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on December 8, 2014
Glad to see I'm not the only one. Just as others have stated, this book was easy to follow until chapter 8 of so. The concepts introduced aren't really that much harder to understand, the problem is with the exercises at the end of each chapter (they get significantly more difficult). Once I got about half way through the book the exercises at the end of the chapter got much harder to figure out on my own.

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.
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on May 23, 2012
The vast majority of computer language texts are textbooks, designed to "cover the material": what are the basic component parts, and the various tricks you can do with those parts, as well as pitfalls of those tricks, then more advanced topics involving looping, maybe O/O principles where appropriate...

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.)
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on May 11, 2011
This book was great until Chapter 8. Now it's going way too fast without enough examples. Also there are only a few practice exercises now and they start out too advanced so that you can't do them without looking at the answers. This does not inspire confidence! There should be more practice exercises at the end of the chapter, starting with easy ones and getting harder and harder.
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on February 5, 2016
Whoops, use it or lose it. I found myself needing a primer in Ruby because of a course I am taking. Amazing what I forgot in 3 months. A good and easy to read book. I would not say it's going to help someone "Learn to Program". It is, however, a good book for Ruby.
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on July 23, 2017
The first three chapters are great. Then the book looses relevance. I still recommend as the best first ruby book you can buy.
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on June 22, 2013
A friend recommended this book to me as a great way to begin to learn to program Ruby. It is an excellent book and it does make learning very easy to understand. This version is a little outdated though, so there are some steps that aren't quite accurate. Things have changed a little since this was written. If a more current edition exist, you might want to find it. But the friend who recommended it is a computer programmer so I was able to go to her for some simple help.
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on November 13, 2015
The book itself is fine and this is an extended version of the free online copy. Had I known there was an online copy before buying, I would have referenced that and saved the $12. I didn't need to use this book much, bought for a class.
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on October 29, 2017
Programming instruction directed at the novice coder, without heaps of techno-babble.
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on November 27, 2016
Best book to learn programming. I love it! My son loves it!
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on September 6, 2016
Easy to follow, fun problems, practical approach - what's not to love?
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