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SwiftUI Essentials: The Big Nerd Ranch Course

Christian Keur

3 min read

May 25, 2021

SwiftUI Essentials: The Big Nerd Ranch Course

We’re thrilled to announce the newest course at Big Nerd Ranch – SwiftUI Essentials! Before we jump into what the course entails, here’s a bit of context for how we got to where we are today.

A New Way to Build Interfaces

When building applications for any platform, the user interface is a significant portion of that work. Apple’s platforms – iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS – are no exception, and the existing tools and APIs used to create interfaces for those platforms date back thirty years to NeXTSTEP.

In those thirty years, millions of apps have been made, new programming languages have emerged, and a lot of lessons have been learned on how to make interfaces simpler and with fewer bugs. And so we were excited when Apple announced SwiftUI – a brand new, unified way to build interfaces for all Apple platforms – at their Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June 2019.

The initial public release of SwiftUI was really promising, but the framework was still nascent and had many noticeable gaps. So, at the Ranch, we spent that next year learning SwiftUI internally and exploring how we might teach this exciting new technology.

Last June, WWDC 2020 came and Apple filled in many of those gaps in SwiftUI. At that point, we felt SwiftUI had the minimum feature set for most apps. Since that update, we’ve been hard at work planning, building, and refining our new SwiftUI course, and we’re excited to share it with you all now.

Before we talk more about the course, let’s talk briefly about what SwiftUI is, what we’ve learned about it, and how that’s ultimately influenced the course.

SwiftUI in a Nutshell

SwiftUI is a declarative, reactive framework leveraging Swift for building interfaces that run on all Apple platforms. SwiftUI has built-in support for features that users expect, such as Dynamic Type, Dark Mode, and VoiceOver accessibility. And SwiftUI adapts to the platform the app runs on, giving your interfaces a native look and feel with minimal effort. Taken together, building interfaces with SwiftUI can take substantially less development time compared to using UIKit and AppKit.

We’ve learned some things about SwiftUI since its introduction:

  • The barrier to entry for SwiftUI is much lower than existing Apple platform frameworks.
  • SwiftUI comes with a bit of a learning curve, especially as you build more complex interfaces.
  • Building interfaces that target multiple Apple platforms is surprisingly easy.

Developing interfaces using SwiftUI is drastically different than doing the same using UIKit or AppKit, the existing native platforms for iOS and macOS platform development. Because of this, it’s a fresh start in many ways and requires a new perspective when building apps and interfaces.

If this sounds exciting or interesting, take a look at our new SwiftUI Essentials course.

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Whether you are new to making apps for Apple platforms, or if you’ve been doing it for years, you will feel right at home in our SwiftUI Essentials course. Our goal with this 3 and a half-day course is to give you the knowledge and tools to effectively and efficiently build cross-platform SwiftUI apps.

We’ve been using SwiftUI on our consulting projects for over a year. Even with years of collective experience, we still get stumped from time to time. We’ve taken these questions, these problems, and their solutions, and applied them to this course to help jump-start your journey into SwiftUI.

For more specifics on what’s covered, check out the course syllabus. We also have a talk on YouTube that shows a little of what we’ll be covering.

We’re thrilled to bring this course to you. Keep an eye on our social media or our website to see when we’re running our next Bootcamp. If you’re interested in us bringing this training directly to your team, write to us at hello@bignerdranch.com.

Christian Keur

Author Big Nerd Ranch

Christian Keur is a software engineer and instructor at Big Nerd Ranch, where he maintains the course materials for the company’s highly acclaimed iOS training on which the book is based. Christian earned a degree in computer science from Georgia Tech and can often be found wandering around Atlanta, glancing up at the stars, or reading a book.

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