Thoughts about Objective C from over 50 guy


I’m enjoying the book but have mixed feelings about my progress. I wrote my first program in 1973 in Basic. I’ve written plenty of Assembler, COBOL, MAPPER, FOCUS, MARKIV and SAP’s ABAP/4 in the intervening years, all procedural languages. I don’t do programming on a regular basis but try to keep my hand in it in my work as an SAP FI Functional guy in a large corporation (anyone know what SAP is here?)

I decided I need to add getting an app written on my bucket list, give me something to do when I retire in a few years. And I have a lot of ideas for apps.

After getting to about Chapter 4 in the Big Nerd iOS programming book, things were not coming together, I decided I better learn Objective C. So I started this book a few weeks ago. I am on Chapter 15 and have been able to solve all the challenges, mostly. But only by using the problems in the book as a template, not by figuring much out on my own.

I find the concepts relatively easy to understand, typical programming stuff. However I find the syntax somewhat mind-boggling, much more cryptic than anything I’ve come across before. I can understand what needs to be accomplished but it seems like much of the code in the book comes “out of the blue.” So many special characters that seem to be used in arbitrary ways. Perhaps in time patterns will begin to form. If not, I can always play golf and tinker in the garden, like all my friends.

P.S. – I learned how to do the Rubik’s cube in 3 days last year (another bucket list item). This is much harder.


I think that’s an important issue with books in this field: Objective C as a language - unlike say, C++ or Java - is entirely a creature of Apple and Mac/iOS programming. No one’s diving into Objective C for any reason other than programming for the Apple platforms.

So a book on Objective C has to address itself to all kinds of readers - programmers familiar with other languages and just looking to develop on Mac/iOS, new programmers, etc. And since the language is tied to a specific platform, there’s a temptation to teach by showing the language in action on iOS, etc, but that opens up another can of worms in asking readers to learn UI frameworks before they have a firm handle on the language and the Foundation frameworks.

I do feel like this book provides a good overall balance. I have another Objective C book that stays a little more basic and provides a more detailed intro of the language itself, but I like this book’s challenges. Having come back here after quickly running through an iOS dev book that didn’t explain anything (using the ever-popular “just trust me - write this code and I’ll explain later” approach), I can appreciate the latter part of the book where the author explains exactly how a GUI application ties in with the basic stuff you’ve been working on with command line tools.

Maybe it’s different for other readers, but for me, I feel like it’s an immersive process, learning this language and the frameworks. I don’t always know what’s going on with the code I’ve seen, but the pieces start falling into place as you see more and more examples. I’ve definitely come back to sections of code after getting some more experience and suddenly understood the patterns. It’s just a matter of letting the patterns sink in over time.


x2 - agreed.

I felt unmotivated and overwhelmed in the beginning stages when I started with this book, but now I’m getting much more comfortable with obj-c from simply using the language often.


[quote](anyone know what SAP is here?)/quote]

Severely Aged Person?
-Just kidding rustler. :stuck_out_tongue: