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Where should I start?

  • iOS and Mac OS X programmers:

    If you don't have a lot of programming experience, you can begin with Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, which introduces Objective-C and basic programming principles. Many enterprise apps use Objective-C and will do so for some time. If you're developing an app for yourself or simply want to learn Swift programming, read on.

    Should I read iOS Programming or Swift Programming first?

    Both iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide use the Swift programming language. Our iOS guide covers iOS app development more generally without teaching Swift. The Swift guide is a deep dive into the language, rather than iOS development. If you are newer to iOS programming, we recommend that you start with the Swift book and then move onto our iOS guide.

    Our iOS Programming and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X guides are written for experienced programmers with knowledge of C and object-oriented programming, and have been updated for Swift. They are separate books, however. If you want to develop only iOS apps, there is no need to read Cocoa Programming. If you want to develop for the Mac only, there is no need to read iOS Programming.

    If you've read either iOS Programming or Cocoa Programming and want to learn more about the back-end inner workings of things, read Advanced Mac OS X Programming.

    (Of course, the best way to learn is in person. Meet us at the Ranch for our range of iOS bootcamps.)

  • Android programmers:

    Ready to get started with Android programming? Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide demonstrates how to write cutting-edge Android applications on a broad range of phones and tablets, using hands-on example apps along with clear explanations of key concepts and APIs.

    You will need Java expertise before you begin reading. Don't have any? Get started with these suggestions.

The code in this book looks like Greek to me. Where can I go for help?

You can ask questions and get help in the Big Nerd Ranch forums.

I own the print version of a Big Nerd Ranch book. Can I get an electronic version at a discount? What if I’m related to someone?

Unfortunately, no—and no, Uncle Fred. The printed book and its electronic counterpart are separate products. For your next Big Nerd Ranch book purchase, consider informIT's bundle packages, which includes the printed book, an EPUB, a Kindle version and a PDF.

I own the previous version of a Big Nerd Ranch book. Can I get the current edition at a discount?

We don't think of our editions as supplements to the original, but as new products altogether. We don't release new editions unless the changes are substantial enough to be worth the purchase price even to owners of the previous edition.

I don’t see any official solutions to the challenges. Where are they?

There is no “official” answer. In fact, in real-world programming there are usually several possible answers. We want you to think like a working programmer and test your own solution. When you do, you'll feel the kind of joy only a professional can experience.

Remember the immortal words of a fictitious baseball manager: “It's supposed to be hard... If it wasn't hard, everyone could do it. The hard is what makes it great."

So give it your best shot, slugger.

There's a piece of my code that concerns me. How can I get help?

Visit our forums, where you can browse what others have done, share your code and ask for input. Or read our blog, which is filled with helpful information.