Noob hating life


Complete newbie to programming, which I thought this book was meant for. Am I supposed to comprehend everything as I go or do I just keep going even if I’m confused? I was getting it up until page 33 (the local variable turkey program) when I totally hit a brick wall. I stared at that page for an ENTIRE DAY trying to make sense of it. Still don’t get it.

I moved on to the “99 Beers” program on the next page and kinda got it until the function called itself. I don’t get what made the numbers reverse themselves and count upward. Why wouldn’t the numbers just keep going -1,-2,-3, etc? Do I just keep moving through the book hoping it will all eventually make sense at some point?


I’m sorry you are having a hard time. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Get enough sleep. This helps me a lot when I’m learning new stuff.

  2. Accept that it is going to be difficult. That isn’t because you’re not smart enough, it is because this is just difficult stuff.

Now, the question is really “I’m confused, should I just keep going.”

Yes, keep going. When you’ve read 60 pages or so, double back and see if the first 20 make more sense.


I have the same problem. I got the cocoa book and the objC book at the same time and my first thought was to just hit the cocoa book off the bat. got confused quickly, so i’m now re-re-reading the first 5 chapters of the Objective C book. it’s starting to slowly make sense :slight_smile:


I hear you, and I’ve been there…a couple times.

When I was finishing up college, I decided to attend a computer school in addition to the university I was attending. I had decided to get my certification as both a Certified Novell Engineer as well as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer…neither of which are easy. In addition, I had almost zero knowledge of what makes computer networking work. At the time I didn’t even know what a router was.

Anyway, my point is that I paid about $15,000 to attend the courses for each of these classes, which was about 10-12 if I remember correctly. They were 5 day * 8 hours each, and a couple 3 day’ers. They were designed for people already in the industry. I WAS OVERWHELMED! But, I had to learn this stuff. Most of what they said went over my head, but I stayed focused even though I didn’t understand half of what they were talking about.

After the first two classes, I started to find that the same concepts were starting to return here and there. The more a concept showed itself in different areas, the more I started to be able to follow what they were talking about. By the end I had a basic understanding of most of the major concepts. I had found that the key is more to remember the broad possibilities and concepts instead of the details of all the “why it works is because…”

I also jumped into objective-c programming recently after being away from computers for a while now. I’ve done some programming in the past, but more with web-based languages, never anything with C. I am going the ios route, so I bought the objective C book and then the ios programming book, both are BNR books. After getting through the Objective C book (the one you’re in) and then getting half way through the IOS book, I still found that some of the details were very blurry. I didn’t have the same grasp on the projects that the authors do, so they would refer back to something mentioned much earlier in the book, and I wouldn’t understand what they were referring to. It got frustrating at times, but I would just push forward, sometimes just typing the code without worrying about fully comprehending the rationale.

Now I’ve completed both books and am working on my own little projects. This is were the real learning begins. The books have shown you just a taste of what is possible. Now if I want something to work, I have to go out and find the commands that I’ll need to make it happen. But…I can now use the books to my advantage. I remember doing things that are similar, so I’ll find that section. The difference is that now I understand why I want to do this or that. My search has a purpose, and I know why I’m looking to that section. This makes their explanations of “why” much more understandable.

With that said…don’t give up. Just push forward and read, but don’t get to hung up on understanding everything. You’ll be fine. When in doubt, just type in the code they show in those confusing sections. If you make errors, find them. It won’t take long before you’re starting to get the idea.

Good luck!