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News: Read this please.The Great Kangaroo Escape Looking for reviews of the 4th ed on Amazon!   Twitter:  @skochan

+ Official Forum for Programming in Objective-C (the iPhone Programming Language) - Stephen Kochan
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Author Topic: I started learning Objective-C, then found out Lua is apparently more useful... (Read 3892 times)
Posts: 2

on: March 03, 2013, 02:47:10 PM

I really became interested in coding and development four months ago.
It wasn't necessarily a, "omg I want to design an iPhone app by tonight" sort of thing...I really wanted to learn code.

Of course, over the years, hearing about people coding never really made much sense to me.

Coding with what?

I mean, in the very beginning times of Bill Joy and Bill Gates, how'd they just get into writing hours of code day and night?
They didn't have a big nerd ranch guide to go buy..so what the heck were they actually typing???

WELL, fast forward to four months ago and I decide to start doing research.
Now, I'm 25 and have grown up with computers since we had a DOS in the house, so I'm not
a complete idiot when it comes to computers.

Long story short: I had concluded, from all my, "research," that objective-c is going to be the most useful language to learn in terms of iOS development.  It seemed to be the best bang for your time type of deal.

This lasted a short period of time, until I read 10 other forums where people stated that cocoa touch is actually the most useful, and objective-c is simply unnecessarily time consuming.

Well, I order a cocoa touch book to get going. I didn't want to waste my time on things that, in the end, weren't going to be extremely useful and applicable.

This idea lasted a short time until I read a story about Robert Nay, who at the age of 14 went into a library and decided to invent a game called "Bubble Blast" which rose above Angry Birds in pretty much no time at all.  What'd he use? Lua through Corona.

"WHAT? What the heck is Lua?" I said.

So, I give up. How all these teenagers are writing programs for banks and fortune 500 companies while finishing their history homework is beyond me. I don't understand where people start.

Here I am, hacking away at this objective-c book, on page 192, and I still can't really understand the applicability of what's in the book.

Now, Robert Nay did have years of coding experience, but none with Lua.

There was another kid a few years back who had NO programming experience who went into the library and decided to program a physics based game.  The week after it was approved for the store, the thing was downloaded over a million times.

I guess the point of this post, besides me declaring that I give up in this community, is to ask how many different freaking programming languages and platforms (like Xcode or Corona) there are for iOS development and how the heck one decides which one to use? Every time I learn about one, there are ten others, and so on.

I'm sorry the post is so long, but this s*** is extremely frustrating.
I like hard work and dedication, but nothing makes me feel more useless than toiling away at
something I once thought mattered, only to realize it doesn't.

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Posts: 131

Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:15:55 AM

Now this is a risky answer. I am not going to talk much about your question on what techniques to use. Instead I focus on what happens in your mind. Please bear with me. I only wrote this post because I often think just like how you think... and it is not good thinking. Hopefully you can bring yourself to read it all.

I think I can relate to you. Finding something in life you are intrigued by, delving into it, progressing in it... it can be really motivating! And then you learn about some other punk, for even better effect he/she is younger and less experienced, who effortlessly passes you at the speed of light. Frustrating.

Hopefully this post does not come across as psychotherapy. I just want to tell you a few lessons I learned about this. I am about double your age, and therefore almost guaranteed to be a much slower learner, pretty certain less fit, and certainly having less time / opportunities in life left. On the other hand, I have had a lot more time to think about how things like this feel and what you can do with it.

With everything you do, there will always be someone faster / better / more talented in that particular field. Especially if you read about them somewhere, without knowing the full story. It is easy to focus on people like that, compare yourself to them, notice the huge gap, and then just to give up.
That strategy is probably not going to bring you much - it leads pretty certain to self-induced defeat. In every field.

So what can you do? I do not have 'the full list' (maybe others have more ideas) as life doesn't really come with an extensive manual. But here are some ideas:
- if you can't avoid thinking about those successkids: don't forget you don't know the whole story. Something downloaded many times? That has not so much to do with a correctly programmed program, but more with marketing. Mazbe some popular blog wrote about it because the kid had sent it there, or that kid's schoolfriends all tried it and raved about it just because they knew the writer.
Or maybe the facts aren't right. If you got the story from Reddit, Fox News, blogs... it might have been blown up. Because everyone likes romantic 'the kid made something out of nothing in no time' - stories. If you are american, even more, because it fits in the culture even better. Althoug such stories are popular everywhere.
- But the main thing: focus on yourself, not only on others. Your life is about you. If you find something you like, that is great! Spend time on it. If that makes the day a nice day: it's a win. If you enjoy programming: do it. The purpose: to have a life that is nice to live.
I would advise against this idea: "I want to be able to do anything in no time, otherwise it is of no use. And I will stop immediately if I hear rumours about someone else being able to do it faster." I guess you are from a competitive upbringing / culture, if I may be so intrusive. Let it go.

I can tell you I have jumped in that hole of comparing to superstars in my life many times. It has never brought me anything. What did bring me a lot, was the times when I managed to focus on myself, while doing things.
For instance while learning: enjoy the presence of others that are better, as you can ask them questions. Enjoy the presence of others that know less, so you can help them. Helping makes you understand it a lot better too, and spreading kindness gives a boost to both you and the other. You see the lack of competition and frustration? Contrast this to: someone knowing more meet someone knowing less: now the person knowing less inevitably is going to quit.
It is nice to have some dreams, maybe about having an app in the Appstore that is downloaded a million times. But focus on the realistic things, stuff close to you. Accomplishments that are realistic enough to actually be happening in short time, so you can observe your progress. If progress is what you want.

Let me know what you think. I really hope you found some starting points for thinking. I also hope you do not feel belittled. You, as a young guy or girl, have a life of opportunities in front of you. Do not feel overwhelmed by them: those endless opportunities are by no means meant to be done all. Focus on here, now, yourself, today.


ok I also added the paragraph, because I am really worried that you find my rant insulting. Maybe my post said more about my own development and challenges, than it ever helped you.

The text above in other words: pick any programming language / environment. Study it, stick with it and only that, until you are somewhat comfortable in it. Once you know any programming language, learning a new one is easier every time.
For iOS, Objective-C is the solid choice: you can do anything, relatively hard, the language that Apple uses and all bigger programs. Others, for instance Lua, are probably simpler, much quicker to learn, but use more resources, I assume less low-level access, I wouldn't know. At this point, it does not really matter. Pick one. But enjoy... that is the main thing.
For instance, you could pick one that comes with the nicest forum, if this 'life should be nice first and foremost' criterium is appealing to you Smiley

I am just an amateur with Objective-C, don't let the moderator label fool you. Working my way through the book slowly.

Posts: 14

Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 09:45:04 AM

Reading your post I completely understand what you are going through. I have been there! Many times!

I've just come back to learn iOS from my web development phase. Web development can be overwhelming as well. So many languages and frameworks to choose from. Don't get me started on browser compatibility. So I was overwhelmed when I started with web dev. Should I learn PHP or ASP? OK PHP. Learned alittle bit of PHP and then Laravel came along. Laravel is cool need to learn that. Learned Javascript, why not use JQuery. OK use JQuery. What about Dojo? Ok learned Dojo.

It is never ending!

So flash forward to present time. I'm in chapter 10 in the 4th edition of the book. What I've learned is that many languages use the same foundation principles. Loops, inheritance, encapsulation,classes, ect. The syntax is just different or the name for it is different.  Now I'm not saying if you become a expert in Objective-C, you will know Java, C++, Python, ect. What I am saying is that if you learn Objective-C, it will make learning Java, C++ , and Python a whole lot easier.

My advice is, "Do not get overwhelmed!". It is very easy to do in programming. I have to tell myself this every time I pick up Kochan's book!

One more thing! "Know what you want to do before you do it!" Do you want to build an app? Which platform? Just want to learn about MVC programming? Do the research first and then stick with it. Do not drift away from your goal! Those stories you mentioned about people creating successful apps, use it as a motivation!
Posts: 2

Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 11:20:46 AM

To afterDark:

That reply was really, really helpful. You're right about it all, and I didn't find any part of it insulting.
Thank you-

Same goes to korenzo:
I'll just keep chugging along !
Posts: 6

Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 01:26:07 PM

Wow, I just want to say I'm very encouraged by this thread.

afterDark, I really appreciated your response, though I haven't had the same struggles as j56_vB31xz. It is so cool to see reminders that there are people who think about life in such a good way and care enough to take the time to write paragraphs in order to help others! You too, korenzo.

j56_vB31xz, I really hope you can push through this beginning stage of learning how to program. I'm sure your effort will not be in vain, so yes, stick with it!

Remember we're all in it together!  Cheesy
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