iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, Third Edition (3rd Edition) (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321821522
ISBN-10: 0321821521
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

 Joe Conway is the senior iOS instructor at Big Nerd Ranch and has been consulting on the iOS platform since its creation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he has been writing Objective-C and Cocoa code since the dawn of OS X. Joe wrote the materials for the exceptionally popular Big Nerd Ranch iOS Bootcamp course, on which this book is based.

 Aaron Hillegass, a former employee of NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and more recently, iOS. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. Aaron is also the author of Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X.

Product Details

  • File Size: 49742 KB
  • Print Length: 609 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 3 edition (March 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 16, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007OWBAB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sean Conrad on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
**Before Buying**
Learn Objective-C, or another C-derived language. Seriously. Do it. Knowing Ruby or JavaScript or another web technology won't do; YOU MUST LEARN OBJECTIVE-C. If you don't know Objective-C, start with Big Nerd Ranch's other book: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (also on Amazon and also amazing). Once you know Objective-C, come back and buy this book. It's incredible.

**General Info**
I tried to use several iOS educational materials all over the web - paid and free - and I struggled with them all. They either assumed too much, or were just poorly structured for actual learning. Wandering around in code does NOT make a good learning experience.

So what sets Big Nerd Ranch's book apart? The authors are trainers/teachers by trade, and it shows - the structure of this book made learning easy, enjoyable, POSSIBLE. They aren't just wading through code and expecting you to get it; they outline what they are doing, and why, then show you the syntax, then fill in the gaps, then roll over it all with a fresh coat of learning paint. And in the end it's beautiful.

The authors also set up a discussion forum for the book and its Challenges on their website, which was a very handy resource. There, you can talk with people who are reading the book at the same time you are! compare answers, etc.

**Length**
To give you an idea of the scope of this book, it took me roughly 120 hours to complete (roughly 2.5 weeks working on it full time). I'm not sure if this is typical, or slow, or fast. But it's a 550-page beast. A beautiful, beautiful beast.
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I'm a rusty old developer who decided to get his hands dirty again. I had previously tried the O'Reilly "Programming iOS 4" book and found it really wanting. I could never get into a good groove -- I didn't like the examples/samples, the way the concepts were being introduced wasn't intuitive. The book just wasn't for me. A few months later, I decided to try again. Since iOS 5 was out, I needed a new book. I saw a number of positive reviews for the BNR book and decided to give it a try. I immediately enjoyed the book and found myself much more engaged. The pace is good, the examples are interesting and they do a great job of introducing key concepts. I really appreciate the fact that in a short amount of time, not only am I learning more about the iOS foundation, but I'm also exploring the use of key features, like location and maps. Even though I used to write a lot of code, I don't feel this book is too dumbed down. I really feel this book has accelerated my learning curve of iOS.
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Before buying this book I looked on Big Nerd Ranch's (BNR) site to see if they planned on publishing a new edition since iOS 6's release. Their web-site claimed, since there were no major changes with iOS 6, there were no plans to update their book. So I ordered the 3rd edition.

As I started to work through the material and exercises, it became more and more evident that in fact iOS 6 did bring about many changes, which really require an updated edition to this book and its material. e.g., quite a few interfaces have been deprecated with iOS 6. These changes make it quite frustrating to follow the material in the book. One is constantly forced to look up changes when the code examples do not work as advertised in the 3rd edition.

To their credit, the Big Nerd Ranch folks provide on their web-site a discussion forum, which has proved useful in following-up on some of these changes. The reader has to cross-reference a web-forum as she studies the material in this book.

Other than that, this book seems very well written and the end of chapter challenges are well thought out to get the reader to do some extra legwork, or thinking about how to solve problems. Again the BNR web-forum is a nice place to visit for discussions on solutions to these challenges.

I'm currently midway through this book. I reserve the right to update this review after I complete my study of this book :)
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I found this edition of the book to be a little simpler to understand than the second edition. It may be due to the fact that Apple now supports ARC and the authors don't have to worry about explaining it. But overall, I think they really went back and tried to explain things in the clearest ways possible and at least through the first five chapters, everything has been making a lot of sense. It is hard for people not very familiar with programming (like myself) to grasp some of the concepts like delegation but I found that reading through the chapters slowly and working through examples is building a solid foundation. I would highly recommend using this book to start iOS development.
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I am spending much of 2013 trying to get really good with iOS. I have worked my way through about 15 books on iOS, and almost all of them are horrible and a complete waste of money, sadly. The Big Nerd Ranch Guide on iOS programming is by far the best of the books I've read, but that doesn't mean you can buy this book and become a crack iOS programmer in 30 days. I have been in the software development field for over 25 years, but it took me three attempts to get through this book and do all the coding as the authors present it. The first two attempts started out okay but eventually failed because the book goes so deep into iOS topics and moves so fast with fleeting explanations. It was taking me hours to get through a chapter. I gave up and worked through Stanford University's online course in iOS development (available for free on iTunes U, very hard but very educational). Then I came back to the Big Nerd Ranch book on iOS and was finally able to claw my way through the whole book. Note that I'm not talking about reading the book like a novel and just becoming familiar with whatever topics appeal to me. I'm talking about studying 4 to 6 hours a day with the book, working through every example, and making sure I understand every single word in the book, often going to Stack Overflow to get additional explanations.

It's a wonderful book, and I praise the authors, but it goes off the rails in a few important areas. First, the authors follow a JIT style of explaining iOS concepts. The abstract principles of iOS are not systematically addressed in isolation. Instead, the authors have you type in gobs of code to make apps, and as they present the code they mention key principles of iOS in passing.
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