I feel like I'm getting stuck lately when it comes to learning about programming-related things; I thought I'd ask a question here and write it all down in the hope to get some pointers/advice from people. Perhaps writing it down helps me put things in perspective for myself aswell.
I study Interactive Multimedia Design. This course is based on two things: graphic design on one hand, and web development on the other hand. I have quite a decent knowledge of web-related languages (the usual HTML/JS/PHP) and I'll be getting a course on ASP.NET next year. In my free time, I have learnt how to work with CodeIgniter, aswell as some diving into Ruby (and Rails) and basic iOS programming. In my first year of college I also did a class on Java (19/20 on the end result). This grade doesn't really mean anything though; I have the basics of OOP down but Java-wise, we learnt next to nothing.
Considering the time I have been programming in, for example, PHP.. I can't say I'm bad at it. I'm definitely not good or great at it, but I'm decent. My teachers tell me I have the programming thing down. They just tell me I should keep on learning. So that's what I do, and I try to take in as much as possible; however, sometimes I'm unsure where to start and I have this tendency to always doubt myself.
Now, for the 'question'. I want to get into iOS programming. I know iOS programming boils down to programming in Cocoa Touch and Objective-C. I also know Obj-C is a superset of C. I have done a class on C a couple of years ago, but I failed miserably. I got stuck at pointers and never really understood them.. Until like a month ago. I suddenly 'got' it.
I have been working through a book on Objective-C for a week or so now, and I understand the basics (I'm at like.. chapter 6 or so). However, I keep running into similar problems as the ones I had when I did the C class: I suck at math. No, really.
I come from a Latin-Modern Languages background in high school and I had nearly no math classes back then. I wanted to study Computer Science, but I failed there because of the miserable state of my mathematics knowledge. I can't explain why I'm suddenly talking about math here though, because it isn't directly related to programming.. yet it is.
For example, the examples in the book I'm reading now are about programming a fraction-calculator. All good, I can do the programming when I get the formulas down.. but it takes me a full day or more to actually get to that point. I also find it hard to come up with ideas for myself.
I made one small iOS app the other day and it's just a button / label kind of thing. When I press the button, it generates a random number. That's really all I could come up with. Can you 'learn' that? It probably comes down to creativity, but evidently, I'm not too great at being creative. Are there any sites or resources out there that provide something like a basic list of things you can program when you're just starting out?
Maybe I'm focusing on too many things at once. I want to keep my HTML/CSS at a decent level, while learning PHP and CodeIgniter, while diving into Ruby on Rails and learning Objective-C and the iOS SDK at the same time. I just want to be good at something, I guess. The problem is that I can't seem to be happy with my PHP stuff. I want more, something 'harder'; that's why I decided to pick up the iOS thing.
Like I said, I have the basics down of a lot of different languages. I can program something simple in Java, in C, in Objective-C as of this week.. but it ends there. Mostly because I can't come up with ideas for more complex applications, and also because I just doubt myself: 'Oh, that's too complex, I can never do that'. And then it ends there.
To conclude my rant, let me basically rephrase my questions into a 'tl;dr' part.
A. I want to get into iOS programming and I have basic knowledge of C/Objective-C. However, I struggle to come up with ideas of my own and implement them and I also suck at math which is something that isn't directly related to, yet often needed while programming. What can I do?
B. I have an interest in a lot of different programming languages and I can't stop reading/learning. However, I don't feel like I'm good in anything. Should I perhaps focus on just one language for a year or longer, or keep taking it all in at the same time and hope I'll finally get them all down?
C. Are there any resources out there that provide basic ideas of things I can program? I'm thinking about 'simple' command-line applications here to help me while studying C/Obj-C away from the whole iPhone SDK. Like I said, the examples in my book are mainly math-based (fraction calculator) and it's kinda hard. :(
Thanks a lot for reading my post. I didn't plan it to be this long but oh well.
Thanks in advance for any answers.