Jeremy Snepar is the CEO and founder of the New York Code + Design Academy, an institution that offers hands-on, intensive workshops in web and mobile app development and UI/UX design. Prior to the New York Code + Design Academy, Jeremy was the Executive Vice President of the New York Film Academy. The Makegood recently spoke with Snepar about NYCDA becoming the first school to teach a course on Apple’s new Swift language.
The Makegood: Congratulations on becoming the first programming school to teach a course on Apple’s new Swift development language. What is the importance of teaching this language, and how did your institution get to be the first one to teach it?
Swift is going to change the way people learn iOS/OS X development. Schools have been struggling to teach programming beginners Objective-C. It is a really hard language to learn because you have to worry about many things from your first program on — understanding how functions work, working with files, and learning how to manage system resources and memory. Swift is type-safe and takes care of memory management for you, making it much more similar to Ruby or Python than to C or Java. In short, this new syntax and style will do to iOS development what Ruby/Rails and Python/Django did to web development — open it up to a much wider audience!
We were the first school to launch an in-person Swift class because we have a pair of excellent teachers, Trevor Caira and Justin Prieto. They have been running their iOS consultancy, Bitbase, for quite a while now. These iOS experts have already tapped into the magic of Swift and will have plenty of time to adapt our curriculum to fit the already beginner-friendly new language.
The Makegood: How does this language fit into Apple’s innovative nature, and how does the program fit into the nature of The New York Code + Design Academy?
Apple consistently produces some of the most engaging products in the market, and now with the release of Swift, Apple is enabling a whole new class of creators to build apps for these products. Our mission at the New York Code + Design Academy is to teach anyone and everyone to code, and Apple’s release of Swift helps make our mission more achievable.
The Makegood: To what extent is this class important to the incoming students? What will they be able to take from the class?
For any student interested in building mobile apps for the iPhone, Swift is now a critical component of their education. At the New York Code + Design Academy, we strive to teach our students cutting-edge development technologies and that’s why we are incorporating Swift into our curriculum.
The 16-week program will start off with an introduction to Xcode, the iOS programming environment and the Swift programming language. Throughout the course, students will gain a solid understanding of the architecture of iOS applications, learn how to structure and organize applications, and become well-versed in the most important iOS SDKs and the leading open-source toolkits most valued by professional mobile developers. Students will build a portfolio showcasing their proficiency in interactive, persistent, networked iOS application development. They will build several fully functional iPhone apps during their time in class.
The Makegood: How can the students apply what they have learned during the program to their real world experiences? In other words, what kind of occupation would most likely benefit from a graduate of this program?
All classes at the New York Code + Design Academy are hands-on and designed to introduce students to a collaborative learning environment that resembles a professional development studio. Upon graduating, students will understand the process of building a mobile app and have a portfolio of the apps that they have built.
Almost every company I can think of has a mobile app and since our students graduate with the skills to build and maintain mobile apps. I think their skills are translatable across a broad range of occupations.
The Makegood: What do you see for the future of this program? Do you see other companies developing a similar program?
We will continue offering the evening iOS workshop multiple times per year and are looking forward to launching both a full time intensive and an online intensive in the near future.
I think any company interested in teaching mobile app development for the iPhone will have to incorporate Swift into their curriculum.
The Makegood: Thank you, Jeremy.