Aaron Hillegass is the 10-gallon cowboy-hat wearing CEO of Big Nerd Ranch, which he founded in 2001. He started programming at the age of 10 in the basement of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. At 19, Aaron took his first professional programming job with the Mitre Corporation in their Advanced Signal Processing Lab. He wrote the data structures library for Tower Eiffel, before leaving to work on Wall Street to help create mortgage-backed securities, a device that would, fifteen years later, bring our entire economy to its knees. Aaron was also a developer trainer at NeXT in 1995 - 1997. Shortly after NeXT was bought by Apple, Aaron left to start his own company.
In 2000 Aaron was asked to teach Apple engineers how to write apps for this new Operating System: Mac OS X. After spending the summer of 2000 volunteering at the Omega Institute in Rhineback, NY, he decided to apply the monastic idea of a retreat to technical training, and Big Nerd Ranch was born. Big Nerd Ranch taught its first course in March of 2001.
MacTech consistently names Aaron one of the top 25 most influential people in the Mac community. An accomplished speaker, Aaron has lectured at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), ApacheCon, and C4. He has given the keynote at all the "Voices That Matter" iPhone Developers Conferences. He also gave the keynote at BZMedia's iPhone/iPad DevCon.
Aaron is also a best selling author. "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" was published in December of 2001. "Cocoa Programming" is widely considered the Bible of Mac development. It is now in its third edition and has been translated into French, German, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. He is also the co-author of "Advanced Mac OS X Programming" and "iOS Programming: the Big Nerd Ranch Guide" now in its 5th edition. He was one of two developers who wrote topsXtreme, a orthodontic practice management system based on Cocoa and PostgreSQL. He has also written applications for UPS, Z-Systems, and Apple, among others.
Today, Aaron continues leading Big Nerd Ranch as the company grows based on its philosophy of: We Develop We Teach We Write. Big Nerd Ranch is internationally respected as a leader in the programming and app development world.
Chief Executive Officer
Feb 28, 2001 - Current (over 15 years)
|Feb 19, 2016||PRNewswire All - Beyond the Screen: Big Nerd Ranch and Amazon Create No-Cost Training Courses for Building Voice Experiences for Services and Devices|
|Aug 11, 2015||Info World - Stop the funeral! Objective-C is alive and kicking|
|Apr 8, 2014||Cult of Mac - No WWDC Ticket? Check Out AltConf Instead|
|Jun 11, 2013||Cult of Mac - AltWWDC Panel Disappointed At WWDC Keynote’s Non-Developer Focus|
|May 24, 2013||Wired News - The App Can Wait: Nextdoor's Big Bet on Slow iGrowth|
|May 24, 2013||Wired News - The App Can Wait: Nextdoor’s Big Bet on Slow iGrowth|
|Nov 5, 2012||Bloomberg - A Big Nerd Trades His Corner Office for a Cubicle|
|Apr 27, 2012||Wired News - Apple Reportedly Canceling WWDC Orders for Multiple Tickets|