New to Apple and new to programming - Beginner looking for advice

in General Discussion edited January 2014

I haven't really touched an Apple since the ][e days way back when. Recently I've been looking at the new MacBook Pro laptops and they have an appeal I can't seem to put my finger on. I'm hoping to head down to the Apple Store this weekend and see if I can order one to replace my dated HP laptop.

To that end, my interest in pursuing some kind of software development as a hobby is also peaking. For many years I've worked in the IT industry as a network engineer (hence the handle), however I've always had an interest in learning how to program and develop software.

As I am a complete newbie when it comes to programming languages, and knowing that my ultimate goal is to someday try and develop software for the iPhone/iTouch/iPad platforms, I am looking for advice on where to start.

I've flicked through some books at the bookstore which cover things like programming and iPhone development etc, however I also read that in order to get started, one should have a solid foundation in C as well as Objective-C. I also read a post on this forum which suggested a bunch of resources and books. After reading the post from user 'tripplesea', I got a little concerned that the suggested books might be over my head.

I'd be really grateful if anyone that was either in my position at some point (self-teaching to program) or a seasoned coder might be able to provide any pointers on where to start so that I don't get stuck in the mud and possibly lose interest.

Anyhow as a first time poster to the forum and a soon-to-be-reborn Apple user I'm pretty glad I found this forum. I'm sure it's going to help me find my "Apple" legs in no time.




  • Reply 1 of 6
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    Yes, your first programming language should not be C. I would instead start out with LAMP or MAMP. Plenty of resources available and most of them are free
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Originally Posted by bbwi View Post

    Yes, your first programming language should not be C. I would instead start out with LAMP or MAMP. Plenty of resources available and most of them are free

    Thanks for the heads up bbwi. Whilst I've had many years experience (read: tinkering) with a number of Linux based systems which ran things like BIND, Sendmail, Apache, MySQL/PostgreSQL, PHP et. al. it's good to know there are packages out there like MAMP that bundle the whole shebang.

    Beyond that though, are you suggesting I learn more about the specific packages contained within something like MAMP before venturing into C? Or is it purely an exercise in setting up a development sandpit to play in? I'm just a little confused as to what is in something like MAMP that would be of benefit or am I just missing something?


  • Reply 3 of 6
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    You said you were a newbie so I chose a language that is relatively easy to learn, can learn it at no cost to yourself, will work on more than the iPad/iPhone platform, will get you familiar with stored procedures and coding, can leverage your existing Sys Admin knowledge, will be able to see more interesting results and faster and not just "Hello World", so... for those reasons I figured you wouldn't get as discouraged as you might trying to learn C from a book

    But, its obviously just my opinion. You could always jump right into C and you might do very well
  • Reply 4 of 6
    I welcome any advice and I thank you for taking the time. I suppose just looking at MAMP, it feels very "web developer" centric and I'm not sure that's what I'm after. That being said, perhaps it's the perfect place to start.

    I suppose being so "old" (I have an Atari 2600 and a couple of C64's gathering dust under the house) I feel like I missed the whole programming revolution, hence my gravitating towards C. There's something about its old-school charm that seems to appeal to me. It also tends to be the language where many of my professional friends started their programming careers (not that I'm looking for a career change). Then again you might be right and it might end up being more than I can chew as a hobbyist and coding newbie, however I think the "Hello World" approach might be a little more my pace.

    Give me a Cisco or some other bit of networking kit and I'll dazzle you with my plumbing skills but aside from that I'm just another script kiddie - which is what I want to shed myself of. In any case I appreciate the advice thus far.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    MAMP is without a doubt web centric but with your Cisco skills you could sell entire solutions rather than single apps. The cloud is huge now and will be for the foreseeable future. You might sell 10,000 copies of an app that you charge $1.99 for but what if you sold just 1 copy of a solution you can charge $20,000 for?

    Seems like two great skills (Cisco and Web Dev) to put together to create something great. Good luck
  • Reply 6 of 6
    I haven't even thought about trying to make money. It's a little more like "Damn I think I have an idea for an app, but I don't know how to build it myself!".

    Anyhow thanks for the advice. Perhaps the skills you mention might serve me well in anything I try to develop.
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