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iOS is Apple's operating system for the iPhone and iPad. For most of its history, it has required developers to write applications in the Objective-C language, which is an object-oriented extension of the C programming language. In 2015, however, Apple released a new language for iOS development: Swift.

Developers write iOS applications in Apple's XCode IDE, using the iOS software development kit (SDK), and they have the option of choosing either Objective-C or Swift. Both languages are object-oriented, but Swift has a more flexible syntax and type system. A very loose analogy is that Swift is to Objective-C as Javascript is to Java.

While you may choose to focus on one language or the other for your learning and project, you should learn a bit of the other. This will make you better prepared to land a job, since both languages are widely used, sometimes even within the same company.

Tackle these tasks, and then move on to building your capstone project.


  • Learn the basics of Swift or Objective-C
    • Syntax
    • Data types
    • Loops and conditionals
    • Functions
    • Data structures: arrays and dictionaries
    • Classes and objects
  • Learn the basics of the iOS SDK

Time Commitment

The time to learn these tasks can be highly variable, depending on which resources you use, how many hours per week you are able to devote to learning, and what type of support you have (online via message boards, in-person at meetups, etc). Focus on learning all of these topics, rather than hitting the specified number of hours.

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