BNR Day 6: Hitting The Wall

As we go into the last full day of class tomorrow, and after 16 hours of learning a day for the last week, everyone’s reserves are running low.  We’ve been let into Willy Wonka’s factory and are so full of wonder and chocolate that we’re getting type 2 diabetes.  Everyone’s struggling for their own way to overcome, because we all know great things are on the far side of adversity.

The last couple days have been drilling through different areas of the Cocoa Touch framework, including core MVC app development patterns, the camera, and writing to the file-system.  Acceptance of Objective-C has set in at this point.  Scott rightfully pointed out more than once that the minimal additional syntax from C lends great learnability. 

At this point, the framework learning is more about picking up on the writing style of the author.  Just as a novelist enjoys relying on particular tropes and themes, API writers have to make similar commitments to design patterns; otherwise, they lose the audience.  After a certain point, programmer’s true skill is not parsing code so much as documentation. 

As far as framework difficult, if an ASP.Net programmer can overcome the language, the core MVC concept is the biggest challenge.  They will likely have a perception of “extra work” concerning management of a controller class, view class, and often the nib/xib file for each part of the screen where once they just had a code-behind (or control) class and the aspx file.  However, the advantages in cleaner design and necessities of superior memory management will make even the most skeptical programmer embrace it.  With the added bonus it will make learning the modern MVC.Net architecture an absolute breeze.

Learning a framework is less like memorizing geography and more like anthropological analysis of the bygone culture that once occupied a single region.  Situated in their particular time and place, what kind of lives did they lead and how did they decide how to lead them?  It’s not about climbing to the top of an ancient ruin to grasp understanding at the top with finality; it’s about finding the story each stone can add to a history to shape your present.