Beginning Programming/Developing

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by AndroidSwan, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. AndroidSwan macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Hey everyone and how are you?

    I have an academic background of Human Sciences (no maths), then Sound Engineering and Music Production (some maths, physics, and the beginning of a love affair with all-things-technological), and I am in that moment of life when you are a recently graduated young guy, and you feel that you want to learn something else.

    I'm in the middle of a Masters, so continuing school after this is not an option, due to financial and age problems.

    But I want to learn programming. Really bad.

    I want to learn C - because everyone says that is the base-, C++ and C# because I've been seeing that it is oriented for my multimedia wishes -, PHP - mostly because I took a few classes and loved it -, Java - because it is so well mentioned and seems like I'm gonna need it for Android apps development -, Objective-C/Cocoa - for all the Mac/iOS developing needs, and I also want to be able to work well with Processing, Max/MSP, and Flash (and also maybe a bit of HTML - Dreamweaver? -, as I'd really love to be able to create webpages). (Am I right in assuming all of this to every language?)

    I've also signed up for Maths and Physics classes in the next few times, so I can get a grip of something that I really miss in my life, and that will probably help me in this "quest".

    So, in essence, I want to be technically prepared to deal with data architectures, app developing, multimedia/digital art development (audiovisuals), and web development.

    And, also, I need to be self-educated. That mustn't be a problem, as I can easily focus on goals, and learn quite fast by myself (if I may say so - since I have Internet I am never by myself, really...).

    I just need a few tips, if you can give me those: best books to start (really novice books will be great too, with questions like "what is a class?" and stuff like that), best methods for learning and teaching myself this kind of stuff, and general tips, if you have any... :)

    Can I please ask you this, for helping me take the next, and first!, step?

    Thank you so much!
  2. AndroidSwan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Hey there miles, and thank you!
    I have already checked those, and they are really helpful. I was just looking for some "human touch" and "expert-tips", to tell me if this whole idea is "do-able" or not. :)

    Didn't really want to sound like I didn't search before, I'm sorry!

    Thanks again :)
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Personally it sounds like you are setting yourself up for major disappointment (not to mention failure). You've stated you want to "learn" almost every major language to a high level. The odds of this happening in months or even years are stacked against you.

    Pick one, buy a book, and start doing the problems in it. Once you've mastered that, the others will probably come a lot easier. Beginning programmers would be well advised to learn in series, not in parallel.
  4. Bill McEnaney macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2010
  5. AndroidSwan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Thanks for the advice, miles!

    Even though I may have given the impression that would be trying out everything at once, reading that "Beginning programmers would be well advised to learn in series, not in parallel" made me be even more sure that I need to go step by step, and learning things gradually.

    I'll probably start with C, I'm just waiting for "The C Programming Language" to arrive at my mailbox :)

    Hey Bill and many thanks for the heads up. I'm going to take a look at the book at the local library and maybe order it soon as well. Thanks! :)

    Thanks again!
  6. larswik macrumors 68000

    Sep 8, 2006
    I am almost done with my C book and I can recommend it for beginners like me. It is called 'Learn C on the Mac'.

  7. mydogisbox macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Where to start

    I would suggest coming up with a project to work on. For me, learning any sort of programming stuff requires a reason, otherwise I won't remember anyway. I could read a book on programming, but it doesn't solidify in my head until I use it.
  8. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Everyone learns things a bit differently, but K&R (i.e. "The C Programming Language") is pretty intense and dry with few if any examples or hands-on examples, and as such is hard to recommend for a beginning programmer.

    So if K&R doesn't "click" with you, don't despair. Just find a different book.

    mydogisbox is right, having a project in mind is very useful. Just look at some of the threads larswik has started recently as part of his quest to learn C using a blackjack program as an example. Look at some of the threads by cybrscot for someone who is learning C from KN King's book.

  9. AndroidSwan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Hey there everyone, and thanks a lot for the kind words and thoughts.
    I've been digging in some reviews, and yeah, I feel like King's book is way less "dry" than K&R. Nonetheless, the former is already on its way to my house, so I'll try to understand it. If things go not so well, I'll be sure to pick the other one up as soon as possible... :)

    Thank you all so much, I'll be sure to check out the threads you mentioned.

    See you soon!

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