Bottle Rocket Developer Bootcamp Re-Cap

by Bottle Rocket


On Saturday, April 30th, from 10am to 4pm, the Developer and Creative teams here @_BottleRocket hosted our first Developer Bootcamp for IT college students around the Dallas area.  Our goal for hosting these events quarterly is not only to help build the iOS community in Dallas, but also to lay a foundation for Dallas to become the epicenter of magnificent mobile minds.  Plus, we’d like to identify potential Interns for our paid Summer and Winter term programs.  Maybe these kids will be future “Rocketeers” one day soon?



One of our head developers, Doug Russell, lead the teaching and here’s his re-cap  and next steps from the event for those who attended.  And, those of you who wish to take the “Tweet Rocket Challenge” below, whether you attended or not, we look forward to your results!




Before you write anything take a few minutes to gather some information. Skim through Apple’s docs, consider picking up a book, try to make a project and get it to do something.


Here are some resources we recommend:



Beginning Videos

Beginning Docs

Learning Objective-C

Creating an iPhone App


Big Nerd Ranch Guide

Programming in Objective-C 2.0


Cocoa Design Patterns

Cocoa Samurai

Cocoa With Love



Tweet Rocket

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to make an iPhone app that parses a Twitter search feed.


1.  Create a project using the Navigation-based Application template.  Call it TwtRkt.  This template will create a project with a navigation controller hosting a table view controller called RootViewController.  RootViewController is where we’ll be doing most of our work.


2.  Assign the provided loading screen and icon.


3.  Add JSONKit (provided at camp on Saturday) to the project and import it into RootViewController.


4.  Download twitter search results from the URL: as NSData using NSURLConnection as an asynchronous process.


5.  Parse that data into an NSDictionary using JSONKit.


6.  Populate the table view with the array stored in the parsed dictionary with the key @”results”.  Relevant Fields: * Who sent the tweet * The content of the tweet * How long ago was the tweet posted (or when it was posted)




URL Programming Guide


NSDictionary Class Reference


NSNumber Class Reference


Table View Programming Guide


NSDateFormatter Class Reference





1. Download and display avatars for the users who posted the resulting tweets



2. Thread your networking (most especially your image downloading)



3. Add a refresh button that goes to get fresh tweets using the return refresh URL



4. Progress indicator while download is happening.



5. Make it a universal (iphone/ipad) app

UIActivityIndicatorView Class Reference


Threading Programming Guide(NSURLConnection on a secondary thread has to be synchronous, not asynchronous)



1. Use NSData, NSString, etc initWithContentsOfURL: methods. These are not the best or even really an ok way to do networking. 2. Do any UI work on any thread other than the main thread.


DO: Ask questions… If you run into trouble or need some clarification, feel free to contact Doug:  doug(dot)russell(at)bottlerocketapps(dot)com


photos by Jenni Leder, awesome Art Director @_BottleRocket


See more information and slides here:


Finally, huge THANK YOUs to all who attended… We had a blast and hope you did, too!