iPhone Development Tutorials Hit The Mark

I’m accustomed to getting occasional emails expressing appreciation for our iPhone development tutorials, but this one I received last week really blew me away. Here it is in its entirety:

Dear Mr. Lehr:

A small note to convey my sentiments regarding your tutorials.

The internet is rife with many iPhone tutorials. Unfortunately, many of them appear to be a re-hashing of the same tutorials and code providing little value. Almost all of them also use Interface Builder, which, though useful and has its valued purpose, is not always helpful in terms of a teaching instrument the way its applied (which appears to have more to do with reducing the needed educational content and replacing it with a few click and drags).

Your tutorials are unique in that they approach the programming tasks from the programmatic perspective instead of the Interface Builder perspective. This is novel and exposes your genuine interest in providing an actual education regarding the subject matter. This alone is outstanding, setting you apart from almost every other tutorial offering available. Indeed, it’s been my experience that only the “real pros” that offer the programmatic approach in tandem or as an alternative to the Interface Builder approach.

Your tutorial projects are complete. By way of example, Editable TableView, is a complete project which illustrates the commonly required aspects of this kind of project. Most tutorials available on the internet are incomplete, showing only a small portion of a project, or worse: offering a code snippet, and therefore devoid of the broader application context.

Your tutorials are well annotated, in a manner many commercial firms would use. Your comments are as complete as the code and projects, always being sure to convey the underlying code issues and therefore always explaining the real issues at hand.

It would not be fair to complain about the quality of other tutorials as they are often provided free and represent an effort by people in the community to provide something to others at their own expense. That said, sometimes the tutorials are nothing more than resources designed for commercial purposes, such as selling a book, and this interest comes through as a more pressing priority than the tutorial itself rendering them to various stages of uselessness. Whilst I would suggest yours are also provided for commercial purposes, the efforts put forward allows your offerings to standalone as quality work in and of themselves. This underscores your professionalism and again underscores your commitment to training.

Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? Someone who doesn’t know you taking 20 minutes to tell you. at length, how impressive your tutorials are and why. That’s a result of the impact you have made — your doing. I only wish I would have found them when I had started working with the iPhone a couple of years ago! In the meantime, I have become a professional on the nature and quality of other tutorials and can speak from a position of experience.

Please kindly accept my commendations on such a terrific job on your tutorials. Your contribution is as outstanding as it is impressive. You certainly set a new bar, which, though perhaps not hard to move, clearly took considerable effort and skill to move it to where you have. Very nice work. Thanks for setting such a fine new standard. I wish you the very best.


[Name withheld by request]

Vancouver, BC, Canada

It’s incredibly gratifying to know that someone has gotten that much out of the tutorials. And I really, really appreciate the feedback. Thanks!


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