Published: 6 years ago

Book review: Learn to Program by Chris Pine

I’m not a developer and I don’t want to be a developer, but I want to be able to build small apps when I need to, to understand better the code wrote by the people I’m working with, and to put together simple prototypes. That’s why I decided to give it another shot at learning a programming language, in this case Ruby. I chose Ruby because I love its syntax: simple, elegant, readable. Also, it happens to be the language behind the Ruby on Rails, a widely used web framework that I’m planning to learn next.

After some research, I decided to read Learn to Program by Chris Pine, and I’m glad I did so. The book is a pleasure to read, thanks to the colloquial style in which the book is written. Every concept is really well explained, with several example to support the explanations (and please, always re-write the examples with your editor, even just copying helps to impress those concepts in your memory). At the end of each chapter, the author also invites the reader to take on simple challenges (with possible solutions at the end of the book) to practice the concepts just learned. Beside a couple of challenges, I think they were all very well calibrated for each chapter, and I guarantee you, you’ll feel proud of those little programs you’ll write throughout the book.

After been done reading the book, I feel I have good handle on the basic Ruby syntax, and I’m able to write simple applications. Of course the hardest part is to get used to the logic required to write some programs, but I’m sure time and practice will improve that. Definitely Chris raised the bar for the next programming book I’ll read (yes, I’m looking at you Ruby on Rails Tutorial).

You can find Learn to Program at The Pragmatic Bookshelf

  • Auston Bunsen guy! way better than that!

    • Davide Di Cillo

      While I do like CodeSchool (I did part of the Rails for Zombies course a while ago), I wanted to get a better understanding of Ruby and some of the basic concepts of programming. Also, the problem with video tutorials is that it makes it very hard to look back at stuff when you don’t remember them.

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