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Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners Paperback – December 21, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Sande is an Electronic Systems Engineer who uses Python as his favorite "do anything" scripting language at work, and also uses it to help teach people about computers and programming. He holds a degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, as well as a Diploma in Communication Arts from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Carter Sande is a high school student who is passionate about technology. When he's not fixing his school's network and helping his classmates recover lost homework, he likes to ride his bike and write retro video games.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; Second Edition edition (December 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617290920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617290923
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The standard Python installation comes with IDLE which is fine and easy to use.
mloves2travel
My son love programming and this is a very entertaining and easy to understand book on the subject.
David Tuomi
I highly recommend this book for kids and anyone else interested in learning about programming.
Jeneanne Paden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R. Braun on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased this for my almost 8 year old to start teaching him computer programming. Gave it to him today, and he loved it. It's full of cartoons and color pictures. He was having fun and giggling as he made the computer say and do different things, and then got excited about programming his first game (chapter 1). He's now staying up to read the book by the light of a Coleman lantern because I told him it's lights out time.

One thing to be aware of is that the book is Python 2. I was more interested in a book to teach how to program than a specific language so this is fine for me, but if you want Python 3 this isn't for you. However, the book seems well laid out so far starting with fun stuff to get interest, doing a few chapters of actual lessons and then a programming a game that uses the lessons. It assumes no programming knowledge of any kind but for that seems fairly complete in what it covers (as least as far as the core python, don't expect an exhaustive detail of every add on package, though it does hit some guis and a little numpy).

The publisher also offers the pdf free with purchase of the print book. And they have an installer on their website which installs all the packages used in the book of the same version the book used, so it's easy to make sure version differences don't slow your kiddo down (they'll need to learn to deal with those, but one thing at a time).

In short, great well-written intro book for kids.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Si Dunn on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am one of the “Other Beginners” mentioned in this book’s subtitle. I have taken a couple of Python classes, and I have worked my way through a couple of Python how-to books. And I am pleased that I have added this new edition of Hello World! to my library.

I am not a professional programmer. Just a hobbyist. But I enjoy doing some coding in Python 2.X and Python 3.X. And I often need to look up some short examples of code or a clear explanation of how a particular function works. I especially like how this book’s new edition includes notes and an appendix that focus on some key differences between Python 2.X and Python 3.X.

Hello World 2nd Edition is written at a 12-year-old’s reading level. I am quite a bit older than that. So I don’t have to struggle too much to comprehend what I am being told and shown about something that seemed fairly complicated at first, such as variable nested loops.

Bottom line: This book is helping me learn more about Python. And it soon may help me help a couple of grandkids who will be taking programming classes in school.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mloves2travel on March 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
I learned programming 20 years ago from the classic Kernighan & Ritchie's "C Programming Language." Hello World follows in that tradition but with what is considered the easiest modern language for beginners to start with, Python. It is written for kids and young adults, but can easily be used by anyone with a passion for learning something new. The book has these nice features:

* Uniquely bundles everything you need to follow along with the book in one installation package on their website. In my experience, developing software is about 60% configuration (painful) and 40% programming (pure joy). Taking the pain out of the equation helps remove obstacles that discourage first time programmers.
* Cartoons with questions or explanations. These visual items complement the text and help stimulate the brain.
* Code examples use different color fonts for keywords and have plenty of sticky note type comments on what the code is doing.
* Suggested exercises at the end of each chapter. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice. How do you gain a deep understanding? Play, experiment, change things in the examples and see what happens!
* Easy to follow analogies. "...a class definition isn't an object. It's just the blueprints. Now let's build a house."
* Game development chapters to build on kids interest and get them creating rather than just consuming. The future belongs to creators in all fields, even if they do not become programmers.

I also have the excellent book "Python for Kids". I would give the advantage to "Hello World" due to the easy to grasp analogies. It is so important when learning something new to be able to relate to something you already know.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick S on March 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
I was interested in having a resource to jump start my understanding of Python in a way that made the material read more conversational than as a technical manual and this does fit the bill.

There's a self-contained dialogue between the author and a fictional character, Carter, that plays kind of devil's advocate to vetting out reasons and rationale of why programming is the way it is in a light and fun manner. This makes the material an easier read than most other beginner resources. You'll get the most value out of the book if you follow along with the Python installer package that the author makes available online, so that you're getting a more practical and engaging experience versus just reading it dry.

The "loss of a star" comes from two things that I found jarring with my experience with the book. First, there are "Thinking Like A Programmer" sections that expand upon technical points during your reading of this book. Unlike Carter, they do not contextualize this information in the same conversational manner and is a drier delivery of explanation that is jarring and doesn't flow with the content at all. The second thing is how focused they are on game programming. If you're looking to use this as a way to come up to speed quicker for systems automation versus programming, this may not be the book for you. You can still purpose the information in some fashion to fit automation scripting, so it isn't a complete loss. Please keep that in mind if you're looking to jump start as a sysadmin that this book may not gel with your needs.

Ultimately, I'd recommend this resource to any age person who's interested in getting into programming, as the tone of the book overall is fun and welcoming.
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