Swift Programming Meetup on Monday


swift-logoI’m not too swift when it comes to coding. But a meetup next week has nonetheless piqued my interest.

Two years ago, my New Year’s resolutions included “get my ham radio license” and “learn to code.” Last year, I said I wanted to “get my real estate license” and “learn to code.” This year, my hope is to “blog more” and “learn to code.” At this early point in 2015, it’s looking like I may once again succeed in meeting exactly half of my objectives.

I’m struggling to learn to code. And this is after I’ve specifically limited my platform of choice to Apple’s iOS app platform for iPhones and iPads.

There’s a much, much bigger world out there, and many more languages and tools to get into. The web is more open, and Android has more users, sure, but I figured I’d focus on the ecosystem I know best. I mean, I was one of those crazy geeks who stood in line in 2007 to get my hands on the first iPhone. I’m all in with Apple. And, well, iOS is still where most of the money is being made.

And I’m struggling to learn code even after Apple, just last September, took the remarkable step of releasing its own, brand-new programming language called Swift. A language that was designed to avoid some of the quirks of Objective-C, and be easier than ever to learn. Since I was still a beginner, I was in the perfect place to pick up Swift and run.

I was so gung ho, I organized a Swift study group on Facebook and started a follow-along-with-me blog called iBeginner. I bought learn-to-code books. I went through several free, online tutorials, and after looking at a number of online courses (from Treehouse to Code School ), I even bought a complete course from Udemy

I’m only about a quarter of the way through. I’m glad for all the resources I’ve found, considering how expensive enrolling in a real code school can get, but there’s something to be said for watching and learning from real, live human beings. So a sub-resolution for me this year is to start hanging out with people who do what I want to learn to do.

On Monday, Honolulu developer Kyle Oba of design-build shop Pas de Chocolat will be featuring Swift at this month’s meeting of OUDL, the Organization for the Understanding of Dynamic Languages. Despite the intimidating name, the group is pretty open and low key. The “Experimenting with Swift” session is specifically for people trying to learn Swift, will be held at the Manoa Innovation Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9.

Yes, OUDL is primarily for people who are already programmers who want to learn about newer, cooler languages. But I’m thinking I could pick up quite a lot just by lurking in the back row. My sporadic experiments to date just may ensure that I’m not completely lost.

Even better, if anyone wants to learn more, Oba is actually developing a full-day workshop in March. The Monday meetup is, in part, a test run for that workshop.

2 Responses

  1. April 25, 2015

    […] mentioned my halting, floundering attempts to learn how to program before. It’s much more helpful to learn with others, in person. If you’re in a hurry […]

  2. December 31, 2015

    […] teach myself to program? No. Can I get my real estate license? Yes. Can I teach myself to program? No. I’ve managed to quit soda for more than a year (after downing as many as three or four cans […]

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