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iPhone Programming Projects, Fall 2010

As the mobile app business expands, several of Simpson’s computer science students took to the challenge of writing and programming their own iPhone applications.

According to Mark Brodie, assistant professor of computer science, the department decided to teach the class in response to the iPhone’s increase in popularity. Although the phone hit the market in 2007, Brodie says relatively few colleges offer classes in programming.

“It’s a new area of mobile programming that students need to get some exposure to,” Brodie said.

According to senior computer science major Chris Wiegert, the class spent the first half of the semester learning Objective-C, the programming language of the iPhone. For Wiegert, this remained one of the most challenging aspects of the course.

“Anytime you learn a new language, it’s kind of difficult to pick up initially,” Wiegert said. “But I think once you catch on to it, it sort of becomes second nature.”

After using and learning Objective-C, the students went on in the second half of the semester to design and program their own applications. Apps produced in the class ranged from a tree identifier by senior Lindsey Graham to a Hy-Vee shopping app produced by junior Bob Trimble.

Wiegert, who produced a game called Word Assembler, believes that the experience he received in the class will transfer to the job market when he graduates.

“Some places are looking for people who can program the iPhone,” Wiegert said. “It’s kind of a newer thing I guess so not a lot of people have experience in it.”

Continuing in the future, Brodie believes the college will continue to offer the iPhone programming class and is already looking at offering a second class in Android programming.