While I’ve previously written about Bitfountain’s iOS 8 course, they have finally released their new Immersive iOS9 course hot after the WWDC 15 Announcement, but with some drastic changes from the way they did things before. On one front, their focus is entirely upon iOS9 and Swift. I’m not sure what will happen to their previous courses be it Android or Sketch, but I guess once their students for those courses are finished, they’ll have to look for other courses to supplement their learning if they want to take their Android or Sketch education beyond what they offer.
It seems that they’ve put all their eggs.. or more appropriately all their apples into the Apple basket. On one hand, this is a great thing for folks focused on the iOS ecosystem and looking to learn and build apps specifically in Apple’s latest iteration of Swift – Swift 2.0.
Another big move they’ve made is transition off of Fedora, in a similar fashion when they moved from Udemy to Fedora, the platforms where they had bootstrapped their company to this point. I don’t think there will be any changes to the learning experience for students other than it getting better as they have the flexibility of crafting a learning experience exactly to the degree that they want and are not at the mercy of Udemy or Fedora’s course platforms.
Students can still access their iOS 8, Android and Sketch Immersive courses over at fedora.bitfountain.io
The design of the NEW Bitfountain
The layout is still quite overwhelming as I’ve previously written about in the Bitfountain iOS 8 Course Review, but it from their promise of making the course better and better on a week to week basis, I’m guessing that involves structuring the UI and UX so it’s more easily consumed via “Tracks” much like Treehouse or breaking down their courses into smaller self contained courses that cover one particular area.
Looking at the long list of videos to get through is kind of stressful for me to look at. Not to say that it isn’t hard enough already to learn, but the layout of the courses can use a bit of work.
Bite sized learning
It seems that they haven’t deviated away from their approachable “chunking down” large bodies of iOS knowledge into approachable bite sized chunks that you can digest within a day or two as opposed to facing the prospect of navigating something as daunting as Table Views or Core Data.
Emphasis on communities
Probably the best thing about the guys at Bitfountain is that they are really responsive through any of their community channels. Whether it’s leaving a comment or questions on Disqus, Twitter or Facebook, they are on the ball and give constructive yet positive feedback that almost acts like a nudge of encouragement. I think they know the pains and struggles of their students very well and can empathize with their students in away that no other course has yet to match from my experiences thus far.
Heck, they even answered on this very blog in my review of their iOS 8 course. How cool is that??
I can imagine that they’ll eventually roll out a forums feature that’s a bit more structured than just through Disqus and social media channels, where students can help other students as well.
Focus on Shipping Projects – Small then big
As always, following the steps of their previous courses, the emphasis is to focus on shipping projects, from the most basic where they provide all the training wheels you need until encouraging you to figure out things on your own.
Their method hasn’t changed in terms of needing to know a bunch of Swift first (although does help). You’ll learn Xcode first and then they start introducing more advanced concepts to keep you steadily progressing
The goal is to get you to a stage where you’re familiar enough with Swift and Xcode 7 to be able to ship projects into the App Store on your own.
It seems they have 8 projects and counting for you to sink your teeth into (as of writing this) as they release new modules on a week to week basis.
Developing Job Ready iOS candidates
They’re making a bold statement by attempting to create job ready job candidates. While I certainly can’t speak from my own experiences that I’d be “job ready” by learning online (and not full-time) only through Bitfountain, I think it would be a bit of a stretch to make the statement without presenting any evidence, numbers or case studies on how any of their previous students were able to land jobs. Even if there were a few, there would be a good number that should be able to stand up or come out in droves giving them testimonials. I think your mileage may vary when it comes to landing a job as a viable iOS candidate.