You might wonder why there’s a lesson zero. Well for one, it sounds cool, and two we already wrote like 13 lessons and it would take forever to rename them all.

Also we want to orient you with some things.

Basic Outline

The series is broken into lessons. To make things easy, we keep it to usually just one new concept per lesson. At the end of each lesson there will be an activity, or project, for you to do. Each project builds directly off the last. That’s not conceptual, you will literally be altering the same piece of work to make it more complex. That leads us to the next point.

Stay Organized!

Since you’ll be creating a lot of files and altering old projects with each lesson, you need to adopt some primitive version control. You need to be able to go back to previous versions of your work to look at what you were doing and see how its evolved. You can’t do this if you start with one project and just keep changing it without backing up.

We’re big advocates of doing things neatly so here’s what works for us.

  1. Make a folder called, “Mobile App Learnin'” or something
  2. Within that create a folder called “lesson-1″
  3. Put the files you make for lesson 1 into that folder
  4. When you move on to lesson 2, simply duplicate the “lesson-1″ folder and rename it “lesson-2″

Voila! You now have a perfect snapshot of what your project looked like in a past lesson. If you screw up the current lesson beyond belief, you can just duplicate the last one and start from a point that you know isn’t broken.

Lesson Examples

We are benevolent teachers and want you to know what a correct example of any given lesson project is supposed to look like. To that end there is a completed example project for every lesson.

Downloading Examples

We host our code on a site called GitHub. GitHub is a code sharing site that allows you to store and control several versions of a particular project. Using the site itself is kinda difficult, but luckily you only need to know one thing, and that’s how to download the examples.

Over there in the right bottom quarter you can see it says “Download ZIP”. Click that and you’ve got yourself a copy of the example project.

Software

Text Editor

For Mac: We recommend TextWrangler. You’ll need OSX 10.6.8 or later. If you have an earlier Mac, try out Smultron.

For Window: Notepad ++ is tried and true.

File Transfer Application (optional)

If you want to host your projects online you’ll need one. Cyberduck is an excellent program that we recommend. You can check out this lesson for more info on FTP and managing files in general.