In this Udacity iOS Nanodegree review, I will talk about how I turned from Biochemical Engineer to iOS Developer with Udacity.
Udacity is offering personalized discount.
I found myself being stuck in my profession as a biochemical engineer and quite bored with everyday tasks and routines.
Learning to code was a way to challenge myself, and iOS development turned out to be the most enjoyable experience for me.
While looking for a Nanodegree program, I wanted something that not only provides learning material, but also a community and mentors. I finished my Udacity Nanodegree in time and have worked on my private projects ever since.
The purpose of this article is to find
- Is the iOS nanodegree worth it?
- Can it help to land a job?
- Are the projects any good?
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|Coursera iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs Specialization
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Table of Contents
What are the prerequisites ?
Prerequisites, it is a heavy word as regards the prerequisites of Udacity iOS Nanodegree. There are no massive professional or technical degrees involved in the requirements to get enrolled in Udacity. You must have the motivation needed to complete your Udacity iOS Nanodegree.
Cost and Duration of Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree
At the time of my enrollment, I got a 50% discount and opted for an upfront payment, which resulted in €940 overall.
In case I couldn’t finish the program in time, each additional month would have cost me €359. I do think the discounted price is justifiable, but the regular price of €359/month is not.
The video material is outdated in some lessons and a few functions used by the instructor are deprecated as of today Luckily, Udacity is often giving discounts or free months which make it worth it.
The program sets the goal of finishing within 6 months, considering a minimum of 10h/week of active engagement.
Even though I did finish in time, while working a full time job, I don’t think it’s feasible for the majority of people. I enrolled in the end of October, counting on holidays, and vacation days to compensate for potentially lost time if I can’t keep up with the course timeline.
If you have a full-time job and want to do this in the little spare time you have, make sure you have a few vacation days you can dip into. This program is packet and requires a lot of discipline to push through, especially if you are a complete beginner to programming in general.
Syllabus of Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree
Lesson 1: Welcome to the Nanodegree
This lesson is mainly here to show you what projects are ahead of you and how to get help if you are stuck at some point.
Lesson 2: Learn Swift Programming
Introduces Lessons: Variables and Types, Operators and Expressions, Control Flow, Functions, Structures and Enums, Optional, Strings, Collections, Object-oriented Programming.
This is where the student is introduced to the basic concepts of coding.
They provided tests for each chapter as well as example code to follow. It can be quite dry at times, and I realized that people rush through this lesson, not fully understanding the basic concepts yet.
The way you learn to code is very isolated from real-world experience, and if you went into this Nanodegree without any prior knowledge, this lesson might set you up for the downfall later on.
Get another course on Udemy in addition, or look up different explanations on YouTube.
If you didn’t understand this before moving forward, it might cause you to feel overwhelmed and discouraged in the following lessons.
Lesson 3: Intro to iOS App Development with Swift
Introduced Topics: Introduction to Xcode, AutoLayout and Buttons, ViewController and Multiple Views, Delegation and Recording, Playback and Audio Effects.
In this lesson, the student is faced with Xcode for the first time in this Nanodegree program. The video material is quite outdated and makes it hard to follow the instructor.
The lesson does not cover the topic of constraints good enough to give you an understanding of the responsive layout. In the peer chats, you will find people struggle with this up until the very last lesson.
In addition, SwiftUI is not covered, which is becoming a basic demand for future employers. Even though it is a jam-packed lesson, it doesn’t take much understanding getting through and passing.
This is where I would suggest spending an extra amount of time and resources to fully get the topics before moving forward
Project: Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect is a simple app that lets you record your own voice and change the pitch/speed. There is a lot of code they want you to copy/paste in order to set everything up.
You will pass this project quite easily because they walk you through each step, but you might not fully understand what a certain block of code does at this point.
Lesson 4: UI Kit Fundamentals
Introduced Topics: Outlets and Actions, View Presentations and Segues, The Delegate Pattern, TableViews, Navigation
This lesson covers two projects that build on top of each other.
Just like with Lesson3 and Pitch Perfect, Udacity basically takes you by the hand and guides you through the project. Many encounter their first lack of knowledge in this project when you have to set up a View all by yourself. There is again a lot of code to copy/paste without fully knowing what it does.
Project: MemeMe, Part 1, MemeMe, Part 2
MemeMe Part 1 lets you choose an image from your library or camera and allows you to add text to it. The Meme can then be saved.
MemeMe Part 2 includes a tableView that displays all your previously
The projects are quite easy to finish by following the instruction videos and having a good basic understanding of Swift.
I saw a good amount of people drop out after MemeMe Part1 because the amount of guidance from Udacity slowly starts thinning out. This is the phase where the students need to become more proactive and
But since the previous lessons are not structured well enough with an
emphasis on the basics, many don’t make the jump and feel overwhelmed.
Lesson 5: Network Requests and GCD
Associated Values, Guards, Errors, Generics, Closures, Networking Foundation: HTTP, Networking Foundation: Swift, Intro to Web Services, Consuming Data, Authentication, Deeper API Interaction, Common Networking Challenges
This is by far the hardest lesson to get through. The learning curve is extremely steep and if you already struggled with the later part of Lesson4, this might set you back several weeks if not months.
You start with a range of core concepts that are covered in the same way as the basics in Lesson2. A lot of very dry lessons that, if rushed, will cause problems while working on the project.
Project 5: On the Map
On the Map shows you the location of fellow students and lets you share yours as well.
You will build this app from the ground up, including authentication and networking. This is a huge step up from the projects done up until this point. If you don’t have a good understanding of Swift and previously covered topics, this is where you will have the biggest struggles. I saw a lot of students not making it past this project since they got discouraged and simply gave up.
What does OnTheMap look like?
- Login via Udacity to gain access to the Map
- See where in the world other students are studying and check out their provided link
- Set your own Pin with your own Link and Location
Also Read: Udacity Android Basics Nanodegree Review
Lesson 6: Data Persistence
Introduced Lessons: GCD and Queues, Background Lengthy Tasks, Simple Persistence, iOS File System, Introducing Core Data, The Core Data Stack, Simpler Code with Core Data, Rounding Out Core Data
The instructors put a lot of humor into their video material, making it fun to watch. The explanation is great, and it’s easy to follow. This lesson also includes an optional elective called “Firebase in a weekend” which you should definitely complete.
Lesson 6 also asks you to work on your LinkedIn Profile as well as your GitHub Profile, both of which can be submitted to get feedback on how to improve your online presence.
Project: Virtual Tourist
Virtual Tourist lets you create photo albums with fetched images from Flickr based on the location. You can alter those photo albums by adding your own images or deleting the ones you don’t like. All albums are saved and persisted in Core Data.
What does VirtualTourist look like?
- Set Pins with a long tap on the map
- Select a pin to view your collection
- Add new Images by pressing
new Collectionor tap existing images to remove them
Udacity gives you little to no guidance on how to create this App. They provide a list of requests and features your project needs to fulfill. This forces you to do your own research, and get very familiar with reading documentation to fix your issue.
Lesson 7: Final Project
The Lesson leading up to your final project does not cover any new swift concepts. The focus is on helping you create a prototype for your final app.
Project: You Decide! (Capstone Project)
Just as with Virtual Tourists, Udacity provides you with a set of basic requirements for your app. Even though it’s your app, there needs to be at least one element of each lesson included in your final project in order to pass.
How was my project experience
The projects were easy up until the middle of the program.
Starting from Lesson 5, the projects ramp up very heavily in complexity, which might cause students to feel discouraged or even stop learning all together.
The project reviews are one of the most rewarding and encouraging parts of the whole program. The reviewer really gives you a lot of information on what you did great and what you might want to improve in future projects. They also provided me with a lot of helpful literature to read, and learn from.
Thoughts on some Udacity features
The mentorship basically includes a list of common questions students had in the past regarding a specific project.
Oftentimes when you are stuck, someone else already had the same issue and the answer to your problem is right there. If you don’t find a post regarding your question, you can always post it as a new one. The mentor usually takes about a few hours to get back to you.
Absolutely loved the project reviews. The reviewers are providing you with the necessary praise and constructive criticisms to push you to get better. I saved every single link the reviewers gave me as an additional resource, and I am still coming back to those now and then.
The career services let you submit your LinkedIn Profile, GitHub Profile, resume or cover letter to be reviewed by Udacity before sending it to potential clients or employers. Definitely a great starting point after your graduation.
What you liked about Udacity (Pros):
I liked that it provided a starting point for my future path as a programmer. There is still a lot to learn, but I feel like Udacity provides a solid foundation
to build upon. I enjoyed connecting with peers in the chat and eventually helping the newer students with their problems.
Udacity should improve on (Cons)
At some parts, I felt the course was a bit outdated and Udacity should work on those modules to make it more interesting.
Do I Recommend Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree?
Overall, I do recommend the iOS development Nanodegree to others. I think it is a starting point to build a good foundation and get real feedback on your code. However, I do recommend purchasing additional learning materials or getting certain topics explained by other instructors on YouTube.
Very essential topics are often just briefly covered, causing a major lack of knowledge moving forward.
There is also a free mini course on Udacity you could check out before
enrolling in the Nanodegree: Swift for Beginners
Udacity is offering personalized discount.
While working full-time as a biochemical analyst, I managed to follow my passion and learn Swift programming. This is by far not the end of my journey but a good start, I am quite proud of. I started my Nanodegree Program in November and graduated mid April. Read my story.
The demand for iOS developers is highest in the market. The jobs are easy to find with the polished CV and a link to the apps that you have made previously.
The apps built up by iOS developer are used on iOS devices, meaning Apple devices. So, where the devices are expensive, the app’s developer will be costly too. This, in open words, means that iOS developers are paid highly.
Here are some other testimonials of Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree
Udacity iOS Nanodegree Reviews
I have finally completed all the requierments of iOS Developer Nanodegree program which is provided by Misk Academy and Udacity.
In this program I learned:
• Swift Programming
• Intro to iOS App Development with Swift
• UIKit Fundamentals
• Network Requests and GCD
• Data Persistence
I graduated from Udacity after 4 months of hard work and I got a great chances to work with many projects and think better also improve my skills
I did it last year and I thought it was great! The resume boost is nice! I can now put swift in the list of programming languages I know and list the nanodegree as a certificate I’ve earned. I also got 5 great projects to post on my github account.
Udacity really works to help you succeed. The lectures and examples work well to show you how professionals develop Swift iOS applications. Then the projects force you to implement and internalize what you’ve learned. The teachers and staff are really enthusiastic, patient, and supportive.
After three months of struggling with constraints and Swift syntax, finally, I got the Nanodegree Certificate! Now I am an iOS Nanodegree graduate, and I have the confidence to develop iOS app professionally.
I just have to say that Udacity helped me a lot to become an iOS Developer and thanks to this course, today I’m an associate iOS developer at a big agency in London. I got my job just after 2 months of my graduation.” – Marcela Ceneviva Auslenter
Overall Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree has a good rating of 4.5/5 and seems a good place to start your career as a iOS. developer. I think its worth a try.
I work as a Junior iOS Developer at Upstream Mobility.