What do I need to begin?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Yumunum, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #1
    Alright, school has just started for the year, and one of my biggest goals is to learn (or start to learn) how to create iOS/OS X applications. I will literally start today, if possible. But right now I know nothing, nothing at all, about programming.

    I'll go buy the books, get whatever I need, so I can start today. I just need to know what I need. (You can probably tell that I'm anxious. I've wanted to do this for a long time) Oh, and I do already own a Mac, so don't worry about that.

    Again, I know nothing about programming, I'm looking for the best learning tools, your advice, other things I should know beforehand, and anything else you think I'll need.

    I do have another specific question though. When registering for a Dev account (http://developer.apple.com/programs/start/register/create.php) I see a note saying I might want to create a new Apple ID for developing. What's your take on that? What are the pros/cons of using a separate account? I'd really hate to screw that up, and end up regretting my decision.

    Thank you, in advance. It's helpful people like you that could change my future for the better.
     
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #2
  3. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #3
    Don't most of the suggestions (books, tutorials) there use Xcode 3? Should I or should I not start with Xcode 3 or Xcode 4? And should I create a new Apple ID for my new Dev account?

    I still have questions that the Wiki doesn't answer, and I was hoping for personalized suggestions and thoughts. I'm sure everyone here has had different experiences.
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #4
    I would suggest using Xcode 4. I don't see any reason to learn how to do things the Xcode 3 way as you're going to want to move onto the newer versions eventually.

    Personally, I use just one Apple ID for everything right now. I used to have two separate ones (one for the iTunes Store, one for ADC)... but it's just easier to use a single one for everything.

    The fastest path for going from nothing at all to pretty well off programming for the iPhone is:
    1.) Read the first few chapters of The C Programming Language (it's a book. White cover. Big blue C in the middle. Kind of hard to miss. It might have the words "ANSI Edition" in red on the side. It's the same thing either way.) Do the exercises. This could take anywhere from a few days or weeks... I personally spent about 6 weeks learning C before moving on to step 2.

    2.) Watch the Stanford iOS Programming Lectures available on iTunes Connect for free. They cover the material in about 4 months... you could do quicker, or slower, depending on how much time you commit to it.
     
  5. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #5
    Thanks for the advice! So if I should start learning with Xcode 4, do I need to find really recent books? Or is Xcode 3 and 4 similar enough to where I could use an older book but still use Xcode 4? If I need a newer book, then I'll probably need suggestions... If I've heard right, there aren't many books that are using Xcode 4 yet.
     
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #6
    I suggest avoiding books at all. They're expensive and become dated quickly. The exception to that suggestion is step #1, learn C. C isn't cutting edge, it's not changing, it's probably not going away for awhile, and it's necessary to know to program on iOS. The C Programming Language, though old, will still teach you everything you need to know about C.
     
  7. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #7
    Really, avoid books? What alternative do you think I should be learning from?
     
  8. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #8
    If you're going to use Xcode 4, the very first thing you should do is go through Apple's Xcode 4 tutorial. Make the sample program, build it, and run it. Then learn to use the debugger to set breakpoints, examine variables, and step through code. Those are all indispensible skills that you can learn directly from Apple tutorials and the Xcode reference docs.

    After you know how to use Xcode itself, then you can start learning a programming language like C or Objective-C.

    If you try doing multiple things at once (learn Xcode and learn the debugger and learn a programming language), I guarantee you that one of them will get shortchanged, and it's usually going to be learning how to use Xcode well, or learning how to use the debugger at all. Believe me, it's a lot easier to learn how to use the debugger on known-working code, i.e. a sample program provided in a tutorial, than it is to learn it when you're trying to find a real bug in code you wrote.

    Unfortunately, debugging working code is boring, so I expect this advice to be largely ignored. Even practicing with the debugger is boring, and nobody likes doing boring stuff when there's a fun programming language to learn.
     
  9. jiminaus, Sep 12, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011

    jiminaus macrumors 65816

    jiminaus

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    #9
    Sage advice. People would take it if only they could see how steep the mountain is that they need to cross. And that the gentlest path at the beginning (copy'n'pasting code without understanding) leads to the peak of the mountain ultimately requiring much more effort. Steeper paths at the beginning lead to the pass through the mountain requiring much less effort in the long run.

    Noobs, do listen to those who have gone before you.
     
  10. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #10
    Interesting, so I don't need any coding knowledge to learn debugging on Xcode? About how long would you say it'd take to learn this, so I could continue on to learn a coding language?

    Also, am I able to be registered as an iOS dev and OS X dev through a single Apple ID?
     
  11. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #11
    Start at the beginning.

    Step 1.
    Get Xcode and install it.
    Where and how to get Xcode depends on which OS version you have. If it's 10.7 Lion, Xcode 4 is a free download from Mac App Store. If it's 10.6.anything Snow Leopard, Xcode 4 is $5 from Mac App Store, but Xcode 3.2.6 is free download from developer.apple.com. And there's almost certainly an Xcode on the DVD that came with your Mac (assuming it came with one at all).

    Step 2.
    Learn to build a sample app in Xcode.
    http://developer.apple.com/library/...ptual/iPhone101/Articles/00_Introduction.html


    Later things come later.
    See "Getting Started" here:
    http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/navigation/


    Impossible to predict. No one here knows anything about how you learn things.

    Different people take different amounts of time, depending on experience and innate talent. I've seen people with no programming experience at all learn things quickly. I've seen people with considerable experience in other languages and tools take many days of real struggling.


    Yes. It's two separate $99 fees.
     
  12. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #12
    Another thing: don't waste money on enrolling as a developer just yet. You can pirate Xcode 4 (look around the web) and buy some good books.
     
  13. jnoxx macrumors 65816

    jnoxx

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    #13
    Pirate Xcode 4? what would you do that for, it's free on OSX Lion.
    And you can build in the simulator, total spend = nothing, unless you need to buy a Mac/Lion.
     
  14. thedollarhunter macrumors member

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    #14
    Good luck and above all enjoy the learning curve

    I started in Feb this year and finished my first app in May. I did find it all rather daunting at first but if you take time to understand each step fully and to write your own code, rather than just copying and pasting code and making random changes, I think you will get much more enjoyment out of programming.

    Good luck!

    p.s. and expect to wake up in the night with the solution to whatever it was that didn't work! (failing that this forum is priceless)
     
  15. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #15
    Really? I thought you had to pay / enroll :eek:
     
  16. jnoxx macrumors 65816

    jnoxx

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    #16
    Mac App store in OSX Lion, it's free on there, It's the 4.1 version if I'm not mistaking. Allthough I'm not a big fan of Lion, nor XCODe (any version after 3.x)
     
  17. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #17
    If you have NO programming background, I'd start learning C and then start with some VERY basic ObjC programs.

    Programming is NOT for everyone, some can grab it sooner than others, I've been programming for decades and an new to ObjC and handheld devices, it can seem overwhelming at first.

    You'll have to learn programming and all the API's and the IOS (Operating System) etc... It's not an short term investment.

    You can setup Xcode4 and start with some basic program and them learn how to modify the program to do other things. You'll get stuck many times, but after a while you'll start to get the idea.
     
  18. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I have to somewhat disagree. First, given a good book, what you get out of it for the price is very inexpensive. Second, some specific things, like changes to Xcode become dated, but the core of the material does not.

    Books that use Xcode 4 would be my preference and suggestion for a newbie, but that doesn't mean older books don't have good value. Older books may even be the only book source available for some subjects. They might also be considered the better books because of how well the author writes.


    Yumunum, you question is asked multiple times in a week on this very forum. There are plenty of threads to follow giving repeatedly good suggestions. It always comes down to starting at the basics and figuring out if programming is for you.
     
  19. hayesk macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Get Aaron Hillegass' book. It's the best out there, in my opinion.
     
  20. Garryg, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    Garryg macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I agree completely with this post. I’m a programmer to trade and have many, many years experience (as in I started writing COBOL programs on a mini, worth of experience!) and I have to say it’s good to see people becoming interested in programming. Unfortunately it seems to be seen as a ‘quick fix’ thing now. I, like many others, spent a long time learning ‘how’ to program before we were even let near a computer. I realise things have changed, but agree that today’s high-level stuff isn’t the best, or even the easiest, way to start programming.

    Ideally I would suggest Pascal to teach yourself about basic logical programming constructs, but realise that is old-hat. So I agree that the basic C language is probably your best starting place. Jumping into one of newer ‘flashy’ languages with probably result in much confusion and some very dysfunctional code… And I’m talking from experience here, you should see some of my original .net apps code, makes me cringe now!


    I may soon have to look at programming an app for the iPhone/iPad, for a project that has been proposed at work… if it ever gets the go-ahead that is.

    So what's the learning curve like?


    (I've done all the 'normal' stuff: C, VB, ASP, Perl, PHP, .net ... etc.

    Oh, and I also know Assembly, if thers any need to write your own low-level stuff!)
     
  21. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #21
    Garry,

    Like you, I have been developing code for a long time, starting with COBOL on a Honeywell 200 in the late 60's! Then IBM 360 assembler, ... I started looking at iOS coding about a year and a half ago. It took me about a week of playing with sample code before I could actually write something simple from scratch that worked. About 6 months into it, the light actually penetrated my brain, where I really started to get it.

    Now, I can turn out some pretty sophisticated stuff, but I continue understanding and learning more each day. For me, an old guy, the brain cells need constant prodding to keep absorbing! YMMV.

    Mike
     
  22. TylerBetable macrumors newbie

    TylerBetable

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    #22
    Thanks, both of these are fantastic ideas
     
  23. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #24
  24. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #25
    Something talking just about Obj-C and not iOS would not take you all the way to iPhone development, although it would certainly help.

    Be aware that the current standard for Obj-C is Obj-C 2.0... it adds in several changes (like @properties) that you'll want to know about for iPhone development, because Apple uses them a lot in iOS.
     

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