Never coded before; need advice!

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by tweaknmod, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    I'm interested in trying my hand at coding. Specifically, I would like to learn how to code tweaks and modification style programs for OSX. Examples: Nocturne, BetterTouchTool, Dragthing, etc.

    What kind of coding should I be looking into? Are there any beginner guides that you might be able to point me to?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. macrumors 68030


    Modifying other programs without access to their source is extremely tricky stuff. It'll take you years to be able to do that. Something like Nocturne might be doable as a regular-ish Cocoa app though (by overlaying the screen with a transparent window and applying core image filters to it or something)...
  3. macrumors member

    So I should start with "Cocoa"?

    Ok cool, thanks! :)
  4. macrumors 65816

    If you have never programmed before I would start with something that teaches you the fundamentals of programming so you grasp the concept.

    I would try and start with C.

  5. macrumors 65816


  6. macrumors regular


    Thanks for the advice, as I'm in a similar situation to the original poster. I just started reading "Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide." Do you think people like us should read "Programming in Objective-C " (the Kochan book) FIRST, before the Big Nerd Ranch Guide? Or does it really matter what order we do this in? Also, if I read one of those Objective-C books (and presumably really understand it), do I really need to read the other, or could I just move on to the Cocoa Programming book?

    Finally, what about programming for iOS? Is it best to get the Mac programming down first, then move on to iOS programming, and which books are best in that area?
  7. macrumors 68000

    The Big Nerd Ranch Objective-C book is a lighter, more introductory text. You can move on to a book about Cocoa or Cocoa Touch after you've read it.

    You don't need to learn Mac programming before iOS. But you do need to know Objective-C.
  8. macrumors member

    I'm looking through Big Nerd Ranch's iOS book now. Pretty detailed, but assumes familiarity with Objective-C - or at least with object-oriented programming in another language. I come from a VB.NET/C# background and it's pretty easy to follow.
  9. macrumors 604


    I'd start with C. That gives you a solid foundation. Then I'd go with C++. And Objective-C right after that. Don't start the top of the pyramid and go down, do the opposite.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Don't go all back to the basics. Have your dream, your idea, and execute it. So it will be hard, your motivated to figure out how to do exactly what you want to do. By the end you'll be a subject matter expert about this. It may have taken you awhile, it may be easy for you, doesn't matter.

    Starting with the basics will also take a long time, but it will be peppered with stuff that has very little meaning for you, and won't be interesting.

    Try and do what it is that you want to do. First step of asking here, was fine. But ask in a few places. Read some stuff. Find some webpages. Maybe there is a course on ItunesU...

    There is nothing to hold you back. Just do it.
  11. macrumors regular


    I LOVE inspirational posts like this!! I WILL do it! Right after I figure out how....:eek:
  12. macrumors 603

    Learning C and Objective C right away is way too much like going back to college, that hard deadly course that more than a few people flunk or drop out of.

    I would start with an old out of print book on Basic or Logo for the Apple II. Or a kids programming site for something like Alice. Or maybe one of those Javascript tutorials that runs right in Safari.

    Moving up after some practice coding is easier than going directly for the high bar.
  13. macrumors 65816


    This I disagree with and here is why. More and more people who don't know how to write programs scour the internet and look for the code they can just copy and paste as they Frankenstein their apps together. Then when they can't find code parts they come to forums asking things like "Can you write this code for me?"

    Because there is so many code snippets online today people can almost get away with making an app and not learning anything which will cause the user to develop bad learning habits.

    But I do totally agree with most of it. Nothing should hold you back and go for it. But if you start to high you can get frustrated and give up "Thinking" it is to hard, when it is not if you started correctly.

    I started off like you. It was to hard. I went back and learned C which made taking the step to Object - C much easier.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    You need to start with a simple programming language that you can learn basic concepts like declarations, assignments, performing operations, making arguments, difference between iterations and recursions, making functions, executing functions, etc. I hear that higher level languages like java are easier to learn these things. Afterward, you might be able to go for objective c. I've never tried objective c so I don't know how hard it is. But I did learn C++, and it was pretty difficult to learn, and this was after I had already taken an introductory class in programming that only taught the basics. Good luck!
  15. macrumors member

    Thank you to everyone who posted! :)

    It appears I have a lot of reading to do...

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