In September of 2018, I started working as an iOS developer. I’ve spent the past eight months building health and fitness, banking and automotive apps. But only a year ago, I was a student with a lot of interests, and I kept my studies as broad as possible.
That resulted in a lot of theoretical knowledge and no practical experience. After three years of studying, I thought it was about time to get some hands-on experience. I needed less talking and more coding.
Time to roll up the sleeves
I had my eye on iOS development for some time, but since I knew it required an iPhone and a Mac, and being a PC user myself, I realized that merely giving it a try would be a hefty investment. So I decided to put the idea to rest, alongside my other someday-but-not-today ideas.
Little did I know things were about to change. At last year’s Job Fair I stumbled upon Infinum Academy and immediately realized it was a great fit for me. There was an iOS course, they offered a Mac and five weeks of classes. I didn’t need to think much, I decided to apply and shortly after I’ve received an invitation to take an entrance exam. “Finally, a chance to learn a thing or two about iOS development”, I thought back then.
iOS development here I come
The entrance exam was not as complicated as I initially thought. It mostly concerned object-oriented programming and I managed to finish it in less than 30 minutes. The acceptance email followed shortly after the exam. A couple of weeks later, I was a student at Infinum Academy!
Our group was pretty small. There were 15 students, so each one of us could receive as much attention as needed. There was an evident focus on quality over quantity.
Here is what my course looked like: it lasted four weeks, with two classes and two homework assignments per week. All the coding was done in Swift, using Xcode. The classes were a combination of theoretical concepts and hands-on coding.
A fresh app on its way
The goal of the Infinum Academy was to build our very own app. We were creating an app for TV shows. Users could see a list of shows and favorite the ones they prefer. Every TV show had a brief description and a list of episodes. Users could attach summaries and photos to each episode. They could also see everything other users have added and start up a conversation in the comment section.
The best way to improve
By far the best part for me was the feedback. Every homework assignment was a new screen or a new feature. During the week, if I had any questions, I could ask via Slack or stop by the office for a consultation and discuss things over a cup of coffee. At the end of the week I would open up a pull request and guys would have written a very detailed code review.
There were no points or grades of any kind – everything was done with the sole purpose of teaching us the basics of iOS development.
While we have obviously learned a bunch of stuff, at times I felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of new information. I really wanted to take the most out of the classes, but now and then I’d lose focus for a minute or two and suddenly it seemed like everyone around me spoke Klingon.
It happens to everybody, right? No need to panic though, mentors were very helpful, and there wasn’t anything I couldn’t fix with a simple Google search.
The foundation has been laid, what’s next?
Infinum Academy has laid a pretty nice foundation for my career in iOS development. Mentors encouraged us to take a step further and personalize our app with animations and bonus features.
After having graduated from Infinum Academy, I had both a new skill and a cool app I could refer to in my resume.
I landed my first job and in the last eight months I have learned even more. Now, I’m working on real apps for real clients, making real peoples’ lives better. It’s quite a progression in just a year, right?