- Paperback: 572 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 30, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449372651
- ISBN-13: 978-1449372651
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#388,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #59 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > Ruby
- #403 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Object-Oriented Design
- #945 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Software Development
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Head First Ruby: 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
Jay McGavren was doing automation for a hotel services company when a colleague introduced him to Programming Perl (a.k.a. the Camel Book). It made him an instant Perl convert, as he liked actually writing code instead of waiting for a 10-person development team to configure a build system. It also gave him the crazy idea to write a technical book someday.
In 2007, with Perl sputtering, Jay was looking for a new interpreted language. With its strong object-orientation, excellent library support, and incredible flexibility, Ruby immediately won him over. He's since used Ruby for two game libraries, a generative art project, in support of a Java development job, and as a Ruby on Railsfreelancer. He's been using Rails in the online developer education space since 2011.
Top customer reviews
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It begins by giving an overview of variables, objects, strings, and methods. The details are great for someone who is newer to programming. One aspect I really appreciated is that the author called out when items in Ruby were handled different than other languages such as boolean values.
The book also contained details explaining the online documentation and Ruby Gems. I found this helpful as understanding gems was one of the main attractions to choosing this language.
Finally, the book concluded with a step-by-step guide to building a small web based application which included saving and retrieving data. The app served as a great launching point as I began developing my own programs. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Ruby! The author was really clear and I found the whole book very helpful. I know I'll refer back to it when I'm programming with Ruby.
So......one of the great things about Ruby is its striking similarity to Python in many ways. They are both scripting languages, so it's not too surprising. But this is a great book not only for Ruby learners, but people looking to learn more about programming in general. Here's the deal: Python is a great language, but learning about Python and object-oriented programming from only Python books is actually a really bad approach, because many books just gloss over the details. AND, you also might think that Ruby would be a bad choice to learn so quickly after beginning Python and that it would only confuse you, and actually, you would be wrong; (I myself was afraid to do so). My reading approach to learning programming has been: Python Crash Course, mixed with Invent Games with Python, (AMAZING COMBINATION), and then this book.
This book actually had me STUNNED at how well concepts of Python were properly FINALLY explained by reading about Ruby. The way Ruby is able to display elements of itself so much easier lends to better understanding of the language (and Python) right off the bat. Like for instance, you quickly find out that a regular class that you can create is itself a subclass of an object, which is instantiated and imbued with certain attributes and properties that matter for data processing purposes, and that you inherit methods that can be called on that object, including inspection of the object itself, which can reveal that the object has hidden attributes, which basically smacks you in the head CONCRETELY, that data in scripting languages move in distinct BLOCKS or in little packages, (object-oriented). Of course maybe this should have made more sense to me before, but Ruby (and this book, of course), just crystallized it in my head.
There are a few more things that were interesting to me, but that was the main epiphany that I wanted to share and why this book will be very helpful to you. Ruby is a great language and it is super easy to learn. And many of the books written about it are very crystal clear. There's something about Ruby that attracts some really sharp writers, it seems. And I do suspect that you will all agree after learning Ruby and perusing the Pickaxe book.
Learn Ruby, and learn it NOW!!