All about making your iPhone app look good.

All about making your iPhone app look good.

I was inspired today by an article a friend pointed me to about how the amount of Javascript on news sites vastly overwhelms the amount of text. The article itself is worth looking at ( in fact, it’s less an article than a PowerPoint presentation). I taught New Media Studies at the Columbia University’s J-School for a few years, and we barely touched on the power of Javascript to make material come alive – the students in my class were journalists, writers; they didn’t want to geek out on code, they just wanted to know how to get their material in front of a wired audience.

But in a few short years, the landscape has shifted entirely. Go to that link, above, and look at the numbers. Click through until you see the job ad placed by the New York Times for a Javascript coder to work as part of the journalistic and editorial team to get their material onto the web in an engaging way. The amount of code on news sites today dwarfs the amount of news, and you’re forced to ask yourself where the meaning is held in a digital news article, and by what means it is communicated.

I know Javascript – I’m not an expert, but I’m okay at it. My current emphasis is on learning the iPhone, and I’ve posted about it before. Today, I started and finished an entire short course on graphics development and use in iPhone apps – It was this course at Udemy. Frankly, I don’t recommend the course – it’s out of date and emphasizes a static approach to graphical design that attempts to represent physical surfaces in the digital world (it’s called Skeuomorphism and it’s very out of date).

Still, I finished the course and learned some method syntax in Objective-C, learned how to pull together a set of graphics and apply them to Apple’s default objects. Not bad for a night’s lazing about the ranch-house. I’ll get back to my longer, regular iPhone App course later in the week, but this little 65 minute diversion was time well spent.

Programming is the language of tomorrow and everyone should know a bit of it. Javascript, Objective-C, HTML… anything. Grab yourself an online course and do a little coding: You don’t want to wake up and find yourself functionally illiterate in 2020.

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