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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've signed up for some programming courses (online) from Conestoga College, my local community college. I've always kind of wanted to try it, and I just want to take some courses to see if it's for me. Maybe I won't like it, maybe it'll be a fun hobby, maybe years down the road, I'll maybe be able to make a fun little app. :)

First up, is a course of "Programming for Beginners", which is a basic introduction to C, then if that goes well, a more formal course on C.

Xcode is downloaded and installed. The course just requires a C compiler. Xcode seems VERY daunting at first glance, but I'll just take it slow, and enjoy the process of learning.

I know there are lot of Mac programmers here on ehMac, so perhaps there will be some that will lend a hand, and I'll be like a sponge for any advice.

I have no delusions this will be easy. As they say, "What's the best way to eat an elephant?.... One bite at a time." ;)

Should be fun!
 

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Well, I've signed up for some programming courses (online) from Conestoga College, my local community college. I've always kind of wanted to try it, and I just want to take some courses to see if it's for me. Maybe I won't like it, maybe it'll be a fun hobby, maybe years down the road, I'll maybe be able to make a fun little app. :)

First up, is a course of "Programming for Beginners", which is a basic introduction to C, then if that goes well, a more formal course on C.

Xcode is downloaded and installed. The course just requires a C compiler. Xcode seems VERY daunting at first glance, but I'll just take it slow, and enjoy the process of learning.

I know there are lot of Mac programmers here on ehMac, so perhaps there will be some that will lend a hand, and I'll be like a sponge for any advice.

I have no delusions this will be easy. As they say, "What's the best way to eat an elephant?.... One bite at a time." ;)

Should be fun!
Trust me, Mr. Mayor. If yours truly could earn a living as a computer programmer, anybody can.

You will enjoy it. My only advice is to make sure your "honey do" list is taken care of before you sit down to program. Time has a habit of slipping away when you put your fingers on the keyboard.

Take care, Margaret
 

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I would say a good couple or three courses in C or C++would do wonders to open your eyes as to how apps are created. The knowledge you learn from C/C++ and the variants will transfer well to Java and even somewhat to web app scripts.
Enjoy the feeling when you get a program made that does something.
 

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I can program for PC, Mac, web, iOS, etc... In most platforms with multiple languages. I have contributed code for apps currently available in the iOS App Store, developed web frameworks supporting some of the largest enterprise web and eComnerce sites in North America and written a client server data transfer program that's audit trail is legally admissible in court and approved for military use to transfer secure documents. Development (programming) is great, have fun with it! I haven't written a line of code in over a year; sold my business interests and retired from it all (mid-30s). Now, I take computers apart and put them back together again.
 

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Well, I've signed up for some programming courses (online) from Conestoga College, my local community college. I've always kind of wanted to try it, and I just want to take some courses to see if it's for me. Maybe I won't like it, maybe it'll be a fun hobby, maybe years down the road, I'll maybe be able to make a fun little app. :)
... ...
I have no delusions this will be easy. As they say, "What's the best way to eat an elephant?.... One bite at a time." ;)

Should be fun!
Congrats Mayor!!! Nothing like getting into some Mac programming stuff (as if I would know how) and maybe like working on your car to at least change the oil and/or the spark plugs - whoops, most recent cars don't even use $5.00 sparkplugs now but $500.00 electronic modules to do basically the same thing.

I can visualize your fist programme now when you click on it to open and are greeted to a nice window with - Welcome World.

A nice greeting regardless I must admit. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:)

Textbook arrived in the mail today.

Course starts tomorrow. Very excited to start something new. I got my official "Student ID" number in the email yesterday. All I need to do is buy some new clothes and get a new lunchpail. ;)
 

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:)

Textbook arrived in the mail today.

Course starts tomorrow. Very excited to start something new. I got my official "Student ID" number in the email yesterday. All I need to do is buy some new clothes and get a new lunchpail. ;)
One with a Thermos, I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have one thing to tell you, and you can thank me later.

Do not rely on Interface Builder as much as everyone would like you to.

You absolutely 100% need to know how to create user interfaces in code. For some reason, a lot of Cocoa related topics teach this to you backwards- they'll tell you just to drag and drop stuff in Interface Builder, without explaining how anything actually works.

If you learn this way, you can get stuck in a rut where "Interface Builder is magical and I don't need to know how it works". And the world doesn't need another one of those programmers- we've got enough of them clogging up the iOS and Mac App Stores.

Once you know how to create user interfaces programatically (without using a single NIB or XIB file), THEN and ONLY THEN would I recommend that you learn to use Interface Builder properly- as a shortcut, and NOT as a substitute for foundation knowledge that you need to know.

I don't know why the majority of material out there teaches this backwards, but it does. So be warned. Knowing how to do things in code will separate you from the rest very quickly, it will let you do things that everyone else gets stumped over in IB (because a lot of things you simply cannot do in Interface Builder- like writing your own widgets).

Also, avoid ARC initially. You need to know how Objective C memory management works, and I'm not sure if ARC is being pushed as hard as Apple is pushing it elsewhere. And avoid storyboarding in iOS, it's almost just as bad as IB- it's great for saving time, but only once you know how to do things manually.

-DN
Thanks very much for advice Dennis. I will receive it and believe it. :)

When I started doing web-stuff a long time ago, I learned on GoLive CyberStudio, which was really nice drag-n-drop, but I would often hear how horrible the HTML was.

This time around, I hope to slowly and methodically learn C and really get a handle on that. Assuming I haven't decided by then that programming isn't for me, I will then expand from there.

I'd like to learn PHP and Ajax as well, as the software that ehMac runs on so heavily uses. Right now, I depend on a developer, but I'd like to learn to be able to know what I'm doing as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Question for those familiar with Xcode.

The course calls for simply a "C Compiler".

Any instructions / tips for using Xcode as a simple as possible "C Complier" for when I start the course? Is there any possibility I may run into trouble trying to do assignments on a Mac with Xcode, vs someone who is doing it on a PC with some other tools?
 

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Once you know how to create user interfaces programatically (without using a single NIB or XIB file), THEN and ONLY THEN would I recommend that you learn to use Interface Builder properly- as a shortcut, and NOT as a substitute for foundation knowledge that you need to know.
sound advice for anything really, not just learning code :)

you want to drive? learn to drive stick before automatic...want to dj? learn to beatmatch before getting onto traktor.
 

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Question for those familiar with Xcode.

The course calls for simply a "C Compiler".

Any instructions / tips for using Xcode as a simple as possible "C Complier" for when I start the course? Is there any possibility I may run into trouble trying to do assignments on a Mac with Xcode, vs someone who is doing it on a PC with some other tools?
I'd recommend creating an Xcode project for a command-line tool. That way you don't have to futz with command line tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd recommend creating an Xcode project for a command-line tool. That way you don't have to futz with command line tools.
Thanks jfpoole. That's the way I'll go. I was playing around with the first assignment, and that works good. With the "Editor" and "View" buttons on the top right, I'm able to create a screen that's pretty much a place to write code, and see the output at the bottom, and giving me what I need to do for assignments for now.



With that, and the day off, and access to the course figure out, today's the first day I can really sink my teeth into things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Going well so far!

We're in Week 1, but I got my Week 2 assignments complete already, and have read the first 3 Chapters of the text book we are using, Absolute Beginner's Guide to C.

Really like the text book, as it starts from the VERY beginning, assuming that you know nothing about programming. (Me!) I've tried to get into programming several times now, but whenever I found a resource, it always seemed to assume certain knowledge. This one starts from the basics.

First week was just getting our C Compilers installed and testing, how the online course works, virtual introductions.

Week 2, I learned about basic of a program, some background to programming and C etc.. Then learned about the main() function, and different kinds of data, like Characters, Integers and Floating Points. Finally, we learned about commenting as you code, and also using white space and indenting to make the code also more readable.

First assignment was to take a program that was written in a singe, continuous line, and put code on their own lines, appropriate double line spacing, and appropriate indenting.

Code:
#include<stdio.h>
main() { int x=8; float y; y = (float) x; printf("When you convert %d to a 
floating point number,\n",x); printf("You get %f.\n", y); return 0; }
2nd assignment was a program that had lots of comments on it. We had to remove commenting that was frivolous / not necessary, keep comments that were applicable, and add some comments that the program should of had.

Code:
#include <stdio.h>
int main()     // start of main() function
{
   int age;
   // get user's age
   printf("How old are you? \n");   // prints How old are you?
   scanf("%d", &age);
   // compute future ages and print them
   age = age + 10;
   printf("In 10 years, you will be %d.\n", age);
   age = age + 10;
   printf("A decade after that, you'll be %d.\n", age);
   return 0;  // returns 0
}
Just got my first marks back! :) :D Hey, gotta start somewhere.
 

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