- Series: Head First
- Paperback: 632 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 22, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449399916
- ISBN-13: 978-1449399917
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Head First C: A Brain-Friendly Guide 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About 'Head First' Books
We think of a Head First Reader as a Learner
Learning isn't something that just happens to you. It's something you do. You can't learn without pumping some neurons. Learning means building more mental pathways, bridging connections between new and pre-existing knowledge, recognizing patterns, and turning facts and information into knowledge (and ultimately, wisdom). Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology, Head First books get your brain into learning mode.
Here's how we help you do that:
We tell stories using casual language, instead of lecturing. We don't take ourselves too seriously. Which would you pay more attention to: a stimulating dinner party companion, or a lecture?
We make it visual. Images are far more memorable than words alone, and make learning much more effective. They also make things more fun.
We use attention-grabbing tactics. Learning a new, tough, technical topic doesn't have to be boring. The graphics are often surprising, oversized, humorous, sarcastic, or edgy. The page layout is dynamic: no two pages are the same, and each one has a mix of text and images.
Metacognition: thinking about thinking
If you really want to learn, and you want to learn more quickly and more deeply, pay attention to how you pay attention. Think about how you think. The trick is to get your brain to see the new material you're learning as Really Important. Crucial to your well-being. Otherwise, you're in for a constant battle, with your brain doing its best to keep the new content from sticking.
Here's what we do:
We use pictures, because your brain is tuned for visuals, not text. As far as your brain's concerned, a picture really is worth a thousand words. And when text and pictures work together, we embedded the text in the pictures because your brain works more effectively when the text is within the thing the text refers to, as opposed to in a caption or buried in the text somewhere.
We use redundancy, saying the same thing in different ways and with different media types, and multiple senses, to increase the chance that the content gets coded into more than one area of your brain.
We use concepts and pictures in unexpected ways because your brain is tuned for novelty, and we use pictures and ideas with at least some emotional content, because your brain is more likely to remember when you feel something.
We use a personalized, conversational style, because your brain is tuned to pay more attention when it believes you're in a conversation than if it thinks you're passively listening to a presentation.
We include many activities, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember more when you do things than when you read about things. And we make the exercises challenging-yet-do-able, because that's what most people prefer.
We use multiple learning styles, because you might prefer step-by-step procedures, while someone else wants to understand the big picture first, and someone else just wants to see an example. But regardless of your own learning preference, everyone benefits from seeing the same content represented in multiple ways.
We include content for both sides of your brain, because the more of your brain you engage, the more likely you are to learn and remember, and the longer you can stay focused. Since working one side of the brain often means giving the other side a chance to rest, you can be more productive at learning for a longer period of time.
We include challenges by asking questions that don't always have a straight answer, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember when it has to work at something.
Finally, we use people in our stories, examples, and pictures, because, well, you're a person. Your brain pays more attention to people than to things.
About the Author
David Griffiths began programming at age 12, after being inspired by a documentary on the work of Seymour Papert. At age 15 he wrote an implementation of Papert's computer language LOGO. After studying Pure Mathematics at University, he began writing code for computers and magazine articles for humans and he is currently an agile coach with Exoftware in the UK, helping people to create simpler, more valuable software. He spends his free time traveling and time with his lovely wife, Dawn.
Dawn Griffiths started life as a mathematician at a top UK university where she was awarded a First-Class Honours degree in Mathematics. She went on to pursue a career in software development, and has over 15 years experience working in the IT industry. Dawn has written several books, including Head First C, Head First Statistics and Head First 2D Geometry.
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Don't let what you've heard about it intimidate you. This is an excellent introduction. Combine this with "Understanding and Using C Pointers" and you'll be loving C in no time. It's a fun, powerful language that has stood the test of time.
It's akin to learning how to drive with an automatic before graduating to a manual transmisison. I'd recommend learning something simple like perl/python and then coming back to C.
Anyway, great book. While not as in-depth or comprehensive as K&R is, I much prefer the teaching style. That being said, there's a lot more to C than what's in this book, so if you have a very specific application in mind, there's lots more out there to discover.
I learned my
I learned my first language with Head First Java and have since learned Actionscript, java script and c#. I tried learning c before but gave up. I decided to try again using Head First and am 1/2 way through the book.
Starting to program with a high level language like Java definitely makes learning c easier.
If you're comfortable with programming concepts this book is for you, otherwise get Head First Java first.