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What are the best learning practices to learn programming?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by DavidBlack, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Hi I am learning Objective - C from this book I bought on Amazon Programming in Objective-C (5th Edition) by Stephen G. Kochan. And I have been trying to learn Objective - C on my own I have reached chapter 3 on Classes, Objects and Methods I think I am learning a lot. But I am just wondering if there is anything extra I can do to learn it more efficiently and get a better understanding of Objective -C. I am willing to learn and I am trying to do a exercise everyday. But I was wondering for you guys out there, how did you start and how long did it take? Also what do you recommend me to do to learn the language more efficiently. Thanks your help in advance :)
  2. macrumors 603

    Practice coding. Practice coding. Nothing beats actually writing lines of code to solve some relevant problem, and making it work.

    Practice on small problems or exercises, stuff that is hard enough it takes more than a few minutes, but easy enough that it takes less than a few days. If you can't do that after reading the first very few chapters, then the book isn't that conducive to learning programming.

    Even advanced programmers do this when learning new tools, APIs or solution areas.
  3. macrumors 68000

    Work and code with others. See how other people write code and think. Ask them to review your code.

    You don't want to get too far down the road and figure out you're going the wrong way.
  4. macrumors regular

    Are you learning how to program or are you just adding a new language under your belt.

    If it is the former then I would like to point out that a programming language is really nothing more than syntax in the end. Or at least that is how it has become to me after getting 4 or 5 languages now under my belt. Each one has its own advantages and draw backs. Since you already started I would strongly recommend after you are done to go learn another one as well. You will find it is pretty easy to pick up a 2nd or a 3rd plus its starts helping out as you start learning the right questions to ask and search for to do different things.
  5. macrumors member

    I really recommend Stanford's "Coding Together" course on iTunes U; it's very helpful to hear a teacher talk through the rationale behind the language's main building blocks. Apple's own tutorials and documentation on Objective-C are also definitive and thorough.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the advice, this is my first programming language also what language did you start with?
  7. macrumors regular

    The first major I learned was Java.
    But before that I had the done Turbo Pasca in HS but then it was a little VB.net.

    I had a basic understanding of things like arrays and methods before I did java but really java is what I truly learned first.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    What language do you suggest I start with?
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Uh oh . . .

    I'll pop back in once the reply count hits 100.

    At that point there will be 100 replies and 101 suggested starting languages.
  10. macrumors regular

    As you have already started with Object C you might as well stick with it. Just when you are done pick up another one.

    Hell as odd as it sounds even if you started with Java my advice would be teh same. After you gotten a good understanding of it go learn another. It helps seeing the + and - of different languages.

    Object C would never be the first one I would recommend because it has some things about it that make it a little harder to understand.
  11. macrumors 603


    I disagree. The following languages will be suggested by several people:


    A handful of people will suggest another ~5 languages (LOGO, BASIC, JS, C++, Scratch) but they'll be outliers.

    Personally, I learned C first and I feel like it's the best. Some people point out how complex it can be but... IDK, I've not yet found a language that struck me as both less complex and as (or more) capable.
  12. macrumors 68000

    If we're suggesting first languages, I'd pick JavaScript (Not Java, big difference) or Python :)
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the info, can you provide books and or resources to learning C. But since I have already started with Objective - C I think I will stick with it. How long do you think I will before I learn it?
  14. iphonedude2008, Jul 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013

    macrumors regular

    About 3 months until you understand it. Then 3 months of practice to start learning what to use for various tasks. 3 months of mastering various tasks. A lot of people are going to tell me that I'm wrong and its 3 years, but honestly, if you dedicate yourself to it and ask the right questions, you'll learn it as quick as I did.

    After you finish that book and if you want to learn iPhone programming, I recommend Programming iOS 6 (or 7 if it comes out then) by Matt Neuburg.
  15. macrumors 603


    Learn C the Hard Way is a free ebook I endorse.

    As for the learning period... I'd say that by far the biggest thing to learn is APIs. I doubt many people are familiar with all of them, particularly because Apple adds a huge amount of them on an annual basis. Languages are easy. The first one takes maybe 4 months, the second 2 months, third third 1 month, the fourth 2 weeks, the fifth 1 week, and beyond that they take 2-3 days. Most languages are designed by people who think the same ways and they just recombine existing features in new ways and throw in one or two unique things. Once you know a few, picking up more is trivial because you're not going to find much new stuff.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Thats sounds great but since C is a procedural programming language and Objective - C is object oriented. Won't that make it harder for me to pick up Objective -C? I am just wondering.


    3 years to learn programming I will be 18 by then :)
  17. macrumors 68000

    Biggest tip: Less message boards, more programming.
  18. macrumors 603

    The best learn-to-program books for complete non-programmers seem to be on Python, Javascript and maybe Java. Also kids books on Scratch, Squeak, and Alice. Out-of-print books on Basic and Logo. The authors of C/C++ and Objective C books appear to have never taught an beginning programming class for high school A.P. or incoming freshman history/english/art/etc. majors (e.g. typical *real* people, not math-nerds/nerd-wannabe's).

    Most people never learn to code. Many flunk out trying. Why make it any harder to get started than you possibly have to?

    Stanford's iOS programming class has 3 quarters worth of beginning programming classes as a pre-requisite. I do not recommend starting out that high. I do recommend learning C as your 2nd or 3rd programming language.
  19. macrumors regular

    I learned C as a first language and went to Objective C after that with the same book the OP is using. After 9 month, I am now making apps as a freelancer. And I am 14. You don't need to learn those other languages first because what will be most helpful toward your end goal is C. All C code is valid in Obj C because it is a perfect subset of C. The same can not be said for the other mentioned languages.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    How did you learn C? What book/ resources did you use?
  21. macrumors regular

    cprogramming.com, the begining of the book the OP is using, online tutorials, and Apple's resources. I didn't learn much of any C frameworks, just the basic way it works, which is all I need for iOS development.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the information :)


    BTW what apps do you have on the app store?
  23. macrumors regular

    I have only recently finished learning, but I have been hired to make 2 apps as a freelancer for a guy who really likes Clash of Clans. One is called Strategy Guide for Clash of Clans. There is also an update I did for it in review now. The other on is a troop calculator for clash of clans also in review.

    I have been working a game myself, but I have restarted it 3 times so far. I need it to be perfect and since I have no cost of living as a teenager, I am able to spend the time on it. It is a game in which you are a technology startup (like apple) in 2000 and you have to build up your company by making products like phones and tablets and laptops. Any suggestions?
  24. macrumors 6502a


    What a coincidence! I thought of making a game similar to that but I never had the skills to do it.
    I got the idea based on this game for the Mac
    Maybe I can get I get in contact with you with ideas. I am really got at designing UI's, just send me a private message.
  25. macrumors 603


    ... you named all of the useless majors that are set up for people who didn't get what they were supposed to out of their free high school education, so they blew huge amounts of money at university for a redo.

    The real majors are the ones that build off of what was taught in high school rather than repeat it, IE, engineering, science, medical, math, and business majors.

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