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agkm800
Jul 5, 2009, 08:00 AM
No formal computer training. No programming background. Just an average Joe.

Can I teach myself to become an app developer? If yes, where do I start?



SRossi
Jul 5, 2009, 08:57 AM
No formal computer training. No programming background. Just an average Joe.

Can I teach myself to become an app developer? If yes, where do I start?

Have a look at the Apple Developer Center, download Xcode which is apples main development IDE. Look at some apple examples on learning objective-C and perhaps even buy Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan.

Be prepared for some hard work as you progress and a lot of shouting at the computer when you get stuck.

Just have fun and learn at your own pace. And remember that computers never make mistakes.

Stephen

Not Available
Jul 6, 2009, 07:16 AM
Also, one of the best books on the market is Aaron Hillegass' Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (http://www.amazon.com/Cocoa-Programming-Mac-OS-3rd/dp/0321503619/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246882465&sr=8-1).

The reference on Apple's Developer Connection website is also an awesome place to start, but it is recommended you spend a while learning other languages, like Python or C, instead of skipping directly to the OS X development.

isaaclimdc
Jul 6, 2009, 07:29 AM
Take a look at this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=739707

The OP asked about iPhone development, but many aspects apply to the Mac as well, of course. I personally recommend "Learn Objective-C on the Mac" (http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Objective-ndash-C-Mac/dp/1430218150/ref=pd_sim_b_2) by Apress books.

Enjoy.

daimos
Jul 6, 2009, 12:58 PM
go to a library and search for Balloon sort, or Bubble sort, or Fibonacci series implemented as a computer program. It doesn't matter what language. they can be written as pseudo-code (semi-code).
if you can follow it, go for it. if you are overwhelmed, forget about it.

joe.cavers
Jul 7, 2009, 04:19 AM
Are the "C for Dummies" or "C++ for Dummies" any good for learning these languages? Or do you need to buy mac specific books?

JC

Lumio
Jul 7, 2009, 06:01 AM
Hi, I also want to learn programming with Xcode... but I don't know where to begin. I bought a book in german called "Get started with Xcode" (Einsteigen in Xcode), but I don't know anything and that author just writes about a whole thing I don't even know.

What is an NSObject? Are there other Objects? How to create an event on a button?

thingsis
Jul 17, 2009, 02:44 AM
Hi,

this is what I wrote to answer a similar question:


I strongly recommend to read the Stephen Kochan book before you start to read the Hillegass one. The simple reason behind this is that you will get a much deepter understanding about the whole topic this way. After that you will be really well prepared to program for Mac OS X or even the iPhone. I do not recommend buying books on the more advanced topics, even though Hillegass wrote one (and others, too). The Apple documentation will serve you much better for all those advanced things.
Well, this is at least the path I took and it worked really well.

As you are saying you do not have any programming experience yet this above path should still work. In your case I would recommend to read the Object oriented programming with objective-c apple guide before you start the above path. After that, you should be well prepared to read the two recommended books.

thingsis

cqexbesd
Jul 17, 2009, 04:33 AM
Are the "C for Dummies" or "C++ for Dummies" any good for learning these languages? Or do you need to buy mac specific books?


You don't need to buy mac specific books to learn a language, and that's your first step if you are just starting out. If you just want to do mac programming then I'd start with C and/or Objective C and give C++ a miss.

I can't comment on the quality of the dummies books you mention but I have taught numerous students C programming and I quite liked "The Joy of C". It's also the book my partner used to learn C and she did a degree in Medieval History and Latin so clearly there is hope for anyone regardless of background ;-)

Cinder6
Jul 17, 2009, 11:42 AM
Don't even look at doing all the Cocoa stuff until you understand the fundamentals of programming. Start off with a procedural language, like C. C would probably be best in this case, as Objective-C is a superset of C, and you won't have to unlearn C++'s stricter OO stuff.

Once you're comfortable with C, you have two options. Objective-C isn't so hard that you need to learn it separately from GUI programming, but since you have no experience with object-oriented programming, I might recommend it. You can either get a straight Obj-C book, or just read up on the language via the Apple docs, then jump right in to Xcode.

Are the "C for Dummies" or "C++ for Dummies" any good for learning these languages? Or do you need to buy mac specific books?

JC

I felt the C for Dummies books (well, book, now, since they were combined, as I gather) were great. They manage to be fun and interesting, even when doing things that seem pretty confusing at first (just wait until you get to pointers).

C++ for Dummies, on the other hand, was not great. The book is structured to take a program written in C, then incrementally add C++ features to it, with the end result being a total rewrite of the program in a fully object-oriented way. It works, but the problem I had with it is that it does a terrible job arguing for why you should care about objects (which is one of the goals of the book). The end C++ program is much longer than the original C program, and does the same thing. It's also a much drier read.

DaveP
Jul 17, 2009, 10:07 PM
go to a library and search for Balloon sort, or Bubble sort, or Fibonacci series implemented as a computer program. It doesn't matter what language. they can be written as pseudo-code (semi-code).
if you can follow it, go for it. if you are overwhelmed, forget about it.

I agree that this is excellent advice. Honestly, some people are not cut out for programming, just like others are not cut out for creative writing.

Cinder6
Jul 18, 2009, 02:07 AM
I agree that this is excellent advice. Honestly, some people are not cut out for programming, just like others are not cut out for creative writing.

Hmm, I have to disagree. Seeing if he can intuit some random sorting algorithm (granted, bubble sort is really simple) isn't a surefire gauge for programming ability. Same goes for the Fibonacci sequence (assuming you're using the traditional recursive implementation). Some people have simply never thought in the way that programming requires, but that doesn't mean they can't learn to do it, and do it well.

Granted, naturally understanding it can be a good indicator of potential. But it's one of those "tests" where a negative doesn't really mean anything, and a positive does.