Most helpful critical review
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2013
It's a good introduction to introductions of a bunch of different things.
But I didn't feel like a lot of what the author said was exactly right and it was misleading plenty of times.
Explanations weren't clear or simple.. which says to me that the author didn't really understand the topics discussed.
Maybe spent a few hours Wikipedia-ing/Googling and then jammed it into a book.
Superficial introductions.. pointless language syntax coverage... went on too long on those. You wouldn't be able to do anything with how much it covers in each language anyways, so why cover it like that... shouldn't have been more than a few pages on each language showing a general overview instead of acting like you're going to be able to make something.
In the languages section, he basically covers the first 15 pages of the first chapter of an outdated 600+ page language book. I think introducing programming by mixing together BASIC, Pascal, and whatever else he does, while not actually having a format where the user actually does anything is ridiculous. Syntax/code in this book is often not correct and is not intended to actually run/work. You can't learn a skill without practice. This book is written to tell the reader about programming, but not to teach programming. The reader's functional understanding of things does not improve that much after reading this book.
You will learn about a few things about data structures. That's right, you'll learn a little about them, but you won't learn them. And I think he took too many pages to tell the reader about them. He acts like he's going to show you how to implement a data structure. But does it 1/30th of the way. Why get started at all if you're going to do that?
I'd recommend it to someone who's completely new, to see a lot of things... to get a rough picture of the programming field.
But to also to take what the author says with a grain of salt. This isn't authoritative and is not worth a careful read.
Explanations were unsatisfactory... but they do get you to ask questions and to do more research on all the topics in this book that were haphazardly and insufficiently introduced..
The author should explicitly tell the reader how much they really don't know in the conclusion of each section.
...Before they prance around acting like they understand assembly after seeing 10 lines of it and reading the author's comments stating that it's totally impossible to understand unless you're a Martian...
I did like the section on encryption.