iOS Apprentice or Video courses, where to start?


I currently work as a QA automation engineer, and have some experience coding and i want to take the next step to mobile development, and i figured iOS will be a good fit for me.

I’ve done the free video course from this site (and i love it btw):

Now i wanna know, where should i spend my money next: should i buy the book “iOS Apprentice” or should i become a video subscriber and do all the video courses in “Getting Started with iOS”.

The video courses way seems much cheaper, but i’m afraid i will be missing out. Also i’m a bit confused about what the book actually contains, it says : “These tutorials have easy to follow step-by-step instructions, and consist of more than 900 pages and 500 illustrations! You also get full source code, image files, and other resources you can re-use for your own projects.”

But it also says it includes the video course i just did. So is that like the only video course in it, and the rest are text + pictures?

Yeah so any help will be appreciated, thanks guys.

Hi @swiftwitcher, thank you for the positive feedback! It’s awesome that you are learning iOS development. If you are debating between the video courses and the book, it really might come down to your own learning style and preference. If you are a visual and auditory learner then the video courses might be better suited. However, the iOS apprentice book is also a great resource for learning how to build an app from the ground up. The book is easy to follow along and very organized. Again, you won’t go wrong with either learning experience, it really comes down to how you prefer to gain all this new knowledge!


@swiftwitcher Thanks very much for your question!

First off, congratulations on coming over to iOS development! This is going to be a long, but very enjoyable journey so roll up your sleeves and enjoy the ride :slight_smile:

My first advice for you is to get a foundation in the Swift language. Why? Let me give you an example:

Suppose you decided instead of doing iOS development, you wanted to write a novel…in Spanish. Great! The first thing you need to do before learning about creative writing, is to have a solid understanding of the Spanish language. The same goes for iOS development. My suggestion is to take your time and learn the Swift language first. Not necessarily an expert, but a good foundation. This way, you’ll begin to understand the code that is being used in our books, tutorials, and videos.

Between you, and me, I can’t really say which approach you should take. Books vs Videos. I would say don’t rush your approach, which would mean I would recommend (just my opinion) to start with Ray Wenderlich’s books on Swift first, and go through it perhaps once or twice to get a strong feel for the language. The benefit of learning Swift first is that as you learn iOS development, you won’t be wasting time struggling with issues that are language related.

I am now going to say something as someone who once was a beginner as well:

My advice would be to perhaps avoid the video subscription at first. As a beginner, seeing all of the videos right in front of you may be overwhelming, and in some cases, confusing. You may start a series here, and then start a series there, and so on. Ultimately, you may find that you haven’t really picked up any solid skills because you’ve only been “dabbling”. For this reason, I would suggest you buy the book first. Why? You can now focus, and concentrate on JUST ONE thing. No distractions. None. You now can simply tell yourself, “I am NOT going to do anything UNLESS, and UNTIL I finish this book cover to cover.” The books I wish to point out, are VERY hands on, so you’ll force yourself to learn by DOING and not JUST READING. I would recommend also that by reading a book, you’re able to sit back and reflect, and mull over the concepts. Perhaps even highlight or underline sections for emphasis. And perhaps, read it a second time, to ensure the material has sunk. When you finish going through one or two books like this, you will FEEL confident. You will FEEL EMPOWERED, and INDEPENDENT. You can now say, “Yes, I have accomplished this.”

Once you’ve done this, I would say it would make more sense to subscribe to the videos because now you have a foundation to understand them. You are now bringing something to the table. This added confidence will now help you tackle challenging problems because you have already gone through one or two books at least once, cover to cover. You were smart enough to finish those books, so now you are smart enough to go through the videos. Moreover, by having the foundation of having going through the books already, you’ll understand the terms the presenter in the videos is using, which means a better learning experience for you :slight_smile:

So my advice is to start with our Swift book, and then go with the iOS by Tutorials book, in that order. After that, then I would suggest you should subscribe to the our videos. :slight_smile:

Just my two cents. I apologize if I was out of line in any way. You know yourself best so by all means if you feel differently, follow your heart. You may be pleasantly surprised!

I hope this helps!

All the best!

Thanks for the feedback guys, will decided to date on what route should i go forward. One note to make, before i started the free video course, i did read the free apple swift book to get a better feel of the language.

I currently code my automation in both Ruby and Java, so it wasn’t that hard of a transition language wise (swift is smoother though compared to Java).

This! :point_up_2: A million times this!

I started learning iOS via videos, which was awesome because I followed along and ended up creating a simple app which was AMAZING! (I too had read Apple’s free book at that time)

I think this is the first step everyone should take - build your first app.

I built my first app following a video, then I tried to build my own app after, and realized really fast that I didn’t know what I was doing - spent days searching for that one line of code that would do what I wanted.

I turned to Apple’s Everyone Can Code series and completed their Intro to App Development & App Development free iBook/course - consisting of MANY simple apps.
I learned a LOT about Swift and put it into practice in small bite sized apps.

I then picked up → Swift Apprentice and learned so much MORE about Swift. I found I was able to do the challenges, I just knew what to do! Which was a first for me in programming - Java was not intuitive, I liked C++ better, but still I needed a ton of guidance)

I’m currently studying → iOS Apprentice. Although you only build 4 apps, these apps are jam packed full of both Swift and iOS info that will take you many days and sometimes weeks to complete, start to finish.

I see both these books as incredible resources as starting points of taking iOS development seriously/to the next level, and the forums here really breath life into these books. If you have any questions you can post within the book’s forum ( → Swift Apprentice & → iOS Apprentice) and get a response from the author themselves along with other members chiming in!

In iOS Apprentice, there are ‘Exercises’ scattered throughout each tutorial - bits where the author challenges you to take the code further and do X. I attempt these exercises regularly and get feedback and insight from other members with far more experience than me that guide me to better my code, and even challenge me to take it one or two steps further than the exercise!
It’s truly amazing!

I hope you find the path that works best for you :+1:

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@h1i2j3 Thank you for kind words! Much appreciated :slight_smile:

As for me, the book is a better way to start. Video courses are kind of fragmented, often start from half ready app, to implement some feature here and there, and continues with another half ready app in the next video session etc.
The book contains several apps constructed step by step from the very beginning to the Appstore ready state. With detailed explanation of every step, every piece of code.

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