Udacity iOS Nanodegree Review ? Is it worth ?
One of the most innovative companies in the tech industry is constantly on the hunt for knowledgeable and creative developers. We are talking of course about Apple, the king of apps. If you are in the field and ready to score a job as a developer or in the mood to make a career change, you’ll need a degree. No, you won’t have to complete a full 4-year degree in a university, you can do it online, at your own pace and from anywhere you’d like. Sound interesting?
We are talking about Udacity, an online university offering courses for all things tech. You can try out free courses for more basic knowledge or complete a nanodegree to receive a certificate along with other perks that get your prepared for the job market that awaits you. This is not just any online academy; they are accredited and also develop courses through partnerships with some of the top companies in the field today. We are not here to boast about the reputation but, to provide you with an n-depth look at the Udacity iOS Nanodegree helping you decide whether or not it is the course for you. We will also take a look at what your future might look like, taking a peek into the job market both now and in the near future.
As we mentioned, a nanodegree from Udacity is not just about the course and curriculum but about all the extras that come along with it. What do you get when you sign up for any nanodegree with the academy? Let’s take a look.
- Real Projects
One of the best things about the site pairing with the top companies in the industry is that the projects included are real. We mean that each one is mirrored after an issue that takes place in the field leaving you with hours of hands-n experience with completion of the course. Most of the time, you will have a smaller project at the end of each section and a very large capstone project at the end to show off your skills.
- A Mentor
The academy strives to do everything they can to help you be a success. If you’re having difficulties either technically or with the workload, a mentor is there for you. They are there to help keep you on track and keep you focused so that you can complete your course in good time. They are just a few clicks away and available at all sorts of hours.
- Career Services
For us, this is the most impressive extra that the site has to offer. They help you all the way through the process of landing a job from completing a killer resume and beyond. You’ll have the chance to hold a mock interview with a specialist that will then provide you feedback plus, once your resume is complete, you’ll become part of the Udacity career database. This is crawling with recruiters that are hungry for new members to their team and they like using the fresh graduates from Udacity.
You have the ability to go at your own pace and log in whenever you want. You can take classes from your computer so there is no need to leave your home and, you’ll have all the time you need. There is no pressure however there are recommended schedules to stick to.
Just from reading the extras you can start to see why Udacity is a top ranked online academy. So, if you’re still here, we know you’re interested so, let’s get down to business. What do you need to take part in the course? Actually, it is much less than you might be thinking, open for beginner and up learners.
The site does recommend that you however are motivated and that you enjoy collaborating. This is a unique program which puts you in lots of group settings where you will work together to constructively improve each other projects. Even though you can go at your own pace with other courses, this one will require some deadlines and you must stick to them.
So, if you’ve checked off the boxes and are ready to see what the course is like we have a breakdown here. There are six sections total, the first of which is a welcome to introduce you to how things will run. They will go over the course and introduce you to some of the programs you’ll be using. You’ll also download XCode, Apple’s development platform so you have it from the start. After this, you’ll jump right in beginning with Swift.
Here you’ll get a quick intro to the programming language plus learn all the basics. Using real examples and walk throughs that are easy to follow, you’ll see how this language is used to develop iOS apps, something that you’ll be able to do with completion of this course.
Intro to iOS Development
After you’ve been introduced to Swift, you’ll get right to it building your very first app. You’ll work with AutoLayout and UILabels, using them to create an interface that you can build upon. Learn about how to switch between multiple view and how that can help you build your first app. You will end this section with a project that will call you to put your new skills to the test, designing a voice recorder app.
UIKit is what you’ll need for front-end development of web interfaces that are lightning fast. You’ll work with a wide range of patterns to help you navigate and add table views. You’ll finish off the section with a two-part hands-on project that includes creating the final version of an app.
Net Requests and GCD
Here is where you’ll learn the ins and outs of making apps more attractive with the addition of APIs that allow for images. You’ll then learn about Apple’s powerful Grand Central Dispatch, using it to help you create framework that flow seamlessly for enhanced user experience. This time, you’ll get to work with a map app combining more advanced app development skills.
You will learn why persistence is important seeing how the iOS File System and “sandbox” work together to work with apps. You’ll see how to save and delete object that will make for smooth updates and safely transfer data from one version to the next.
Your final project is your chance to spread your wings and think outside the box. You are given the freedom to create any app you would like, working from the design, to the building, to the uploading onto the App Store.
This rocking curriculum in only one small part of the puzzle. It is also important to know who is teaching you. Most of your instruction will be lecture based with step by step instruction when necessary to walk you through steps. We will introduce you to your instructors along with a bit about their most notable accomplishments in the field.
With years of experience in the field, Jarrod has great advice to offer new learners. His passion to break the molds of teaching has led many of those who took the course to comment on how much they loved his approach, giving them a bit of a different approach to learning.
Though her route was at first biology, she started to become interested in patters while analyzing DNA. She offers a unique perspective and has experience as an iOS engineer.
He is a developer of both iOS and Android. This makes him an asset to the program as he can note specific differences between the two and help learners that may want to have background knowledge in both.
An iOS developer and speaker, she’s traveled across the globe offering her knowledge to others. She also hosts a podcast for parents that work in tech, helping them to balance their work and home lives.
This is a self-paced course so the time absolutely varies by person. You do however need to keep in mind that some of your projects have deadlines that you have to meet. Still, the rest of the course you can do at your own pace. The academy estimated it to take 6 months if you dedicate 10 hours a week.
Udacity charges by monthly access. This is possibly another reason why you’ll want to finish in a good amount of time. If you pay as you go, you’re looking at $359 per month. There is however a slight discount if you choose to pay for the estimated time up front. Since it is said to take around 6 months, the cost comes out to $1974. Included in the cost is not only the curriculum and course plus projects but, all the extras that we mentioned above. The price is a little higher than what you might find across the web for a developer course but, the faster you finish, the less it will be so, keep that in mind to save a few bucks before taking the course.
What do learners that have taken the course have to say? Overall, most of them think positively and the overall rating out of five total stars is 4.6. We have skimmed through a few of them from a wide range of ratings to give you a better summary of what others had to say. To get a look for yourself, simply take a look on the web and you’ll notice that overall, most learners loved the course.
- Great curriculum taught by great professors
- Real life projects that get you prepared for the field
- Great career services
- Resume help and improvement
- Designed to learn from the ground up
- A bit difficult for learners without experience
- A little expensive
Your Future Job
What about the possibilities you have to get a job after successful completion? Well, not only is it listed as one of the top 10 most in-demand careers of the moment but, is expected to grow as the years pass. The estimation from Tech Radar states that a 31% increase is expected until the year 2016 making developers a hot commodity. Plus, this demand also estimates a healthy salary increase with both entry-level and skilled-level jobs.
With the skills necessary to design, build, and upload apps, you’ll have the option to get a job with a tech company or take the freelance route and develop and sell your apps wherever you please. You’ll be able to decide for yourself but, you should take a look in the database first and see what your options are. Try and think what type of work will suit you the best and where you can best put your skills to work.
Is it Worth It?
So, having all things considered, is it worth it? If you think that you’d like to start learning the skill of developing apps then, yes. Though the price may be a bit more on the expensive side, it is worth it to have all the extras that can help you find a job and give you hands-on experience with projects that are exactly like those that you will be doing.
This is a course for anyone meaning that you do not need any prior programming experience to take part. Though you may want to d a bit of more in-depth studying before your final project, you’ll have all you need to develop apps from start to finish on iOS devices. You will also be backed by an academy that collaborates with some of the biggest names in tech, adding that to your resume comes with some power. You have a new and exciting career waiting for you as a developer so, what are you waiting for? Start developing today. Best of luck and happy developing!