- Series: The Pragmatic Programmers
- Paperback: 194 pages
- Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 2 edition (April 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934356360
- ISBN-13: 978-1934356364
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series) 2nd Edition
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From the Publisher
What Is Programming?
Programming is telling your computer how to do something. Large tasks must be broken up into smaller tasks, which must be broken up into still smaller tasks, down until you get to the most basic tasks that you don’t have to describe—the tasks your computer already knows how to do.
You’ll learn first about those basic things your computer can do (a few of them) and then find some simple tasks that can be broken down into a few of these basic things. Your first program will be so easy that it won’t even take you a minute.
"Thanks for “Learn to Program”. My 10 year old son picked it up tonight, opened up my old MBP, and just started going at it. It’s fun to see him so excited about something that I love and am lucky enough to make a living at. Though my son is in our school’s gifted and talented program, they have not yet delved into computers in much detail. “Learn to Program” is turning out to be a fun way to share my excitement about programming with him."
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Each exercise has two solutions, "How You Could Do It" and "How I Would Do It". The latter is how the author would solve the problem. The problem is that his solutions use concepts not yet introduced in the book and he doesn't explain them. Even if it said something like "see page X for more info", that would be more helpful. I wish there was an explainer on why he would do it the way he does or what he is even doing.
Overall it seems like a good book. But as a beginner trying to learn Ruby, it was pretty difficult without a lot of online help.
Ruby is a real programming language, used to create real software. Not just a toy language like some of the other "let's teach kids to program" languages. That made a difference to my daughter - that she was learning something she could really use.
I personally don't learn well from that kind of text. See, people who already program at an advanced level are already perfectly used to telling computers how to solve a problem. But first, a person needs to get used to asking computers to do things.
Thus, you need a workbook integrated with your textbook. The more exercises a book commands you to do with what you've just learned, the better you'll internalize how it feels to do programming.
This is not the best introductory workbook I've encountered (that would be an old edition of Learning Perl). But for learning Ruby, specifically, after years away from the world of programming, this was the only book that made sense out of how to use Ruby to tell the computer what I want. (I read several chapters deep into three other well-reviewed textbook-style intros before seeking out this one.)