- Series: The Pragmatic Programmers
- Paperback: 194 pages
- Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; Second 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: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series) Second 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.""--Scott Meade
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Two weeks later, I made my first video game. Yes, it's a piece of crap, but it's just the beginning. This book teaches you from square one, in a way that is very approachable and friendly (and includes a ton of nerdy references to everything from video games to Buffy). So if you have never tried programming before, this is a great book to start out with.
A note that a lot of reviewers bring up is about the learning curve of the book. Yes, the later chapters cover some advanced stuff, and it can really throw you for a loop. However, you don't NEED to understand everything all at once. Having trouble understanding recursion? Just skip that section. You can come back to it later as you need it. The great thing about this book is that it is both a guide and a reference. Once you get the basics, if something seems overwhelming or unimportant, you can skip it and come back to when you need it. I would definitely recommend this book to people interested in learning to program.
And for anyone interested, you can check out a copy of the simple game I made using this book. This is a good example of the kind of stuff you will be able to do after just about 7-12 hours with the book. (Note: you will need ruby installed on your computer for it to work)[...]
The author admitted that this particular edition presented some immaturity on his part and later works are more mature in context.
I cannot vouch for that as I have not purchased any further works from this particular author.
The book falls short in giving the student a better grasp of the structure that coding involves. Without understanding the structure and what you are attempting to attain, you are just glossing over the real concepts.
This, I feel, is where the book falls short. Halfway though the book, one is declared a 'programmer'. Now I believe it was in jest, but with some limited knowledge of a language, it does NOT make one a programmer of substance.
I would advise others to save their money and seek other sources for better content and value.
I find it particularly annoying when someone that has a lot of knowledge on a given subject is writing a technical book meant to teach a novice and doesn't have a novice proof it for them. Not only that, "here's something new, but you don't need to know that until Chapter 12" doesn't help matters either. If I don't need to know it until then, don't introduce it to me until then. Not in Chapter 6.
I'm giving it only 2 stars simply because it's very short on details, content and I flat out didn't get to finish it it was so bad.
If you are already familiar with programming and you are looking for a an introduction to Ruby, look elsewhere.
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.