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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide Paperback – Oct 18 2011


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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide + iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd Edition) + Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (Oct. 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321706285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321706287
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 18 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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By Rog on Nov. 22 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Which book?

So, you are a person wishing to enter the realm of object oriented programming, or more specifically, you want to learn how to write apps for the Mac, for IOS devices like the iPhone, the iPad, or any of the other IOS devices Apple has produced.

Perhaps after reading other material on this subject, your wondering if you have what it takes?

I've read several books, well at least partially. I say partially because after reading partially through the material I began to realize I wasn't getting it, and ended up abandoning the book.
I am determined however, to learn this material, and so should you! because this is a big realm and getting bigger.

Indeed it is not easy, so my advise to you is, get a good book! It makes all the difference!

I came across this book, after having tried 4 others, and unsuccessfully grasping the basics that are so necessary. I came hear to amazon and read a few reviews, and that is what brought me to this book. I then did a little research about the author and his company, and was very impressed. Indeed this seemed to be exactly the education I was looking for, so I bought it.

The book arrived the very next day (amazon is fast, wow!), and I began my studies. The book is well written, with very few mistakes (typos) all the way through. It has many excersizes that are well thought out, and if you get stuck which happened to me many times, you can go to the forum supported by the book to seek answers, or to compare code from your excersizes. The forum is a busy place with people who are always there ready to help, where no question is too dumb or obvious to ask.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 158 reviews
107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
At LAST!!! Nov. 27 2011
By peg2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From time to time, I'll think, gee, I have this great idea for an iPad/iPhone/Mac app, and I'll fiddle around with Xcode. I'll get absolutely nowhere, despite 30+ years in the software business. (Before you laugh at this, try to figure out Xcode with no experience in Objective C. For that matter, try to figure out Objective C by reading Apple developer docs. I know they try, but they sure don't make it easy.) I bought book after book, and still got nowhere.

Then I happened on the iOS 5 Developer Cookbook. One of the first pages in that book has a flowchart that goes like this:
1) Do you know C? no - learn C, and they show an appropriate book.
2) Do you know Objective C? no - learn Objective C. They show two books for that, and this is one of them.
The chart goes on with books on Xcode and iOS.

So I picked up this book. At first I thought, uh oh, this might have been a waste of money, since there's a pretty big section on basic C skills in the beginning. (Having been writing C more or less since the late '70s, I felt pretty safe in skipping those chapters.)

Then... pay dirt! I'm about halfway through the remaining Objective C part of the book. Objective C can be pretty confusing, even to someone who's been doing OO for several years. Mr. Hillegass does not disappoint - as with other Big Nerd Ranch books, the subject is presented in a clear, understandable, sometimes even beautiful way. I find myself thinking, If only I'd started my OO days with training like this, I might have liked it better.

I think this time around, once I finish one or two more of these books, I might actually get that great app coded, tested, and into the App Store. This book is a great place to start.
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
New to Mac OS X or iOS; this is where you should start Nov. 22 2011
By Lou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must say that as a retired programmer who came from the PC world (via mini's prior to that) I was surprised at how much I could not grasp Objective-C. Granted, the last C/C++ code I had written was some 15 years ago, but really how hard could it be to grasp a new syntax? Was I ever in for a surprise!

After taking the smart move to start using Apple products in 2009 I got bitten by the bug to write some software to support a hobby, maybe even sell it if I could get it to work. I started programming computers in 1968 (no minis or PCs then) and kept up (more or less) until 2000, so this should be fairly easy. After all, Apple gives away the developer tools and provides a massive amount of guidance... well, okay maybe I need some hand holding here. I tried another highly recommended book and indeed it did clear up some of the confusion but I was still left somewhat adrift. I thought to myself, I need a book on Cocoa programming, and besides, it seemed as if Apple was changing the tools, operating system, etc.; every time I seemed to start to get a handle what was going on, another change happened.

I saw that Aaron Hillegass seemed like the "go to" author for folks wanting to understand Cocoa and he had a 4th edition of his Cocoa Programming book coming out shortly covering all the changes in the tools, operating system, etc. So I pre-ordered it and while I was here at Amazon and poking around I saw that he had a newer edition of his Objective-C Programming (this book) and it was on Kindle for a reasonable price. Since I had to wait for the Cocoa book I bought it and downloaded it.

Let me say that if you know nothing of programming, this book will give you the tools to begin to understand what is going on. Indeed, it will teach you what you need to know to actually do some basic C and Objective-C programming if you are a complete novice. If you have a programming background (doesn't really matter what language) this book will tell you all you need to understand about entry level Objective-C. If you are an experienced C or C++ programmer and don't just blow off reading the parts you think you know, you can blast through this book in a couple of weeks and do everything in it, including the challenges.

The point is, if you are having a hard time understanding Objective-C, no matter what your level of programming experience, this book can walk you through the pitfalls and mysteries that seem to leap out at every turn in the Apple documentation. Are some of the new things Apple introduced in Xcode worrisome? Aaron gets you going painlessly. Is ARC giving you trouble? Aaron explains it and points out its pitfalls and where you can still leak memory. If you don't know what that is, you need this book anyway.

All I can say, is even an old programmer can learn new tricks and this may be the best self-paced training guide I have ever used. I can only hope my new Cocoa Programming book (arrived a couple of days ago) is as wonderful as this one proved to be. Thank you Aaron Hillegass for showing me the way.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
You want to learn Objective-C? This is an EXCELLENT place to start! Oct. 16 2011
By Aaron B. Kulbe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My intent is for this to be a living review. I'm not all the way through this book yet. I hope that doesn't make any of you think of this review as less than helpful.

I have no real programming experience other than things I'd call "scripting". Bash, perl, ruby... shell stuff, mostly. It's easy to read the writing on the wall and see the future is a mobile one. That made me want to learn how to program for iOS. Like Hillegass mentions in the beginning... all of his other books that users rave about are for experienced programmers.

Having been through other tutorials on learning languages that weren't as well written, this one is a breath of fresh air. He writes well and explains his points well. I even found a small error which doesn't discourage me about the quality of the book, it actually *encourages* me... because I've learned enough in what I've read so far (I am in Chapter 10, right now) to be able to discover it for myself.

The analogies Aaron is using to communicate the technical concepts make sense. He doesn't waste time either. Like he said in the first part of this book, don't expect this to be an easy read. It's not. That said, I'm learning... and it's making sense. I think if you're serious about your desire to learn Objective-C and developing for Apple stuff, you'd do well do go through *ALL* the exercises in this book as well as the end-of-chapter challenges. He wants to make you think and go beyond just the material that he's covering in the chapter.

Not only that, but he's helping you learn about the libraries that come with the languages, as well as the development tool (Xcode). I like where this book is taking me and I'd definitely recommend it to others wanting to learn Apple development!
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
It's Probably the Best Obj C Book but... May 13 2012
By Avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The good news: it's the best book out there teaching the subject

The bad news: programming books generally stink if you are a beginner. They typically jump over little steps here and there, eventually those little steps snowball and you become completely lost. This one is better than the others, but by page 82, I am completely lost. And that's going slowly and rereading the chapters. Something that doesn't help: the author doesn't publish explanations of the answers to the challenges. They get hashed out in a piecemeal way on the forums by well-intentioned people who clearly have experience programming, but the end result is a mishmash for the beginner. Who has time to sort through 10 threads to see which one is right? Or to sort through the additional concepts that people throw into the discussion when you're still struggling to understand the problem at hand.

And just flat out ignoring dot notation, just not helpful.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Excellent primer for noobs! Dec 2 2011
By cmartinpilot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My background is in Visual Basic for Applications, mainly creating small databases in Microsoft Access. I was a teacher for the first part of my career, so I understand starting with small blocks of knowledge and building on that knowledge with reinforcement. This book is great from a teaching and learning standpoint. You can really tell Aaron not only knows the subject material, but knows how to teach. That makes a huge difference when it comes time to learn. Lot's of people have knowledge, but few have learned how to teach.

I would however recommend a small primer for this book, just because it helped me. (I didn't stumble upon this book right away, so it wasn't my first attempt to learn Objective-C) You Tube Channel "thenewboston" has a free series on Objective-C that will get you started. That way, when you get to this book, the first half will stick better and the second half will make more sense.

By the way, you NEED to type the examples and do the challenges from this book and any others you may read. That is the big secret to really learning this material.

Anyways... a great book about a tough subject. I'm almost done with it after only 2 weeks of reading and I have already ordered the Cocoa Programming book. Thanks Aaron!

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