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If you ever wanted to be an iPhone developer, but weren’t sure where to start, this might be the place.
Stanford University is now offering an entire course (iTunes link) in iPhone development through Apple’s (s appl) iTunes store, absolutely free. The only cost will be the $99 iPhone Development Program fee (if you aren’t already a registered developer). Plus, you don’t even have to commute to Palo Alto, Calif., which will definitely save a buck or two.
The course, the first installment of which is available now, is aimed at students who already have a basic familiarity with programming languages like C+ and C++, so if you were hoping to go in blind and come out with a game in the same league as something from ngmoco, you might want to consider heading back to school for that CS degree you always regretted not getting. That said, the course might prove very beneficial if you already have some development experience but haven’t felt brave enough to venture into the realm of Cocoa Touch.
The class currently available is basically just an introduction and a basic outline of the semester. During the course, students are expected to develop a number of basic apps, escalating in complexity and difficulty. Students will learn how to develop a native iPhone Twitter client, then are expected to develop their own app for the final project. The course covers the iPhone 2.0 SDK only, since the 3.0 beta is still restricted by an NDA. Still, if you want to gain a better understanding of the building blocks of iPhone development, there are far worse ways you could go about it.