Best method for learning to code?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Mstr, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #1
    I hold very little experience as a programmer, and hope to start from scratch with the iPhone platform. I understand that I will need to know the basics of C and be very familiar with Objective-C.
    What methods/ books etc. do you suggest I have a look at? I am very determined to learn and would very much appreciate some well-thought-out answers as to how I should start.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    London UK
    #2
    I have been recommended:
    1. C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan & Dennis M. Ritchie
    This is supposed to be good ( I`m waiting for my order), so please don`t ask my personal opinion.

    Other books on Objective-C and Cocoa programming you can browse at Amazon
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #3
    2 books I recommend:

    Programming in Objective-C 2.0 by Stephen Kochan

    and

    Beginning iPhone Development by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche

    That, on top of the apple documentation should get you a nice start.
     
  4. Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #4
    One of the skills you'll want to master when becoming a programmer is searching and reading pre-existing information. Documentation, tutorials, books, etc. For example, there are plenty of threads in this forum that already provide well-thought-out answers to your query. :)
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #5
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Yes, I much rather have books infront of me than to watch a screen! :)
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    wakka092

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #6
    Try out a few tutorials and get a feel for the language. Then customize the code when you get an idea of how the language works. That worked the best for me.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
  8. macrumors newbie

    henrysoup

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #8
    As a newbie myself, I would go for this one first - then move on to the other suggestion. I have both books and the Kochan book is the best for getting you started from scratch.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #9
    Thanks! I already have the second, but I'm still wondering whether to get the first due to the code having mistakes (from what I've heard).
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #10
    @Mstr: There were actually few errors in the code itself; most were typos in the text. Most of the errors have been fixed in subsequent printings of the second edition. If you have an early printing (1st or 2nd), the forum for the book (noted below) contains a master list of corrections.

    In my opinion, you're better off staying with the second edition, as it addresses the changes added to Objective-C 2.0, is more Mac-oriented, and includes an additional chapter to get you started with iPhone programming. There is also quite a large community that has developed to share questions, answers to exercises, and lend support at www.classroomM.com/objective-c.

    @steve10172: The K&R book was the first book ever written on C (Dennis Ritchie, one of the authors, invented the C language). While still considered the bible on C, it's a very difficult text for someone who's new to programming to digest, so you may find it tough going. As I've written elsewhere, I don't believe you need to learn C before Objective-C.


    Cheers,


    Steve Kochan
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    London UK
    #11
    Hi Steve
    I have actually ordered your book and waiting for delivery.
    Could you tell me, is this the latest edition/print available?

    Programming in Objective-C 2.0 (Developer's Library)
    Author Kochan, Stephen G. Click to see more Items by this Author
    Format: Paperback
    Publisher: Addison Wesley








    Published: 6 Jan 2009
    Pages: 624
    Genre: Macintosh OS
    ISBN-13: 9780321566157
    Condition: BRAND NEW
     
  12. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #12
    A programmer who doesn't like to watch a screen? :eek: Good luck. The one thing you will really appreciate is the wealth of information available with a simple google search. Got an error? Paste it into google. Need an example of how to use a built-in function? Google it. Found a nice piece of code? Copy and factor in.

    I'm currently doing an OO course in C++ and while the book is handy, google will get you the answer your looking for much faster.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #13
    Ok cool, thanks everyone! I'm going to order that objective-c 2.0 book - sounds good. Oh and btw, I said I prefer going through books to squinting at a screen, reading a lot of text. I don't have much of a problem with being by a screen for a few hours, it's just reading excessive amounts of text! Hope I cleared all that up! :D
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #14
    That's the right edition, however there's no way to tell what printing it is. Since the third printing has been out for a couple of months now, it's more than likely you'll get the latest printing (especially if you've ordered it from a place like Amazon that goes through their stock quickly). The only way to tell what printing you have is to physically check inside the cover when it arrives.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #15
    It's just a shame that the book has to be so expensive... I mean, £25 for a book?
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    #16
    Recommended books for iPhone/Mac programming

    I've read through most of the book Beginning iPhone Development by Mark + LaMarche, and as far as technical books go, it is pretty good and fairly easy to read through.

    To get a good intro to Cocoa, pick up Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass.

    The book I used to learn C was C By Discovery by L.S. Foster. Pretty decent book with good mini-examples in the book.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #17
    OP:

    By the way, when you get Kochan's Programming in Objective-C 2.0, make SURE you do all of the examples, and don't just type the code and think you understand it. Make sure you completely understand what you're doing, especially if it's your first language. iPhone programming isn't just drag and drop an interface and suddenly it works, knowing the code behind it and how it will display and work the inner bindings of your application is key.

    The examples at the end of each chapter in Kochan's book are good and don't just give you code snippits that you can copy, you actually have to think a bit of what you learned through the rest of the chapter. The forums and google will be your best friend. Apple's documentation can be really useful too for certain confusion or when you're not sure if you're using the right function, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
  19. macrumors demi-god

    szark

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Arid-Zone-A
    #19
    Heh. Back in high school, I used to write out code with pencil and paper during history class, then take it home and type it all in. :)

    I also prefer physical books to online tutorials. It helps your eyes get a break from staring at the screen for extended periods of time.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
  21. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #21
    Try one of the many books or online tutorials on learning plain C. There's lots more of those than anything for Obj-C.

    Write lots of programs.

    Then maybe try Squeak for the Mac. That will give you a great background for learning Obj-C.

    Then dive into Obj-C and the iPhone SDK.

    People who try to learn too many things at once often (not always) end up short-changing something important.

    YMMV.
     

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