Girls Who Code iPhone App Development Course Review

One of my daughters recently took the Girls Who Code iPhone App Development course.

This was a two-week summer course, taught 9 am to 4 pm in a high school computer science classroom. The first week the girls were taught the basics of the Swift programming language and iPhone App development. The second week the girls formed into 4-person teams and wrote their own iPhone apps.

The girls learned how to use modern software development tools like Stack Overflow, GitHub, and Trello.

Much of the instruction during the first week was by way of working through examples from a private Girls Who Code website.

What worked well:

  • The girls learned the basics of iOS app development, especially the Interface Builder.
  • The girls learned how to work in small teams, how to design apps, how to meet deadlines, etc.
  • The girls were motivated by the assignment of writing an app to improve society/the world.
  • The girls learned how to present their final project to a group.

What could have been better:

  • From watching to the final presentations, it seems like all the teams had trouble merging their changes. Every team reported that they had “lost” files and changes.
    • I think an hour spent explaining how to deal with git merges and conflicts, and more tutor hand-holding during merging would be helpful.
  • The course instructors were not familiar with advanced iOS programming, and could not help teams that wanted to explore more advanced iOS techniques.

Overall I think this was a well run course, with good value for money. It would be appropriate for a high school girl who was already comfortable programming in Python or Java, and was looking to learn the basics of iOS programming.