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So You Wanna Be a Programmer

It's easy. Just buy a few books.

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Todd Ritter wants to learn to be a programmer. As do a lot of people. The high level programming language is the guitar of the New Millennium but for the difference guitar players can fake it easier and they get the girls.

I recently decided to embark on a personal challenge to learn Objective-C. I want to see some of my ideas come to fruition and end up on some iPhones.

Todd's answer to his quest is to buy a bunch of books. This instead of the 2-3 hour tutorial Apple have online. Of course the Apple POV assumes one is a programmer to start with. Something that's painfully not true in this case.

Striking a Chord

Todd's ambitions seem to have struck a chord with a great many readers.

I appreciate the MVC approach and how its enforced by the development environment, but it does seem more complicated than necessary [sic].

I'm curious to learn Objective-C as well, but I'm really only a PHP developer. I've done some Basic and a little bit of VB in the past, as well as some AppleScript, but nothing touching C or C++.

This article and the comments thread highlight my frustration with Cocoa: nothing seems to be geared at those of us with zero programming background. I have nothing. Played with HTML back when HTML 4 was new. Maybe a few batch files for windows now and then. That's it.

Others have direct questions.

It would be really nice if you could mention what type of programming background you currently have. Otherwise, it may be difficult for people to get a gist of how easily you're able to pick it up depending on your previous experiences.

But I'm in the same boat as Todd: I've got a bunch of ideas I want to try out or that solve problems that I've found in my workflows. Anyone have a good suggestion or 'story from the trenches' of learning Obj-C without any programming background at all?

And Todd's got quite a few issues of his own.

I did some basic C++ programming in college a few years ago and never grasped classes/objects at the time which are obviously the keystone of object-oriented programming. My biggest struggle right now is memory allocation - having to define and release variables unlike other languages like PHP. I am trying to figure out when I have to explicitly release things.

If you have never made a function or defined a variable, you may be lost.

But it's nice the ADC tools are free.

So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star? Then listen now, hear what I say. Just get an electric guitar, take some time and learn how to play. And with your hair swung right and your pants get tight it's gonna be alright.

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