on iTunes U. Codecademy is among the better options, ushering you through lessons quickly and effectively, switching screens often to give you the sense you’re really picking up on things.

Udemy is another great option, offering online courses you can subscribe to. Though more a portal than a standalone app, Udemy is easily one of the better options if you’re serious about learning. You can even save your courses for offline use, giving you something to do on a plane or other times your downtime might go to waste.

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Books

There are some great books on iTunes and iTunes U for programming, with some touching on some newer programming languages and principles. If you’re looking for iOS development sources, iPad and iPhone App Development is a great free option. It gives a great overview of what a good iOS app should be, reiterating the principles Apple looks for.

Another good book for those looking to break into programming is The Swift Programming Language, directly from Apple. The new language, introduced by Apple at WWDC this year, is a stripped down (but not limited) branch of Objective C, and takes away a lot of boilerplate coding. Swift is a great way to get involved with programming, and this book direct from the source is a perfect way to get started there.

If you want something outside of the Apple scope, Fundamentals of Python is a great book to check out. Python is fast becoming the introduction many have to programming, and offers up a host of possibilities for the hopeful Developer. It’s $27.99 on iTunes, but among the better beginner books on the subject.

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Courses

Several major universities make their courses available on iTunes U, and we do mean major. Both Stanford and Harvard have courses available via the app, neither of which are dated. Harvard’s CS50 2013 is their introductory course from last year — free education from a major university.

Stanford has a course on developing iOS apps using iOS 7, too. Programming Methodology and Machine Learning are also useful resources from ‘The Farm’, so take advantage of the info while you can. Other courses from Michigan University and non-University entities provide a nice foundation for your learning journey.

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Conclusion

These courses and books listed here won’t thrust you into the world of computer programming, ready for a top-level job. They will give you a great foundation for learning more, and set you up for success long-term. Everyone needs a starting point, and if you’ve got access to iTunes U, these are some great options for you to check out.


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