Beginning Programming: Where to Start?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by pimentoLoaf, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

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    The SimCity Deli
  2. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

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    #2
    wow. right to the point.

    In turn:
    I would start with C.
    There are some tutorials on http://www.cprogramming.com.
    Someone else will need to recommend a good book for beginners.
    Once you get into it, "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie.
    For tools, I would stick to gcc at the terminal for compiling, gdb at the terminal for debugging, and a text-editor of your choosing. I like vim at the terminal.

    You will get about as many things telling you that what I've said is totally wrong as there will be people who agree, but this is where I would want to start if I had to do it again.

    -Lee
     
  3. Chris Corbyn macrumors newbie

    Chris Corbyn

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    I'd agree. I think two languages which put in a great position to quickly grasp other languages are C and Java. Learn C first to get to grips with using a statically typed language, memory management, compiling, linking and debugging. Learn Java to get to grips with object-oriented programming and study design patterns inside out while you're at it. Play with JUnit and jMock or EasyMock to get a grip on TDD, then come back to C-related technologies and have a go at Objective-C and C++.

    If you've never programmed at all in any language I definitely think C is a good base to venture out from, although the learning curve is steep!

    EDIT | Java is also often seen as a generic language which is understood by most programmers and so is often used in many non-language-specific books for code examples.
     
  4. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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  5. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I'm going to get it out of the way and say it now-you shouldn't have even created this thread. If you looked a little ways into the pages of threads here you would have found loads of threads asking the same exact thing. In fact when I saw this thread I thought I was looking at one of the old ones because the names are almost identical. Some people here are picky about that, so now you know :cool: That being said...

    go to cocoalab.com and go through their becomeanxcoder pdf book. It's free, assumes you have no programming knowledge, is very good, (I have "understanding" issues but I had no problems) and will get you started with Cocoa and C and Objective C, and make you very excited.

    Go to bignerdranch.com and buy "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X". It is not the best written book in the world, it can be hard to understand. But with online resources like this website for help, you will get through it. And it's great for referring back to as well. Finally it's good because you don't have to do the examples to learn. I find it easier to just read the lessons without a computer in front of me. It's easier to concentrate, and I find it easier to take it slowly instead of rushing through.

    That's my 2 cents...

    Oh yeah one thing: DON'T LEARN BASIC!!!
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #6
    Another good book that might ease the transition to "The C Programming Language" is "Pointers on C", which concentrates on pointers (surprisingly enough). Rather good book too, might be hard to find though as it was written in '94 / '95 I think.
     
  7. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #7
    bloody expensive too...best to borrow it from somewhere and photocopy it.
     
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #8
    Blimey, didn't know it cost that much. £47 is a tad steep. It is a good book though, so you may well want to look out for a second hand copy.
     
  9. pimentoLoaf thread starter macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

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    #9
    Here's that book from an American bookseller.

    :eek: the price the price :eek:

    Once past the elementary texts it might be something to have ...
     
  10. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

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    #10
    it's because it's a textbook and published by Addison-Wesley. It's criminal what they charge. If you're in a college town it might be available used, though it would still be $82 knowing campus bookstores.

    -Lee
     
  11. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    Cambridge, MA
    #11
    I've found that two of the best and most useful books on C are:

    Expert C Programming

    Memory as a Programming Concept in C and C++

    I once borrowed 'Pointers on C' from a co-worker, but I didn't get anything out of it that I didn't already know from the above two books. Of course, if I was just starting out, the abundant exercises in 'Pointers on C' would be a big selling point.
     

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