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iPhone Programming - The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition)
by Aaron Hillegasss and Joe Conway

Big Nerd Website
Big Nerd Book

Note. Book link is to 3rd Edition @ Amazon

I had previously read and used Aaron’s ‘Cocoa Programming for MAC OS X’, 2nd and 3rd Editions, so I had a jump start on what to expect from him, if that makes sense. These guys know their stuff …

But, what made me not appreciate the book so much was the fact that they took one app example (for the most part) and built on it over several chapters. While this makes sense and demonstrates how an app is really developed, it got boring for me. Fast.

I would much prefer to work on the app from beginning to end in one chapter, because when you’re done, you’re done. If you finish part of the app in one chapter and then add to your finished app in another chapter and then finish again in the next chapter and then ... Sorry, I just do not like that. Don’t get me wrong, you can still learn from this method, I just don’t like it. Personal pref, I know.

But #2 … There is a lot of extremely useful information in this book. Really useful stuff. Of all the books I have read and learned from, I think that these guys really have the basics covered and you would do well to take heed. I know I did. I think these guys are like Army drill sergeants and that’s okay by me because I've had a few of those in my life and I'm better for it.

I have probably read this book more times than any other book on the subject that I own. I have a feeling that they really want you to know and understand the facts and how they all intertwine. They really want you to begin thinking like a dev.

The Good
If you take your time reading this book, your eyes will really begin to open and you will see how all the parts fit together. Speaking for myself, I had to read chapter’s over and over again for the facts to sink in. In truth, the only time I can really concentrate on a book is if I am laying in bed prior to going to sleep. Any other time, I’m multitasking and do not learn as much. The example projects are clear, but again, the devil is in the details. You may be tempted to just work the examples and skipped the text in between. Ver-ry bad mistake! You are wasting your time.

If you’ll pardon me, I’m going off topic to make a point.
I moderated an iPhone forum for about two months or so and came away with this: Most wanna be dev’s think that all they have to do is type in the code (if they do that much. You can just copy and paste if you are so inclined.) and they will become rock stars. In the time I moderated, most of the ‘solutions’ to their questions were that they had not typed in the code from the book correctly. This resulted in ranting and raving about the ‘author’s book mistakes’ and so on. You have to wonder why they bother because that is not the attitude to take, not in this business anyway.

Point to all of this is that you must really make an effort to understand what the author is trying to get across to you as well as work all the examples. The only way to learn the iOS is by making mistakes. You will make mistakes so-o dumb you will not want to even think about it. But, if you are smart (and I know you are), you will learn from those mistakes and laugh about it later. You can take that to the bank.

So, if you take your time with this read, you will learn a great deal on the subject.

The Bad
I’ve mentioned already that I do not prefer the author’s penchant for developing an app over several chapters. Your mileage may vary.

The Index
Very good. I have not had any issues with it.

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