Q: What is Swift?

A: Swift is a powerful and intuitive language for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.


Q: What is “App Development with Swift?”

A: As one of the books from Apple, Inc’s Everyone Can Code curriculum, “App Development with Swift” is available for free download to help participants learn how to build an app from start to finish. This course teaches the principles of programming and iOS application development using Apple’s own programming language, Swift. Participants will learn from a curriculum designed and developed by Apple engineers and educators with the guidance and support of program Mentors and experts assigned to your team. Ultimately, participants will develop iOS apps with Swift using Apple’s XCode.


Q: What will I be able to do upon completion of this program?

A: By the end of the course, you will be able to design and develop your own iOS app. Throughout the program, you will learn how to use Apple Xcode and the Swift programming language to implement your app.


Q: Who is this program designed for?

A: This program is designed for individuals who have no prior programming knowledge who aim to achieve basic proficiency in building apps with Swift. This is a “non-majors” course and is recommended for anyone who wants to acquire and enhance app development skills without the time investment required by more comprehensive coverage of computer science concepts.

The following are examples of people who could benefit from this program:

  • Anyone with something to say or something to sell that wants to reach a digital audience.
  • Individuals looking to start or grow their own company.
  • Individuals with knowledge of Marketing/Digital Marketing, Design, Business or any other background.
  • Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners that are looking to understand and be able to develop apps.
  • Individuals with a background in coding looking to build their app development skill set.


Q: What is the Experience Tour?

A: To kickoff InspireID, we will be hitting the road with Swift experts to visit 20 designated counties across the state of Idaho to demonstrate the amazing power of coding, the different career opportunities in this field, the ways we are bringing innovation to the state of Idaho and how you can join the new knowledge economy! Come out and learn what it takes to complete your own app!


Q: What if I can’t afford the program?

A: Don’t worry! The InspireID program is free. We ask participants to contribute to the program as they are able. Partnering Idaho employers are invited to sponsor high performing employees to complete the training.


Q: What equipment will be needed for this program?

A: A MacBook capable of running macOS 10.12.6 or later with WiFi capabilities, a web browser installed (such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox) and ability to watch videos. Make sure that you have permission to install new apps. You will be instructed to install Xcode and iBooks (if not already installed). Once materials are downloaded, independent work can be done offline.


Q: What if I don’t have a MacBook and can’t afford one?

A: We strongly encourage participants to take advantage of favorable purchase and lease opportunities available to the program. For those unable to obtain their own device, InspireID is offering a device lending program. Approved participants will be able to borrow a MacBook Air for the duration of the program training. These devices will be available to take offsite and will contain apps needed to complete the curriculum.

These devices may not be used for illegal activities. If inappropriately used, the device will be remotely deactivated and must be returned to the local program Mentor. InspireID is focused on removing barriers to skills development for the future of work – we’ll figure out how to get you a device! We want all participants to have equal access to success and the opportunity for a unique educational experience.


Q: What if I want to buy my own Mac for the program?

A: You can purchase your own MacBook with an Educational discount at the U of I VandalStore by calling (208) 885-5518 or Click Here to access the VandalStore Page.


Q: How can I help start an Inspire Idaho team in my town?

A: Community leaders around the state have utilized local funding opportunities (e.g. grants) to supply their own small MacBook Lending Library for local learners.  This is a great way to get a few devices into your town and help us launch another team.  We are also happy to work with anyone interested in leading a group in their own town.  Please contact Allie Simon at info@inspireidaho.org to discuss how you would like to help bring this program to your community!


Q: What if I have never coded?

A: Have no fear, coding experience is NOT required for participation in the program. The “App Development with Swift” curriculum is designed for people with any and all levels of coding experience. We want all Idaho citizens to have the opportunity participate in the new knowledge economy.


Q: How can I prepare for this program?

A: Apple has designed a curriculum, Everyone Can Code consisting of different books available for download. For first-time coders, Swift Playgrounds is an interactive and fun way to get started. To begin your path towards building your own app, the InspireID curriculum is based on the book “App Development with Swift.”  Note: you are NOT required to take courses before enrollment, we just want you to know about available resources to better your experience!


Q: What are the office hours?

A: Office hours will be held at designated meeting places for each team. These InspireID gathering places may be University of Idaho Extension offices or U of I Centers or other local facilities that can provide an inviting environment for teamwork with Swift. Experts and Mentors will be available to answer questions, review completed work, brainstorm ideas and provide lesson guidance. Designated times are established for participants to gather as a team in a supportive environment. The program is designed for individuals to learn at their own pace, but with the unique teamwork and office hours, participants will have extra resources to ensure success in the program!


Q: What if I live far away from where the office hours are held and transportation is an issue?

A: Office hours will be offered through a video conferencing option to serve any participant unable to physically attend designated locations. Again, we want this program to work for every individual; we understand the balancing act of life, but don’t let challenges stop you from opportunities!  Further directions and schedules will be provided to participants anticipating participation through a video connection. Of course, adequate bandwidth will be required to participate via video.


Q: How will this help my future?

A: The app economy is anticipated to soon reach the $6 trillion mark. As the prevalence of apps grows, InspireID will provide every citizen the chance to learn how to participate in the new knowledge economy. Participants will experience guidance and mentorship University of Idaho faculty and staff and from industry experts as they gather skills to rapidly and affordably prepare for emerging job opportunities. Upon completion of the program, participants will also receive a verified badge of competency from the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene marking their achievement and ability to create apps with Swift.


Q: What is the partnership between Innovation Collective, University of Idaho, and major industry partners?

A: InspireID is a unique public-private partnership that was formed around the common belief of improving knowledge economy skills development for the entire state of Idaho. Innovation Collective (IC) is a company with the mission of helping people, cities, and companies understand and prepare for the future of work. IC reimagines the way we work and live through connection, innovation, and participation. As Idaho’s land-grant research institution, University of Idaho (U of I) is statewide with research and learning centers each of the three corners of the state and University Extension offices in 42 of 44 Idaho counties. With this broad reach, U of I is taking a lead role in developing new opportunities to train citizens for the future of work. This program also reflects recognition of significant disruption to traditional higher education and the need to adapt in order to better serve Idahoans. InspireID is joining with major industry leaders to provide current, relevant, and applicable tools, training and experiences to our workforce in support of the state economy. We are dedicated to providing non-traditional learning and an expansion of programs statewide for anyone willing to take advantage of the opportunity!

© 2018 Inspire Idaho. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Shadows of History – Evan Jones.