online resources

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by mikethebigo, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone, I have a simple and somewhat silly question I was hoping some of you experienced programmers could help me with!

    I'm interested in increasing my mac/unix/iphone knowledge by learning how to manipulate the unix terminal and by learning c-objective so I could one day write some iPhone apps. I've been researching all morning and am confused about the best teaching materials for getting started.

    Basically, I've discovered the good textbooks (Programming in Objective-C, C Programming Language, etc.) as well as some good Unix books for beginners. However, I've also found some nice looking online tutorials, such as http://masters-of-the-void.com/, http://www.cprogramming.com, http://info.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/, etc. I also found an interesting program called "Alice" which was made by CMU and apparently is a good way to learn the basics of programming concepts. My plan is to get more familiar with the underlying unix core first, then learn the basics of C, and then move on to Obj-C, Cocoa, etc.

    So all I'm wondering is, for a guy starting from scratch, are these free online resources good and complete enough that I could pick up all the skills that I need? Or are they typically more for people with some basic knowledge already, and I would be best served by picking up some starter textbooks?

    Any info that would help me get started on this journey would be greatly appreciated :). Thanks guys!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Why don't you just try one? Most of the resources you listed are free. Learning styles are very different from person to person.
     
  3. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #3
    I'm happy to give the free online resources a try before spending money on books, but I guess my question was just, are the online resources complete enough or will there be holes in my knowledge if they're all I use?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    IMHO programming is one of those things that is best learned by doing rather than following any particular resource. While doing, you will uncover your own weaknesses and the weaknesses of the resources you have used to date and add in other resources.

    One of the key skills to develop, especially for Cocoa, is to have a broad array of places to look things up and know how and where to look them up.

    For me, learning a new topic is best done with a book, due to the structured presentation but random access to the info. However, your mileage may vary as you may learn things differently than I do (as miles suggests).

    B
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    If you're comfortable with the online method there's no reason to believe you couldn't become a competent programmer. At some point you might want or feel the need to buy a book, but I see no reason to start shelling out $30-40 for books if you are comfortable looking at a computer screen for the same information.
     

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