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Thread: Just a quick question. PLEASE HELP!!

  1. #1 Just a quick question. PLEASE HELP!! 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Hi there,
    Recently, I've been interested in learning how to program, more specifically, for the iOS moblie devices. I found what seemed to be a great free lecture on iTunes U from Fall 2011, so it seemed to be pretty recent (and it was, since they were using the iOS 5). However, in the very first lecture of the series, the professor explained that all students in that class should have already taken the introductory course to understand certain fundamental computer programming concepts (such as variables, classes, algorithms, etc.). The closest that I could find to that course on iTunes U was a programming methodology course from Stanford, but it is from the year 2007 or 2008. I just want to know if it is too old, or if these concepts really don't change over time, only the specific languages. Also, just in case it matters, he uses the language Java for the course. The instructor says that there are no prerequisites to view the course, and that it will teach you the necessary fundamental software engineering principles, but I am nervous that what I would be learning will be outdated, since the technology industry is such a rapidly evolving one.
    If anyone has any advice, or even a suggestion for another course I may have not been able to find, please let me know as it is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks again in advance.

    Daniel A.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
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    Oct 2010
    Well, Java is a pretty standardized language. I'm successfully using a book published in 2001 for reference. New things (like generics, diamond operator etc.) there are pretty well compatible with older stuff (this is called backwards compatibility), and good references and tutorials are provided by Oracle on the Internet.

    What about iOS programming course, make sure you understand (and tried in your programs) the following things:
    1) Different types of variables (both type of value it stores and visibility area like local/instance/static)
    2) Looping and branching
    3) Class and interface, inheritance and polymorphism
    4) Also write at least one Swing application

    If you know the things listed above, iOS programming should be easy for you, I guess. I believe it's just usage of some sort of toolkit (aka library) in your Java applications. Otherwise I'd recommend you to understand the concepts above first.

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  4. #3  
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    Feb 2012

    Generally speaking, the concepts of things like variables, classes, structs, loops, arrays, algorithms, etc... are going to remain the same. A class from 2007 should be relevant still if you are just hoping to learn the fundamentals. I know iOS development can be done with Objective-C which is based on the C programming language but adds support for object-oriented programming. I learned how to program by learning C/C++. Next, I picked up C# and then from there, Java. Then later I learned some functional programming languages like Lisp, Scala, F#... The basics that I learned in C/C++ have helped me with all the other languages.

    I don't think you could go wrong with learning C (or C++) first. If you aren't familiar with C, "The C language was created in the early 1970s at AT&T. the Unix operating system, which is the basis for Mac OS X and Linux, was written in C with a little bit of assembly code for very low-level operations. The Windows operating system is also mostly written in C." (Excerpt taken from Objective-C Programming, The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, Aaron Hillegass)

    I have found good information on this site (here is a C tutorial): C Tutorial - Learn C -

    C++ is a more modern language than C. Even the tutorial I linked to above mentions that. I think that there is no harm in learning a little C first to get the basics and then moving forward from there but that is just my opinion.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by modwyer; February 9th, 2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Feb 2012
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I've seen about 10 of the Stanford Online courses in Java. I was a self-taught programmer from an early age and I had difficulty understanding object oriented programming. The course really helped me 'get it' and I found it to be fun.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by forumsposter View Post

    you answer is quite interesting thanks for your time.
    What an interesting comment. Thanks for your time!
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