Mac Newb looking to start programming

ehX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Are any of these books good for starting to learn programming? Considering buying one of these.

Learn Objective-C on the Mac (Learn Series) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Objective-C-Mac-Mark-Dalrymple/dp/1430218150

Learn Cocoa on the Mac (Learn Series) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Cocoa-Mac-Jack-Nutting/dp/1430218592/ref=pd_sim_b_3

Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone and Mac Programming Made Easy [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Objective-C-Absolute-Beginners-iPhone-Programming/dp/1430228326/ref=pd_sim_b_4

If anyone could help me out where to start, it'd be appreciated. I've seen the books recommended here, but they look complicated.
 
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ehX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
I can't tell if you're spamming me or if that's a website that really works... I'd like a better answer than just a not-even-a-link to another website. At least say something about the books. I'd rather have them than pay for some online videos.
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
107
Yardley, PA
I can't tell if you're spamming me or if that's a website that really works... I'd like a better answer than just a not-even-a-link to another website. At least say something about the books. I'd rather have them than pay for some online videos.
lol sorry I was being too literal. It's a phenomenal site that has really well done video lessons on a ton of technology related topics.

I don't work for them or anything. I use them for a LOT though. It's like a college professor in your pocket (iOS app).
 

ehX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
lol sorry I was being too literal. It's a phenomenal site that has really well done video lessons on a ton of technology related topics.

I don't work for them or anything. I use them for a LOT though. It's like a college professor in your pocket (iOS app).
It's fine, lol. I've done it before. But like I said, I'm looking for a book. Mainly one of the three I mentioned, unless someone mentions better.
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England

ehX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Thanks. =)

EDIT: Gah these are the same ones that website mentioned. =/ Well thanks man, I'll try em.
 

EthanMiller

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2011
73
3
Going through learning programming myself in college. Before I got there, though, I found iTunes U to be indispensable.

Harvard publishes a course and everything you need to take it called CS50. It's online at www.CS50.net, with all lectures recorded and that bit, and available through iTunes U. I highly recommend it for starting off. Since you have a Mac, you just need to install Xcode to get all of the tools he talks about, or use the virtual machine they provide (with all relevant info for use).

It also has the advantage of being free. The disadvantage is that, as a lecture series, you do have to set time aside to watch the lectures - but they are worth it. It's a lot easier to learn from these then I ever found a book. All of the homework is given as PDFs as well, so you can do all of that.

Once you get that course down, you'll be more ready for a Cocoa book.
 

ehX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Thanks dude! I'm downloading the lectures right now. Never used iTunes U so I'll just stay away from that for now.

Thanks for the help everyone.
 

dryjoy

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2009
143
4
Are any of these books good for starting to learn programming? Considering buying one of these.

Learn Objective-C on the Mac (Learn Series) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Objective-C-Mac-Mark-Dalrymple/dp/1430218150

Learn Cocoa on the Mac (Learn Series) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Cocoa-Mac-Jack-Nutting/dp/1430218592/ref=pd_sim_b_3
I can't comment on the other books, but just a word about these two Apress titles. I've been using them and I think they are very good, but I wouldn't start with either of the above if you are a newb.

Those Apress books are designed to go in sequence - if you choose these, you should start with 'Learn C on the Mac' (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Learn-C-Mac-Dave-Mark/dp/1430218096), then work through 'Learn Objective-C on the Mac', then 'Learn Cocoa on the Mac' and/or 'Beginning iOS 5 development'' (http://www.apress.com/9781430236054).

If you start with the Objective-C book, you won't know what is going on unless you already understand some coding and in particular, plain C. If you start with the Cocoa book, it'll be even worse, since you need to understand Objective-C to work through that one.

There are different schools of thought about whether you need to start with C or just go straight in to Objective-C, and I'm sure both approaches are valid, but that Apress Objective-C on the Mac is not designed as a starter book, it definitely leads on from the C book.
 

akhbhaat

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2010
127
0
Do you have any programming experience at all? If not, Objective-C is not the best place to start. JMO. For one, it's a fairly proprietary language that only Apple uses, and isn't widely employed. Two, it has some unusual syntax that doesn't quite look like anything used in any other member of the C family.

Usually, beginners will start with one of the following three languages (at least in a university/school program): C (or C++), Java, or Python. Which you choose will really depend upon how much you want to take on at once, and how difficult you want to make it to learn additional languages later on.

FWIW, I started with C (and a bit of assembly, actually), and wouldn't have done it any differently.
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
FWIW, I started with C (and a bit of assembly, actually), and wouldn't have done it any differently.
It's a fair point, but one that I alluded to in my first response in this thread and wash;t really picked up anywhere.

It depends very heavily on your goal.

If your goal is writing iOS and OS X programs. Starting with Objective C (may) make sense.

If your goal is to learn programming in a general, cross-platform, way, Objective C is a relatively poor choice. The price you may pay for this is that your first Objective C/Cocoa/Cocoa Touch programs may be somewhat inefficient and "foreign".

When I first learned C all my code looked like Pascal.

We see a fair amount of this in the forum, folks trying to force their C or other lower level language paradigms onto their Cocoa code, and this is why I tend to emphasize Objective C first. Fewer "bad habits" to forget.

B