What we want to build:
We want to create Try iOS, a Code School course which teaches how to build your own iPhone apps. Our course will combine high quality screencasts, in-browser code challenges, and gamification principles to make learning fun. There will be no need to install anything, since students will build iPhone apps using our in-browser iPhone simulator (see the video above for a demo).
Update: What we'll do with extra funding
You might notice that we already reached our funding goal, thanks if you already helped fund us! You can still secure your access to the course for $25 or more, and here are our additional funding goals:
> $75,000 - We'll hire a camera crew to do 2 "making of" videos during the course building process AND we add video hints. Basically if you get stuck during the challenges and need more explanation, we'll have instructors to explain topics in more detail. REACHED
> $100,000 - All of the above plus 2 additional levels of content AND we also create the most awesome iPhone development cheat sheet. REACHED
> $125,000 - We create a free Try Objective C course. Just like TryRuby.org, a free learn Objective C course to learn the basics of the language. REACHED
> $150,000 - All $25 pledgers (and higher) get a free month of a Code School subscription (which is worth $25). We have some great courses coming up, like Ruby Bits and Assembling Sass, as well as our current courses Git Real, Real-time Web with Node.js, and Journey into Mobile, all of which you will have the chance to check out for free!
When we will ship:
This course will be teaching iOS 6, the newest mobile platform from Apple which (with any luck) will be released in October. Last year, iOS 5 was released at the same time as the new iPhone 4S, at the beginning of October. So we would plan on shipping the early access beta of Try iOS in October, and the wide release a month later, in November.
Who are we and how will we do this?
Envy Labs is a small web development consultancy in Orlando, Florida. From the consultancy we bootstrapped Code School, which provides web development courses in the same format we want to teach iPhone development (videos, in-browser coding, gamification). In the past year and a half we've released 13 courses including Rails for Zombies, Journey into Mobile Web (shown below), Real-time Web with Node.js, and more recently Try Git. All of our courses allow you to learn by doing, providing quick and accurate feedback as you code in your browser.
We've always wanted to create an iPhone course, but we knew it would only be worthwhile if we could show an iPhone simulator in the browser as you wrote code... and we think we figured it out.
Recently, Thomas Meeks and Eric Allam from our team spent some weekends hacking on a prototype and came up with a way to offer an in-browser simulator. Unfortunately, even though the result works (seen in the demo video above), the hardware and software costs are not small.
This is why we're turning to Kickstarter.
Where will the Kickstarter money go?
We will need about $20,000 for the Mac Mini "Farm." This includes upfront costs for the Mac Minis, as well as bandwidth and colocation costs. The rest of your Kickstarter pledge will go toward the development of the course. Things like:
- The educational materials.
- The graphic design & branding.
- Coding up the in-browser challenges (usually the most expensive part).
- Building and scaling the simulator technology.
- The front-end development.
- Film production.
- Refining the course based on feedback.
- Ongoing support and hosting.
If we raise additional funding than our ask we'll simply add additional levels of content, so please help us spread the word.
Do I need to know any programming for this course?
A little, you'll need to have a basic knowledge of programming, any language will do. For instance, we're not going to teach what strings, methods, and classes are. We'll leave that to Codecademy, which is free.
If you have any other questions about how we will be using the Kickstarter money, or about what goes into building a Code School course, please don't hesitate to ask below.
- (30 days)