[Editors note: Big Nerd Ranch has sponsored two posts on 9to5mac allowing readers to go to Nerd Camp for free – previous post]

Hello one final time, 9to5Mac readers.

Greetings from the environs of greater Atlanta. I’m writing to you from the airport following an altogether enjoyable week at Big Nerd Ranch. My previous two entries to you offered a glimpse of the overall experience of iOS Bootcamp at Big Nerd Ranch, along with a look at how the class sessions can fulfill the promise of a well-rounded education in iOS. For my final report to you, I’d like to say something about the people and social experience of iOS Bootcamp.

Let me start by talking about the staff of Big Nerd Ranch itself. To a person, they were the epitome of courtesy and enthusiasm. I’ve already mentioned the excellence of Joe Conway as an instructor. But it was pretty easy to tell from my interactions with the other staff at Nerd Ranch HQ– in e-mail correspondence, phone calls, and direct personal encounters– that Big Nerd Ranch is an excellent place to work and that those who are employed there love their jobs.


That enthusiasm was pretty infectious, rubbing off on the 20 or so of us attendees of iOS Bootcamp. Of course, each of the attendees was already deeply committed to the joys of programming. But I think the enthusiasm of the BNR staff generated an additional energy and rapport among those of us in the Bootcamp. I’ve made mention in past entries of the way the structure of the class sessions contributes to the learning that occurs there. But the time outside the coding sessions is also nicely structured to contribute to the success of the camp. All meals are eaten in a common area of the Banning Mills lodge with other Bootcamp attendees; suppers take place around one long table. That communal dining experience lends itself to good conversation and sharing of ideas about programming, life, and the world. The Bootcamp attendees come from diverse walks of life and far-flung parts of the world, so the talk around the dining table was consistently interesting, and it leant itself to a certain bond of solidarity among many of us, all pursuing a common enterprise.

That solidarity was undoubtedly strengthened by the one big social outing of the week, an adventure on the zipline course for which Banning Mills is famous. The course involves climbs across gently swaying rope-and-wood bridges some 50-100 feet above the forest floor, followed by descents in harnesses down steel lines at speeds approaching 35 mph. The faster heart-beating we all experienced on the course was undoubtedly due at first to an altogether expected nervousness, but later was the result of the exhilaration of the “zips” and the picturesque vistas they offered of the forested hills of western Georgia. Needless to say, when you’re relying on your fellow Bootcamp attendees to make sure your harness clips are secure, you develop a certain social bond with them!

I hope my entries over the course of a week have given you a glimpse of the high-quality experience which a Big Nerd Ranch iOS Bootcamp can be. If you are an intrepid soul who is looking to explore the world of iOS app development and who has at least a little previous programming experience, I can recommend the Bootcamp enthusiastically and without reservation. You’ll be “app”t to count it as a deeply memorable and rewarding time of coding and learning.

Written by Chad Mohler Aug 20, 2011

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