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Starting Out with Alice: A Visual Introduction to Programming, 2nd Edition (Gaddis Series) [Paperback]

Tony Gaddis
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Starting Out with Alice (3rd Edition) Starting Out with Alice (3rd Edition) 3.7 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

November 1, 2010 0321545877 978-0321545879 2
Starting Out with Alice: A Visual Introduction to Programming presents a fun and motivational way for novice programmers to learn the basic tenets of programming. Using Alice, an innovative and increasingly popular teaching tool, readers from a variety of backgrounds create virtual programming worlds of animations and computer games. In the successful style of Tony Gaddis’ texts, useful examples and detail-oriented explanations allow students to become comfortable with fundamental concepts of programming without dealing with frustrating syntax errors and complex design techniques. With the knowledge acquired using Alice, students gain confidence in their skills to transition into Java or other programming languages.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Gaddis is the author of numerous textbooks, including Starting Out with C++, Starting Out with Java, Starting Out with Visual Basic.NET, and Starting Out with Visual Basic 6. He is a professor at Haywood Community College.

Product Details

  • Series: Gaddis Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 2 edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321545877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321545879
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful! October 17, 2008
I would recommend this book for all beginners with not only programming itself, but also with Alice 2.0. The book is wonderfully detailed with definitions of terms used frequently, photographic examples of how each step is supposed to look as well as very simple-to-follow tutorials in every chapter. The text is very easy to read and understand as well, very rarely does it ever NOT simplify or provide examples/demonstrations for a concept. Even better, at the end of each chapter there are a set of multiple choice, short answer and exercise questions to help make all the information learned stick just a bit more in your head.

The only downsides to this textbook are that there is no glossary of terms (a feature that would have been very helpful when it comes to programming), and many of the tutorials are very simplistic--something which is good at first, but grows a little boring when you find yourself wanting something of a challenge. And finally, Alice itself tends to have a few glitches here and there (mainly only in that it can slow things down and even take a few minutes to load).

Overall, I'd say this book is worth the price. I give it four out of five stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your first introduction to programming March 25, 2012
By J.K.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is for the first edition of this book and I'm writing this review in 2012, after the second edition has come out.

I bought the first edition of this book for a song here. My needs are very simple: I am interested in learning JavaScript and PHP well enough to be able to handle JavaScript and jQuery with a reasonable amount of confidence and do extremely straightforward back-end web development for my planned website. Practically every beginner book in JavaScript, jQuery, and PHP will assure you in a blurb on the cover that you don't need to know any programming in order to be able to use the book with confidence, and you will find that is a black lie marinated in greed and roasted over hellfire.

After you get past the first chapter of these books, which the publishers understand a non-programmer will browse in the bookstore before buying it, every book I've tried to use to learn this stuff starts rattling off the compuspeak like nobody's business and expects you to follow along nicely. When you can't, well, the obvious assumption to make is that it's your fault. And that's not the truth -- you need a better book written by a better teacher. In all honesty, how can you expect someone who chooses to submit a author's picture of themselves skateboarding (HeadFirst JavaScript) or someone who forgets to thank his students and instead offers thanks to God in his acknowledgments for gifting him with natural teaching ability (JavaScript, A Beginner's Guide) to be able to teach their way out of a paper bag?

I understood that I wanted the simplest possible introduction to basic programming and I dug through the introductory programming books available on Amazon until I found this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you buy the book new, it has an access code specifically saying that you get a prepaid subscription providing you with full access to all student support areas including:

- Web Sections and Chapters
- VideoNotes

Though when you sign up online all you have access to are the "VideoNotes". I would not have opened the access code if I could not have access to the chapters. SO THAT WAS A TOTAL LIE. I even contacted the publisher to verify this:

"We investigated and found only video notes are available for this book."

I think the publisher should do something about it.

Other than that, the book is OK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Starter July 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for an intro to programming class. Although it didn't completely close the gap when I went to take Java, I did feel that I knew a lot of the terminology from this book and my mindset was where it needed to be. I think that those two elements are the most important, so this book definitely delivered there.

There is not actual coding, but it teaches you the structure and how different actions will affect other areas. I think that it would be a big help for those who want to ease themselves into programming and it would even be fun for older kids who want to learn.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supplementary Resources October 9, 2009
By R. Piet
Great book. Please be aware that if you are not a US Educator, you do not have access to the supplementary material from the publisher's website.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible approach to learning programming. December 1, 2009
By deus402
This is a required book for a college level class that I am taking, but from Wikipedia:

"Alice is designed to appeal to specific subpopulations not normally exposed to computer programming, such as female students of middle school age, by encouraging storytelling as opposed to most other programming languages which are designed around computation."

while it does teach _very_ fundamental programming concepts, there is no practical application.

I took an intro to computing course at a different university (which substituted for the prerequisite for the course that taught Alice) where they taught excel, access, and visual basic .net and not only were the same concepts realized by students, at the end of the course you actually had a useful application for the skills learned.

I tend to agree with Wikipedia, that Alice is appropriate for students ages 11-14 that have no prior programming experience, while this book is written for an adult audience which makes it irrelevant.

If you really want to learn programming from a beginners standpoint, I recommend Programming and Problem Solving with C++: Comprehensive Edition which is what I first learned object oriented programming with in high school.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, well written
Great book. Had a lot of screenshots and all the instructions were very simple and easy to follow. Chapter's were a reasonable length and I never felt overwhelmed by anything.
Published 6 months ago by S. murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Very self explanatory
Very self explanatory, yet I sucked at learning it. The steps are short and sweet, almost to short where I couldn't understand what I was doing.
Published 9 months ago by Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for teaching students new to programming
Starting Out with Alice has been the perfect guide to teaching young students unfamiliar with programming concepts. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Robert B. Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
This book was helpful because I got on the right time but there one thing that I wasn't satisfy with and that was the CD.
It didn't work. Beside that the rest was okay.
Published 12 months ago by Emmanuella
5.0 out of 5 stars Used for Class
I only ordered this book because I was taking an introduction programming course at school. Now that the semester is over I know this book won't go to waste because I actually like... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brittany Edwin
5.0 out of 5 stars So easy a 9 year old can do it
Absolutely love this book. The software comes with it, and if you can't get the software to work on your computer, you can download it from the Alice website. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rachael
3.0 out of 5 stars Alice...
Book was pretty cool to learn Alice, but I think it could have been better. I've already resold this book. It came fast, though. The seller is good.
Published 16 months ago by Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for School
This is a book that I brought for school and it was very interesting and very helpful to me and like it
Published 17 months ago by Henri H
2.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile programming guide, had to buy for stupid class
If I hadn't been required to get this for a programming class I never would have. It's horrible. If you want to learn to program and aren't an 8 year old girl, look elsewhere.
Published on April 12, 2011 by John
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CD ROM and Access Codes?
I would like to know as well.
Jan 9, 2012 by danielle |  See all 2 posts
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