Is this a good place to start...?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by IndianaiPhone, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. IndianaiPhone macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2008
    North Texas
    Hey Guys,

    I have never programmed anything before. I'm currently in high school and I feel like I'm behind my peers by not knowing anything about coding yet. I think I should start by learning C so I'm looking at this book,

    Is C a good language to start with and is that book a good book to start with? Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about coding/programming.

    I want to eventually move on to Objective-C, so should I start learning that first and just skip learning C?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hmm. K&R (that book) is certainly the classic on the subject, but could be a bit dense for a beginner. Give it a try, though, and if it's too much keep it around for later.
  3. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    The book you linked to, "The C Programming Language", is considered the bible of C. I'll leave it to you find out why. It sticks to the basics but is thorough. What I mean by that is, it teaches you C without being platform specific or throwing in frameworks. I'm not sure though that this is a book for someone who knows nothing of programming. Check the Amazon reviews.

    Since you are interested on working on the Mac, perhaps look for a book that takes that into account. Learn C on the Mac is one such book for newbies. Another book that claims to be open to beginner is Programming in Objective-C 2.0.

    There are many many threads here about learning programming. Look through the last two or three weeks and you will find several. Check them out for much more information. I believe there is a sticky thread at the top too that has suggestions.
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    One thing I would like to add is if you are beginning expect to get more then one book on the same language. I can't even tell you how many C++, Objective-C, C, and Cocoa books I have accumulated over the years.

    Give the book you are looking at a try, if you find it too difficult no worries, grab something like "Learn C on the Mac" and it may explain the concepts in a way that makes more sense to you.

    The biggest thing is to stick with it, expect to get stuck and frustrated MANY times, and master one language before moving on to another. Knowing one language really well makes it so much easier to move onto other languages.
  5. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I'd recommend starting with Kochan, and switching to "Learn C on the Mac" if you find Kochan inappropriate for one reason or another (or before you get to the Cocoa parts of the book). This seems to have worked for larswik. (Search for his threads).

  6. cybrscot, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

    cybrscot macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2010
    Somewhere in Southeast Asia
    I'm in a similar situation, older yes, but also want to learn Objective C in the future, and everybody said I should learn C first as most other languages are derivatives of C. So that's what I did starting in December. I also found that many people recommended a book called C Programming, A Modern Approach, by K.N. King, so that's what I decided to try. I haven't tried any other books, so I can't advise you on them. This one's pretty good in my opinion. The end of chapter exercises are challenging and there is a website that also has some answers to some of the questions in the book.

    I'll tell you that I also get stuck a lot. I've had absolutely no programming background, and I only started using my first Mac in December also. So my head has felt like it wanted to explode many times over. I often post my questions on this forum for help. I am teaching myself from the book as I don't have a way to take a class where I'm currently living in Asia. I also feel that learning a programing language will help with future job prospects and also keeps my mind sharp.

    Good Luck!
  7. IndianaiPhone thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2008
    North Texas
    Thank you everyone! I went with "Learn C on the Mac" for now. When I'm finished with that I'll move on to "Learn Objective-C on the Mac" and eventually "Learn Cocoa on the Mac."

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