I've never programmed before


Hi all as the subject title says i’ve never programmed before, i’ve been reading through Objective-C Programming: Big Nerd Ranch Guide and understanding most of what it’s telling me, here is my problem, when it comes to some of the Challenges i’m unsure where to start? I come to these forums and look at other peoples attempts at the challenges and when i read them i totally understand what they have done to get the challenge correct, I’m just unsure why i’m having to be shown the answer instead of going YES i know how to do this !!!

Is this because writing code is so new to me that maybe i’m unsure where to start or what do you think my problem is? any help or advice or words of encouragement would be GREATLY appreciated on this matter :slight_smile:


I am new to this as well so from one new person to the next…
Keep going and keep failing! I have a quote in my work area that says “Chop wood, Carry Water—Jay Mohr” . It comes down to doing little tasks that add up to the big picture. So….“chop wood and carry water” already! re-read, work hard, read more, work harder……go man go!


If you’ve never programmed before and if you’re still getting most of what the book is telling you then you are doing better than you imagine you are. Keep in mind that a computer science student has already been exposed to discrete math, object-oriented design, algorithms & data structures, basic design patterns, event-driven systems, concurrent programming and a lot more of the Software Engineering Body Of Knowledge. He spends 4 years learning and practicing this stuff. You’ve got none of that background, so if you’re getting this stuff then that’s an impressive feat on your part (and a testament to the BNR guides).

I suggest that you not worry about the challenges for now. Try and recreate the exercises on your own, immediately after following the instructions in the book. That will give you early wins and confidence. Write as much code as you can. Make up your own assignments if you feel like it and implement those. As you progress through the book, go back a few chapters and attempt the challenges. At one point things will start falling into place and you will experience an Ah-ha moment.

Good luck to you. Let us know when you have an app available in the app store. :slight_smile:


I know how you feel.

I learned programming mostly by myself. I audited a class in university, but that was about it. I would recommend this (auditing a programming class) if you can. It doesn’t have to be an Objective-C class, just any C, or Java class. Learning by yourself is a very slow, process.

I started with Java, doing procedural stuff, and as I got better, then I started doing more object oriented.

You can certainly stick to this book, and see if things improve, but honestly, if it doesn’t, I would take it down a notch, and go for a simpler book, or something like http://www.alice.org/. You may need to read more than one book.

If I were reading a book, understanding what is going on is great, but not being able to do the exercises would tell me that I need to go slower, or read the “prequel” (maybe an intro to programming book)


I’m on Objective-C Programming. I’ve “finished” it. Instead of making sure I understood something I moved on hoping that it would click later. Some of it didn’t. So I’m going back through seeing what I understand and what I don’t. I’ve done some of the challenges. Sometimes I couldn’t be bothered :confused:

Besides this though I have a little experience in Visual Basic.

Some of the math is confusing, but I’m only in Algebra 2 in high school. So the fact that I’m understanding some of this counts for something. I’m just taking my time now to try and understand as much as I can in this book before I start iOS Programming. I probably won’t understand it all when I start iOS Programming but I want to understand some of the more important things that I will use more often a bit better.