A couple of months ago, I followed what I thought was a fairly innocuous link on Twitter to a site called NSScreencast. How wrong I was…
The site, curated and created by Ben Scheirman, offers weekly video podcasts on a variety of iOS development topics. Ben offers a few episodes for free, with the mainstay of the site’s content being accessed by taking out a subscription. The cost is a relatively meagre $9 a month, which nets you a new episode each week. If you’re a new subscriber, you also have the added bonus that your first month’s subscription fee gives you access to all prior episodes.
The beauty of many of the tutorials is that they come in at under 30 minutes, often around the 15 minute mark. Not that this is a disadvantage; the content is so well curated and so well explained, that Ben clearly outlines the topic and developing the solution within the duration of the podcast. The tuition is well paced and with each episode being so short, it’s never an issue to re-watch episodes over to fully digest them.
Ben has also set up an excellent process for determining the topics for each podcast, by setting up a UserVoice site, where members can suggest new topics or vote on existing suggestions for future episodes. The topics can vary greatly in level, from basic introductions to Core Data and Cocoapods to more expert topics, such as working with web services and dealing with the nuances of their interfaces.
Since subscribing, I have refactored my app more than a couple of times, thanks to coverage of some very useful open-source libraries (AFNetworking and SSPullToRefresh), some excellent Core Data techniques and also because of introducing me to Cocoapods.
I would highly recommend NSScreencast to any iOS developers, new or otherwise, because of it’s well-produced, concise and frequently useable video tutorials, especially for what amounts to $2.25 a week. Give the free episodes a try and I’m sure you’ll find yourself wanting to see all of them!