Objective C help??

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Reeesy, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2012
    Hey all, i appreciate this is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type of question but i was wondering how difficult it is to learn Objective C.
    I know it depends on many factors (dedication, time spent, current skills etc) but if anyone has some guidance it would be very helpful.

    I'm a 31yr old Graphic Designer. i have ABSOLUTELY ZERO experience with ANY sort of coding. i might as well be looking at Egyptian hieroglyphics for all i know so i would be starting from the very beginning. I would typically spend a couple of hours 3 times a week learning, maybe more as i get into it.

    Is my best bet to learn through books? (any recommendations?). I'm worried about booking a course as they usually assume you have at least some familiarisation with coding and would be worried about being left behind form the start.

    Am i looking at month/years? How long until the fundamentals of coding 'click' and i start understanding what I'm doing?

    Needless to say, i'm interested in moving into App development and know i will have to learn various other skills too. I just figured, objective C would be a good place to start.

    Any thoughts or pointers would be much appreciated!

    Cheers, Neil
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    There is a link in the sticky section at the top of this forum which will get you started. If you have never programmed before, you're in for a long road. It takes practice, lots of practice, to learn development.

    How easy will it be for you? There's no way to know. Your mind needs the ability to understand how to break down problems logically and to convert a complicated task into small pieces. If you aren't good at that, you will probably struggle.

    Just like learning any new skill, you'll probably want some kind of guide or mentor at some point.
  3. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    Go to your local bookstore, or favorite book-selling website, and buy this book:


    "Objective C Programming", by Aaron Hillegass - Big Nerd Ranch

    It should take you 1-2 weeks to work through it, depending on how much spare time you have. After you're done, come back and let us know how it went.
  4. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    The same answer as how long a string.

    Depends. Some kids catch on in weeks. Some people flunk out after over a year of spending significant tuition money at a high-ranked college or university.

    A median number is usually a couple of university semesters worth of intensive study (e.g. many students really catch on to the stuff they should have learned in their very first programming class while trying to keep up with the work required to solve problems in their 2nd or 3rd programming class).

    But you won't know if you are way above, way below or somewhere around the median until you put in many hours trying. To make your initial try as painless as possible, I recommend looking for computer programming books in the kids/teens section of your local library, if you can find any. Or maybe dummies/idiots type books. When that stuff becomes too easy, then move on to C and Objective C, and you'll be on an uphill slope.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2012
    Thanks everyone, some good advice there. I do appreciate it will take time. It's a real skill to programme that takes many years to master. Hats off to you all!
    i do however have a bit of an obsessive personality, once i get started i will likely throw myself fully into it which i'm sure will serve me well. I still expect it will take many months or longer to make real progress.
    I guess the only way to find out is to order some books and get stuck in, then when i have established the groundwork (or even if I'm capable!), i'll look into some courses.

    Cheers guys, appreciate the feedback.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I don't have anything to add to previous answers except a word of encouragement. You're on the right track realizing that it will be difficult, but you should also know that it's certainly possible to learn how to program from scratch via books, etc. I (mostly) taught myself to program and make my living doing it now, so it's certainly possible.

    Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions!
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Also, if you don't "get it" from that book there are many other paths that can get you there. If you get lost in the first 70 pages let us know and we can suggest other books.

  8. macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2012
    Far side of the moon
    Anybody that develops generic algorithmic thinking should be able to break a problem into smaller, directly solvable parts. Expressing such parts in some programming language is a bit of a different topic. There are many addressing just the 2nd part, where they get a programming book and start implementing code examples, somehow hoping for the first part to come along (if they know about it). At times is not that simple. Problem solving is another skill that needs developing, like when you have a new problem, to be able to work your way into solving it.

    Now I understand it's important to go achieve your goal (learn Objective C such that you could do App development) but I think you should first spend some time understanding what programming is about and how you program easy problems.

    There are lots and lots of programming languages. Some are popular for they allow you code certain platforms, some used to be popular due to ease of learning or other reasons. Some have a complex syntax. If we'd be 15 years ago, I'd suggest you start with Pascal ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal_(programming_language) ). Now I'd say start with plain C, even a bit more complicated/powerful, would be less of a shock and get you started on your path. For as you might know Objective C is a superset of C. Solve a couple simple problems, learn about pointers, memory and debugging. Then work your way with object oriented programming paradigms, then start with Objective C.

    Also work your motivation. This might take many months and it would help being part of some class, where you get projects and also satisfaction on small successes. Good luck! :)
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2009
    If you don't want to spend any money or read something than TheNewBoston's Objective-C tutorials are terrific.
  10. adib, Jan 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012

    macrumors newbie


    Jun 11, 2010
    Objective-C as your first language? Really? Aren't you being overly ambitious?

    Seriously, I strongly believe that Objective-C will not be a good place to start learning programming. You probably be better off with a higher-level language. Pascal may be a good start. There's even an app called Codea that you can use to prototype simple games and applications on an iPad that lets you code in a high level language called Lua.

    A language like Objective-C forces you to need to learn too much intricacies too early. (Pointers, anyone? Threads? Operation Queues? SIGSEV? Stack Dump?) You're going on an uphill battle. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but the odds are stacked against you since you don't have any programming background.

    But if you're interested in App programming on the mobile, you might want to dive to HTML5/JavaScript since you're already a graphic designer. JavaScript is a lot more forgiving than any C-based language. PhoneGap may be a good alternative for this. The other one is Titanium.

  11. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    I would start with Ruby, Python, or maybe Javascript. English-like words, instant results because they are interpreted...etc

    Objective-C (all C languages, actually) introduce another layer of complexity. C is almost a low-level language. Objective-C isn't impossible for a bigger to learn but I'd build my confidence and get practice programming, instead of getting held back by the technicalities of C while you're just starting out.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    How is it going learning objective C?

    Hi. Reeesy
    I am a graphic designer who is also interested in learning objective C. It has been a year that you posted this topic, and I am wondering how you are doing. I am certainly interested in learning objective C but not sure how this will translate to someone who doesn't have any programming background. It would be great if you could share your experience. Thanks!
  13. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    That user hasn't stopped by the forums since July 2012, so I doubt they'll answer you here.
  14. macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
    Try these sites out:

    I never understood programming sprites until I learned on Ray's site. Good luck!
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    Is there any way I can reach out to user personally?



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