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on 13 March 2014
I bought this book before starting their iOS book. I already knew Java beforehand but had never used Objective-C (or C/C++). Perhaps because the syntax is so similar to Java, I found this book a bit simple. It assumes NO knowledge of programming or OO at all. It will take you through Strings, Arrays etc.

Having said that, if you want to start programming for phones & have no experience of programming at all, this book or a similar book for Java (if you want to make Android apps) would be an excellent starting point. It is clearly written, explains everything well and covers all the stuff you'll need to start making simple tools. Note that you do not make many (only 1) actual iPhone app (and a very simple one to boot!) - that is a topic for the next book in the series - 'iOS programming'.

So what do you do? make command line tools that print stuff to the console. WAKE UP! yes it sounds boring but it's where all programmers start and you can plough through this book in a week or two and get onto making real apps. Think of it as a painful ordeal all wannabe programmers have to complete! On the plus side, you won't ever have to go this basic again - even for new languages (unless you're me and buy this book by mistake!).

So ONLY buy this book if you're looking to get into programming from scratch. If you know some other OO language it is not necessary - just complete a basic online tutorial for objective-c and go straight to the excellent iOS Big Nerd Ranch book which assumes very very little knowledge of objective-c just a bit of syntax & what OO is.
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on 5 December 2015
As an experienced programmer in a variety of languages, I decided to investigate Objective-C so that I could produce software for my new MacBook. Having tried a Web-based tutorial and lost the plot, I chose this book and, although I've not yet reached the end of it, I'm delighted with it. Objective-C is definitely not for the faint-hearted but the book is carrying me along nicely. The end of chapter challenges are particularly useful and I commend them to anyone trying to follow the text. My routine is to read a chapter, go through the chapter again entering the examples into my MacBook and then complete the end of chapter challenges. On those rare occasions when I've failed to rise to the challenges, the forum on The Big Nerd Ranch Web site has proved enlightening and got me through. I recommend the book as a starter into Objective-C for anyone with some modern programming experience. I'm not sure whether it is as suitable for the complete programming novice.
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on 24 February 2014
While a reasonably experienced programmer, various Assembly Language instruction sets, a bit of perl, C, etc, I have very little working knowledge of Class based languages.

I am looking to branch into Mac programming so was looking for a book that demonstrated the syntax and usage of Objective-C without assuming the reader was a complete novice to programming.

Yes, you do need a working knowledge of programming to get the best of the contents, but the book is nicely structured, new topics are introduced by building on the previous topics and examples. The examples in the book are nice and short so you feel more inclined to type them in rather than downloading the code from a web site.

In short, a excellent book that complements their Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X book.
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on 24 September 2014
Great book and very easy to follow. I did Java several years ago and wanted to get back into programming. As I work through the book I start to remember bits from Java - obviously not the same, but they do have similarities. The only issue is a few black lines running down the middle of a few pages between chapters 5-7, but I am sure it was a mis print and it doesn't block out any words, just a bit more difficult to read. Other than than, can't complain. Happy. Enjoying learning again.
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on 2 May 2014
I've been a COBOL programmer and wanted to have a look at programing apps. I've not completed the book yet but so far it has been very good. It walks you through the programing process and also give you additional tasks for many of the subjects being presented. As I already had a programing background I found the book useful in getting to grips with Objective-C. The style isn't too sterile and you feel that your being tutored rather than lectured to.

Certainly worth considering.
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on 29 April 2014 an aging programmer. mainly COBOL and other early languages, who is retires I thought I would retrain in the more modern programming stuff. I have a grandson on his way up so I feel I need to know about this kind of thing.

The book is an easy read. Each of the exercises work and make sense.

I like what I have done so far and find it takes me along at a pace that makes sense to me. Good book. Recommended.
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on 24 December 2014
I'd give this book 2.5 stars if I could - it's oK but tbh it's a bit of a chore and definitely not fun.

It runs through the various important aspects of Objective-C in a concise manner, with short chapters so you do feel like you're making progress as you run through it.

However, the challenges at the end of each chapter are an absolute chore and make you want to give up. I'm currently on chapter 22 and have finally resigned to skipping each one until I become a bit more adept at programming. The problem is that it builds on previous challenges, which sounds like it makes sense, but soon enough you have a fairly large bit of code which is difficult to navigate for a beginner. Oh and by that stage you're sick of the last challenge and to go back to it isn't really inspiring.

All this would be completely OK if the authors provided a best practice solution for each challenge, but they don't. There are solutions on the forum but these are often poor. I guess the idea is "oh, you learn by doing and figuring it out yourself" but this is extremely time consuming and not an efficient way to learn. This is something that bad math teachers say - oh it's in the book, figure it out and you'll remember it next time. I know programming is all about problem solving, but at the early stages it frustrating not being able to figure out errors.

I would be lost if it wasn't for other more descriptive sources (especially when learning about classes) - like I said they keep it concise but this often neglects explaining a new concept in an engaging way.

Overall I think that this is a good reference book, however I'd definitely look to other sources for learning about programming. It's not the holy grail of Objective C programming that people make out imo

Covers the important aspects

The challenges don't provide you with a best practice solution (major frustration)
Not engaging
Doesn't make programming fun
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on 28 January 2014
Reads like a book.
Great style.
Looks great on monochrome kindle.
First stop on the journey to my million dollar game ;)
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on 11 April 2014
Mmmm very good book. Walks you step-by-step. Starts teaching C then ventures into OC. Explains almost every detail. Just get it!!
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on 12 June 2014
Like all the other Big Nerd Ranch guides, you won't be disappointed. A lot of information, the right way !
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