Creating APPS with Apple’s Swift Programming Language

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At 10:30am on 3/21/2018, I attended ACreating APPS with Apple’s Swift Programming Language, presented by Rafi Guroian and assisted by David Sandersen, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Rafi Guroian and Dave Sandersen of Apple presented at today’s event.

This two-part workshop was geared toward chairs and faculty. You can do anything you want on your last day at work- especially talking about new products. 🙂 In modern environments you no longer have to have lab time, scheduled time and duplicated students on a single machine. Block- based coding still exists, and this is the challenge.

So what does coding mean? coding is the buzzword for programming. A better questions might be how does this affect your everyday life. Average American uses 8-12 apps between the time they get up and the. time they hit their cars. Coding has taken over and its important not to think about today, but where will our students be 20 years from today? how can we prepare our students for that day?

-how can we prepare the graphic design student of today for the future? Where were we 20 years ago or more? Its difficult.

we taught ourselves out of manuals, learning based on reading and mimicry. Now we watch videos to learn and have numerous internet resources.

in 2007 the iPhone came out. In 2008, the App Store opened. So, the first year was what you see is what you get. With the App Store, you could learn to code, screen scrape, etc. in the background, it was clicking the web buttons for you, but the front end made the iPhone and blackberry very usable without having to squeeze and pinch on a standard screen just to get around.

Rafi told us about how he built a small app to see Amtrak status. He was eventually handing it out and considering selling it. He showed it to the CIO of Amtrak and was hired to develop a full Amtrak app, the job which changed the trajectory of his life.

One point Apple would like to see is that everyone should have the opportunity to change the world. In the beginning, the problem tended to be access to computers. The results of the programming are like magic and excitement for many- either the first time or throughout their time. While many times people start because they want something and it doesn’t exist, so why not make it? 

The initiative is called “Everyone Can Code”. Elementary is based on iPad. Middle school uses Swift Playgrounds app. This is a fine program for middle, high school, and some college. In High School and college, Xcode has Playgrounds as well. Swift Playground is Xcode under the hood, and you can put out executables  which move to Xcode.

Intro to App Developement with Swift. it is a 1-semester course and it has a teacher guide. Its a great way to get the feet wet. APP Development with SWIFT is a second course (with teacher guide) is available for the people who’ve used Swift playgrounds before. These work well as flipped classroom texts, with students doing the work and coming to the lab time with questions.

We built questionbot as a warm-up. If you’re looking to do work in the workforce with apple products, you’ll need to know Xcode. like a mechanic works on a real machine, the curriculum allows students to work with the real deal.

Using Xcode compiling a program it can be pushed to your iPhone or iPad where it can live for a week. Then it disappears. It sideloads foundation. If side loading permanently was allowed, it would make lotsa of virii. By having these self-destruct, it stops a series of problems. You can purchase a license for paid apps, and build your own certificates for enterprise-only applications.

The questionbot was not very bright in its initial version. So we split into the code to make adjustments. We began by making some cosmetic adjustments, and now we’re getting ready to assist the questionbot in some ways to answer questions. 

First though, we moved through the Swift Playgrounds APP and talked about how it can be used in the classroom, and how it can be used by students as well as professionals. Many professionals will use this for Augmented reality items and compile it.

Swift can be compiled in unix, windows, raspberry pi, and a few others but the programming UI for Xcode doesn’t exist outside of Apple. You can compile the runtime in windows machines, but you may need to compile those as Java code to be useful. Microsoft and other fortune 1000 companies use Swift code to compile APPS for enterprise and in-company apps and user interfaces for iPhone and other apps.

With a few questions, this section ended with a confident crowd, and some questions about how students might be able to move into lab spaces, or possibly using materials in their home.