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Learn to Program (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – January 20, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0976694045 ISBN-10: 0976694042 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (January 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976694042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976694045
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Pine first discovered the programming language Ruby in early 2001 and immediately began using it to build tools for his day job: programming computer games. After hours, he volunteered with gifted children teaching them advanced mathematics. With Ruby, he began to teach his students programming as well. Once he saw how easily his students learned advanced programming concepts in this environment, he decided to expand his teaching materials into a book. Chris enjoys board games and juggling, and lives with his darling wife and two darling children in darling Oslo, Norway. He is very happy.

More About the Author

I'm currently living with my darling wife and two darling children in darling Oslo, Norway. Things are good. :-)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
This is a fine introduction to programming using the Ruby programming language.
Jack D. Herrington
Taking just a little time each day for the past week, my partner has worked halfway through the book, and best of all, actually gets it!
Raymond Brigleb
Chris have a talent here, his writing is funny - it keeps you entertained and to my horror - it actually teaches you stuff!!
Martin Stenkilde

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Jason on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a relative newcomer to Ruby, one of the first things that struck me was the overall simplicity and clarity of the language. I couldn't help thinking that Ruby could serve as an excellent language to teach programming fundamentals. Chris Pine's "Learning to Program" tackles that very task. The latest title in the Pragmatic Programmers Facets of Ruby series, "Learn to Program" arms the reader with the basic skills and concepts required to write their own computer programs using the Ruby language.

The book begins with downloading and installing Ruby and then quickly gets the reader writing their first program - and it's not "Hello World". Pine instructs the reader on the basics covering everything you'd expect: numbers, strings, variables, type conversion, basic IO, methods, flow control, classes, and more. The author does a fine job making the material easy to read and easy to understand through his clear presentation and conversational tone. "Learn to Program" is chock full of simple examples, and this book is very well suited to sitting down with at your keyboard and working your way through each chapter. The chapters are short and can be absorbed quickly without bogging the reader down unnecessarily. Several of the chapters conclude with short programming assignments for the reader to attempt in order to apply the concepts just learned.

"Learn to Program" is written for those who have little to no experience programming. It is a fine introduction for the person who has never written a single line of code. It's no Dummies book though, and a certain degree of comfort and familiarity with computers is a prerequisite for getting the most out of the book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fine introduction to programming using the Ruby programming language. It also serves as a good introduction to Ruby for programmers, though the Pick axe book would be better for that. All the basics are covered, flow control, variables, classes are covered in some detail. The text is jovial and clear.

This is a fun book that is easy to get through. If you have had trouble learning to program in the past you might like to try again with Ruby. It's a very friendly language and this book makes it even easier.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
First things first, this is a wonderful book for learning to use Ruby on Rails. While reading this book, I asked myself "why aren't more beginners books written like this?" For a beginners book, the last thing that I want is a 700 page behemoth that screams THIS IS CONFUSING I AM SCARY I AM INTIMIDATING!!!!! At 150 pages, this book is concise, clear, to the point, and entertaining. For the low price that this book retails at, Chris Pine has written a book that gets away from deluging the reader with too much information, and instead gets back to basics what a BASIC book is supposed to be about (no basic the language, but basic in material).

If you want to learn Ruby on Rails and get up to speed on the ins and outs of this new, hot way to do web development with less code than ever before, pick up this book and you'll get moving in no time!!

***** HIGHLY RECOMMNEDED
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Dlugy-Hegwer on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I was getting started, I spent several months using "Learn to Program in ---". While I learned a lot about that language, I missed a lot of the fundamental concepts and practices that would have made me a more effective programmer.

This book does an excellent job of teaching ***programming***. The author explains each idea in plain friendly English, and provides good examples in Ruby, one of the simplest languages. Even experienced programmers might enjoy (and benefit?) from reading this book. This book is so clear and well written, I'll also use it to teach programming to my home-schooled children when they're ready.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matt Largo on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Learn to Program by Chris Pine is a concise introduction to the world of Learn to Program Coverprogramming using an interpreted scripting language called Ruby. An initial "cool point" goes to Pine for writing Learn to Program around Ruby, which is totally free to use, copy, modify, and distribute. The examples start from the basics of getting Ruby correctly installed and configured for your particular operating system. Although Ruby is mostly developed on Linux, it is a cross-platform language that is supported on many types of UNIX, DOS, Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP, MacOS, BeOS, and OS/2. I ran the examples on my Windows XP laptop without any problems, using a simple, free text editor called Textpad for some of the examples and the command line to round out my experience. The best part of it all...all of the programming tools were free! Gotta love it.

Pine aptly starts out with the essentials for most newbies to programming: data types, arithmetic operations, variables, and variable assignments. I found the overall approach and programming examples to be fun, detailed, and loaded with little tidbits of information, which gave great insight into the "how" and "why" of things. Pine's examples and explanations throughout Learn to Program were great at illustrating the power of Ruby and programming in general, without having the overtly silly and annoying tone typically found in the "Dummies" series of books.

Learn to Program progressively and painlessly takes the reader through increasing complex (for most newbies) programming concepts such as methods, classes, objects, recursion, and flow control. To reinforce the concepts in each chapter there are sections called "A Few Things to Try", which were both interesting and amusing.
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