Finished the Objective C Book


I have more or less finished the book. What do I do now? I have the iPhone programming book and I have tried the whereamiapp in Xcode 4.2.1 and I can’t get it to work. Do I admit defeat and wait for the new book in March or shall I plough on? Please advise as I have posted this question on the iPhone programming forum but no one seem to be looking at that board.


I wonder if the authors have a comment on this, since I too have avoided the 2nd Edition iPhone book since many of the examples are apparently no longer functional in XCode 4.2 without jerryrigging a custom template or something. I think I’d wait till March for the new edition. In the meantime, there are other good books you could be reading from BNR on Cocoa, or another popular series like Beginning iOS 5 Development.


Yes, the 2nd edition of “iOS Programming: The BNR Guide” was written for a different version of Xcode, so there can be some frustrations there. I’m biased, but I think it is still the best iOS programming book on the market.

If you come to the ranch, we are using drafts of the 3rd edition in our classes. The plan is that the new edition will be available in March.

You could use one of the other books. Jeff Larmache’s book is pretty good.


Thought I would post here and ask rather than making a new topic.

Love the book and I’m about 60 pages in but I wanted to ask those that completed the book and to the people who are very experienced with objective-c is where the book leaves you when you’re done with it. Could you call yourself an expert in objective-c or is there still a lot more to learn and this is only the beginning?

I would really like to make my own apps and I’m still working though the book but it would be nice to know if at the end I could say I’ve learned objective c as a language and could move on or if I still need to work on it to be fully versed in it.


I’d say the book familiarizes you with Objective C, its syntax and the basics of Foundation (specific to Mac/iOS Cocoa development). It’s a necessary prerequisite to app programming, but not in any way sufficient. The whole point of the book is to get you to understand the absolute basics for competence in the real iOS classes and APIs, which, although written in Objective C mostly (except for some of the basic graphics and low-level stuff, written in pure C) need to be mastered in their own right for further app development.

Short story: after finishing this book you know the language, but that doesn’t mean you’re prepared to write a novel, anymore than a 6 year old with some basic knowledge of English would be. It’s just a prerequisite to getting onto the real stuff (interface, Core Data, networking, etc. APIs specific to iOS). But if you don’t understand Objective C syntax and basic data structures it’d be foolish to jump headlong into those public interfaces, so that’s why you start on the ground floor so to speak. You’ll need additional guidance for the more advanced APIs specific to iOS (handling view controllers, displaying tables, networking, etc.) - it’s not as bad as other dev environments, but it still requires more learning. For game development you’ll need to learn either Cocos2d or OpenGL, etc., although both of those are outside any of my experience.

This is the language - when you’re done you’ll be ready to learn the art of writing.


Thanks for the response that really helped.

As for learning past this book what would be some good recommendations? I have the other one that is for Xcode 4.0 so I will try and work with that but as far as developing more objective skills beyond.

Any current books by the big nerd ranch are in circulation on this or planned for the near future? Your writing and presentation of the books are great and easier to follow then any other book I’ve read and would really like to continue learning through you guys.


I think the two iOS books mentioned in this thread - the upcoming 3rd Edition of BNR’s iOS guide (due in March, the current 2nd Edition is for XCode 4.1) - and Beginning iOS 5 Development, are the best places to continue reading, besides Apple’s Documentation and Guides.

Basically with knowledge of Objective C you’ve got the Model part of MVC programming (i.e. how to store data in classes). The next step is to represent that data on screen in views and controllers, i.e. the GUI, and that’s where those books pick up - leaving NSLog-land. It’s the cool part where you get tangible results in the iOS Simulator.


Great to see you finished the book.

How long did it take you to finish the book?

I started with the book 5 days ago and feel it’s a long shot for a rookie programmer to complete the book and thoroughly understand the topics covered.

I’m a front-end dev with two years javascript experience.