Learn to build apps for Apple devices

iOS developers use the Swift, Objective-C and C programming languages to build apps. These languages, along with the iOS SDK from Apple allow you to build apps for iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV and Apple Watch, and even macOS apps. Many devices have interesting hardware that you can interface with, such as: Bluetooth, location services (GPS, maps) and media capture (photos, video, audio).


Objective-C was introduced in the early 1980s and is still being used today to build apps. Swift was introduced in 2014 but is built with design patterns and architectures from Objective-C and C and many other well-thought-out languages. Both languages work with the Cocoa (macOS) & Cocoa Touch (iOS) libraries Apple has built and can be used within the same app using a technology called bridging.


A recent graduate explains their final project at Demo Day

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Here's what you'll learn

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to solve programming tasks using Swift & Objective-C, giving you the ability to create dynamic applications that function like Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and others. With a working knowledge of modern iOS frameworks, you’ll graduate with a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful iOS programmer in the industry today.

Remember though, just knowing punctuation doesn’t make you a great writer. In the same sense, just knowing Swift or Objective-C doesn’t make you great at building apps; that’s the easy part of mobile development. The emphasis in our 12-week immersive courses is to teach you to think like an engineer. Programming is a lifelong study, and our goal is for you to learn how to learn so you remain highly valuable for the rest of your career.

Each instructor and class stays agile so that the curriculum can adapt as tools and languages evolve with demand in local markets, but we ensure that each student graduates with the same core mobile development skillset.


Students in Greenville take notes during class

Get the syllabus
Enter your email and we will send you a printable version of our Mobile Engineering with Swift, Objective-C and iOS SDK syllabus.

Programming Fundamentals

  • Swift and Objective-C foundations

    We dive deep into Swift & Objective-C and cover types, functions, classes, scope, blocks, pointers and much more. Learn the right way to build applications with a clear understanding of both languages that are crafted specifically for Apple development. Frameworks you may see: Foundation, UIKit.

  • Design patterns

    We build habits using repetition to cultivate good coding practices. We’ll explore MVC (model view controller), OOP (object oriented programming) vs FP (functional programming), protocols, extensions, and many more ways to organize, reduce, and reuse code.

  • Interface Builder

    Mastering Interface Builder is crucial to building an interesting and engaging user interface for your app. We’ll cover things like Auto Layout, visual design fundamentals, typography, segues, and organizing your app’s screens into a design hierarchy that allows your users to get around and get things done.

  • Third-party libraries and services

    There are many frameworks and services that have been built to seamlessly integrate alongside Apple’s libraries. We have selected a few that are used by teams currently in the industry. Tools you may see: AFNetworking, FireBase, Fabric, CocoaPods.

  • App Store

    Prepping for the App Store can be daunting. We make sure to cover all of the steps and pieces you need to submit your app to Apple. We cover the basics of the developer account and submitting your app for approval within Apple’s guidelines.

  • Cocoa Touch libraries

    We cover the core libraries to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of most frameworks. Discover the building blocks to things like media manipulation, network requests, user interface creation, and other hardware functionality. Frameworks you may see: CoreLocation, HealthKit, CoreImage, CoreMotion, CoreData, CoreGraphics, SpriteKit.

  • Unit and UI testing

    While development is mostly writing code that runs a process, there are moments where the process could fail. We test our code to eliminate the surprise when your app crashes after someone uses it in a way you didn’t expect. Tools you may see: Unit Tests, UI Tests.

Tools & Teamwork

  • Mobile tools

    We use Xcode as our primary tool, yet there are some cases where we might need to step outside of it. Tools you may see: Paw, Postman, Dash, AppCode.

  • Databases as a service

    Our mobile students can do a massive amount of database work on their apps with some great online tools for data management and aggregation. Tools you may see: CloudKit, Firebase, Backendless.

  • Version control

    Master version control for personal and team workflows. All of your code will live online from day one. Tools you may see: Git, Github, Markdown.

Beyond the Terminal

  • Learn from the pros

    Guest speakers and more! Our students get real world exposure early and often during class.

  • Getting hired

    We do mock interviews, resume writing and portfolio building. Grads have weekly meetings with our team to help find exciting jobs and projects.

  • Freelance fundamentals

    Seasoned contractors show you how to find good work, write contracts, set expectations, price well and communicate with clients.


Is this right for you?

Before we get into specifics, we need to let you know that this class is going to be very challenging. The material gets really hard, really fast. All of the work is very do-able, but if you think you’re going to develop professional level skills in a cushy 40 hour week, this isn’t the place for you. (The average student puts in about 60 hours per week, minimum). We don’t require you to know code to start with, but you need to have tried it and enjoyed it. If that’s you, go ahead and apply now. If not, try a few exercises to see.

We’re family people, so our goal is for you to work as hard as possible in class so you can find joy in a great job, freelance work, or starting your own company when you’re done. We’re proud of all of the different types of people who have come through The Iron Yard, and we don’t have stereotypes of what a programmer is like. We’ve taught students from 18 to 50 years old, from different countries and all sorts of backgrounds.

You will be focusing on iOS development throughout this course, but can take the things you have learned to build for macOS and tvOS as well. This course will cover both Swift & Objective-C and give you an understanding of the differences between the languages. Here’s an overview of the skills our students learn in our Mobile Engineering courses:

• Build fast, production-quality iOS applications
• Create robust, beautiful interfaces
• Learn object-oriented & functional programming
• Practice full stack app development through the creation of dozens of self-contained projects
• Understand how to interact with web APIs to create feature-rich apps
• Most importantly, learn how to learn

How much does it cost?

You can read about tuition, financing and scholarships on our Tuition Page. We offer great financing options, have significant discounts for enlisted military personnel/veterans, and sponsor a Women in Tech Scholarship.

What we look for:

  • Hard Worker

    Like we said above, this won’t be a walk in the park. Prepare for a rigorous course.

  • Self Motivated

    If you need to be micro-managed, this isn’t the place for you.

  • Works Well With Others

    You’ll be assigned to groups for projects, and each person’s role will be crucial.

  • Interested in Learning

    Even if you know basics (or more), you might have to unlearn some things. We’ll start from the ground up as a team, and there won’t be room for egos.

  • Ready to Have Fun

    We work hard, play hard, and laugh every single day. We do the best work we possibly can, but we make sure not to take ourselves too seriously.


Let's talk.

Whether you're thinking about starting a new career, interested in learning more about our programs for individuals or businesses, or just want to chat, we're here and we'd love to connect with you. Shoot us an email or your phone number and we'll get back to you soon, or you can chat with us right away using the chat icon below.

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Learn app development with our 12-week course

Our mobile engineering course will not only teach you the basics of mobile app development, but will teach you to think like a mobile engineer. Students will learn app development and create fully-functioning mobile applications using Objective-C, Swift and iOS SDK. Mobile engineering course graduates will be well-positioned to join an existing development team, build their own products, or enter the freelancing world.

Remember: learning app development doesn’t only make you great at building apps; that’s the easy part of mobile engineering. The emphasis in our 12-week immersive mobile engineering course is to teach you to think like an engineer. Programming is a lifelong study, and our goal is for you to learn how to learn so you remain highly valuable for the rest of your career.