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Learn to Program Paperback – Apr 7 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; Second Edition edition (April 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356364
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband had this book, and "Ruby on Rails for Dummies" on his wish list this year. He is enjoying them both. He is new to Ruby, and these two books seem to form a good foundation. Note that he isn't new to programming, just new to Ruby.
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Format: Paperback
Great book for beginners. Pace is good - tone is good - examples are relevant! Highly recommended for anyone who would like to learn to program.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Great until chapter 8 May 11 2011
By Love to read - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It's good if you use supplementary materials! May 26 2013
By Amin196 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
About a year ago, I decided to pick up Learn to Program because I had very little programming experience (primarily characterized by copy-and-pasted AWK scripts and some web design via HTML/CSS)and I wanted something that would provide a truly introductory text to programming as a skill (the Ruby language is a plus). Learn to Program kind of falls short of that expectation. While the first first seven or so chapters are written well, the latter half of the book jumps the boat. The assignments were too difficult to solve without peaking at the answers and there were very few assignments at that. Although the anecdotal approach that Pine takes to develop a concept through a chapter is helpful and appreciated, the book can be improved through the addition of more examples that increase in complexity as well as more assignments. However, the experience can be improved by completing related exercises on CodeAcademy (Ruby), RubyMonk, and Ruby Koans (a bit more advanced).
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to programming Sept. 23 2011
By Ryan P. Moser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I tried and failed to learn to code several times before finding Mr. Pine's excellent book. He gets two things overwhelmingly right in this book. First, the problems he includes are "just right" - difficult enough to make you think and really understand the material, but not so hard that they become discouraging. Second, he shares a piece of himself and brings levity to what could be very dry subject matter and does it in a way that enhances learning.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good for non-programmers April 30 2014
By John C. Swaringen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for cousin's son. He's a math genius and he is going to make this his summer project. I read through the book and for me, a 20 year programmer, it's of course elementary. But it does teach the concepts and logic well. Will post again once he's had a chance to work through it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Never thought I could program Jan. 26 2014
By Liana Burnside - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To start out with, I have tried to learn programming before, but it never really stuck. Mostly I looked up tutorials on Youtube and poked around in forums, but it all seemed so confusing and insurmountable. I am absolutely not a math person, so I thought programming would always be beyond my reach. However, my little nerd dream of making video games took root, and so I bought this book.

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)[...]

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