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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) [Paperback]

Aaron Hillegass , Mark Fenoglio
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.99
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Book Description

18 Oct 2011 0321706285 978-0321706287 1

Want to write applications for iOS or the Mac? This introduction to programming and the Objective-C language is the first step on your journey from someone who uses apps to someone who writes them.

Based on Big Nerd Ranch's legendary Objective-C Bootcamp,¿this book covers C, Objective-C, and the common programming idioms that enable developers to make the most of Apple technologies.

This is the only introductory-level book written by Aaron Hillegass, one of the most experienced and authoritative voices in the iOS and Cocoa community.

Compatible with Xcode 4.2, iOS 5, and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), this guide features short chapters and engaging style to keep you motivated and moving forward. At the same time, Aaron’s determination that you understand what you’re doing—or at least why you’re doing it—encourages you to think critically as a programmer.


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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) + iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) + Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
Price For All Three: 74.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (18 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321706285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321706287
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 18 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Want to write applications for iOS or the Mac? ¿This introduction to programming and the Objective-C language is the first step on your journey from someone who uses apps to someone who writes them.

Based on Big Nerd Ranch's legendary Objective-C Bootcamp,¿this book covers C, Objective-C, and the common programming idioms that enable developers to make the most of Apple technologies.

This is the only introductory-level book written by Aaron Hillegass, one of the most experienced and authoritative voices in the iOS and Cocoa community.

Compatible with Xcode 4.2, iOS 5, and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), this guide features short chapters and engaging style to keep you motivated and moving forward. At the same time, Aaron's determination that you understand what you're doing—or at least why you're doing it—encourages you to think critically as a programmer.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Programming basics: variables, loops, functions, etc.
  • Objects, classes, methods, and messages
  • Pointers, addresses, and memory management
  • Using Xcode, Apple's documentation, and other tools
  • Classes from the Foundation framework
  • ARC and retain cycles
  • Properties
  • Blocks
  • Categories
  • Delegation, target-action, and notification design patterns

About the Author

Aaron Hillegass, a former employee at NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and, more recently, iOS. Aaron is the author of Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X and co-author of iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Both best-sellers, these books have helped many people develop and enhance their programming skills. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. He is currently working on site plans and blueprints for the new Ranch to be located in Atlanta, GA.

Big Nerd Ranch is a unique software engineering and training company where monastic principles drive technological development. Since 2001, the company has been helping students master programming languages through public enrollment bootcamps, private corporate on-site training, and a growing roster of programming books. Big Nerd Ranch offers consultative services to a broad array of clients, shaping their mobile strategies and developing fresh and engaging mobile and desktop applications.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not easy, but very well done 24 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am most of the way through this book and I feel that I have learned a lot. With great pleasure I completed writing an Objective-C program last night that solves Sudoku puzzles. Amazingly, it works. Although I had a little knowledge of C from long ago, really I was starting from scratch with this book. So the point about my Sudoku program is that this book must have done its job, because that's all I used (almost). At the same time, the book is not easy (because its subject is not easy), and you have to work at it. I'd say that it is essential to work through the examples and the exercises ('challenges'). My only wish is that there were more challenges, since there is no substitute for writing one's own code (and finding that it doesn't work and fixing it). Although I'd have liked more challenges, the book does have enough for its purposes. I did augment the book a bit by using other resources, such as the Wibit <[...]> iPad courses. It is sometimes useful to have another perspective on the same topic. But although those other resources were helpful, this book by Hillegass was sufficient to teach me all I needed to know. By the way, this book will take you as far as designing and building very simple iOS and Mac OS apps, but to go much further than that you will need the next book in this series. But no serious book could take you far into iOS programming from scratch, so that comment is just for information for readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As others have said, it's clearly and logically laid out. It's not a reference guide to Objective-C -- Apple provides those among its free resources for developers. Nor is it a book to read but to work through. So you need a Mac with OS X and XCode installed, in order to do that. But novices should not be alarmed. Hillegass offers clear guidance from the start.

Doing the exercises builds your understanding step-by-step. Having to progressively type in the code (rather than cut-and-paste it from a website or e-book) forces you to think about what you're typing and do it accurately. After all, you will write your own code one day -- maybe today, in parallel with the book exercises -- so it's good to practice accuracy from the start. Additional challenges at the end of most chapters stretch you a little further, and are worth spending time on.

And it's specifically about Objective-C, not C++ or any other flavour of C, so even if you're familiar with those others, this tells you how things tick on an Apple operating system. Objective-C forms the basis both of OS X on Mac laptop and desktop computers and iOS on the iPhone and iPad. If you want stuff specific to either of those platforms, you'll have to go further.

I found Hillegass's style engaging and straightforward. There are fewer asides than in the next book you will need (either 'Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X' or 'iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide), but there are not too many in those, so that's OK.

Finally, there may be a few typos in your edition, so check the book's website for corrections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction 26 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent introduction to programming, C and Objective-C on the Mac. I have a fair amount of programming experience so didn't need the first few chapters but reading them I didn't feel patronised - the author has done a great job. In less than a day I've got a good handle on XCode and Objective-C, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, and with great online help 4 April 2013
Format:Paperback
I only have a tiny amount of experience programming, over 10 years ago was the last time I touched any sort of basic. I wasn't expecting learning Objective-C to be easy, but this book made it much simpler than I thought. At least begin with, as I'm still working through it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic 23 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have been struggling with Objective-C on & off for the past few years; starting to make progress in a haphazard fashion recently when I decided to pick up this book.

Mindblowingly good; very well paced, never intimidating yet always challenging.

Wish I'd read it earlier!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I don't normally write reviews, but credit where credits due. The book guides you from a novice through the necessary steps required to become firstly a proficient programmer and secondly it gives you the necessary basic underpinnings of Object Oriented programming.

My advice to anyone who wants to learn to program is to buy an Apple mac and buy this book. You must not however rush this book. Each chapter builds on the knowledge gained from the previous chapters. Most chapters have a challenge at the end that is mandatory to complete before moving onto the next chapter (that is if you actually want to get anywhere with this book). My advice here is attempt the chapter by using only the information in the book, the solution is in the text somewhere you just have to look for it. I've found myself going back over previous chapters to further ingrain the information into my brain.

Don't think however that reading only this book will give you enough knowledge to write the next killer App. Understanding any language requires a hugh amount of effort and research. You will need to become familiar with the hardware and need to read and understand the developer documentation.

The book gives you enough information to get started. I will certainly be buying the other books:

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
More Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)

There is also a forum where you can reach out to others going through the very same process.

An excellent book written by experts in their field.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong / well writen.
I only got into Obective-C recently with no prior background. Book is really well written & lays the groundwork first and builds you though experience and then problem solving on... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mr. Andrew King
3.0 out of 5 stars Cover problem
Hi, I bought this book a few weeks ago but I decided to write now the review because I had a weird experience. Usually when I am traveling from point A to point B I like to read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alex
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't See The Hype
I saw lots of reviews saying that this was the book to get if you want to learn iOS development (objective-C). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Calvin Gates
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking as a .net developer...
I'd second pretty much what the other people have said about this book - it assumes you are a beginner with no programming knowledge, takes you through first C, then introducing... Read more
Published 7 months ago by W. Burgeson
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but...
Yes it's absolutely OK, well written and clear for me, who has more than 10 years of programming experience (mostly Java and a little Objective C as well). Read more
Published 8 months ago by Zsolt Kiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, but worth it
There is a lot in this book that could be covered by buying a "Learning C" book. Once you have worked through that, the OSX and iOS specifics are very useful.
Published 13 months ago by Radiocode
5.0 out of 5 stars joining the flock
This is a great book to return to the programming flock. I have been away from programing for many years and I'm having great fun going through the chapters and challenges. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by Lost sheep
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