Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners
Warren D. Sande and Carter Sande
March, 2009 | 432 pages
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Your computer won't respond when you yell at it. Why not learn to talk to your computer in its own language? Whether you want to write games, start a business, or you're just curious, learning to program is a great place to start. Plus, programming is fun!
Hello World! provides a gentle but thorough introduction to the world of computer programming. It's written in language a 12-year-old can follow, but anyone who wants to learn how to program a computer can use it. Even adults. Written by Warren Sande and his son, Carter, and reviewed by professional educators, this book is kid-tested and parent-approved.
You don't need to know anything about programming to use the book. But you should know the basics of using a computer--e-mail, surfing the web, listening to music, and so forth. If you can start a program and save a file, you should have no trouble using this book.
- Makes programming fun and easy to learn
- Explains concepts in clear language—no "geek speak"
- Lots of pictures, cartoons, and fun examples to hold your interest
- Complete set of fully-worked questions and examples make it great for use by yourself or in a classroom
Though the concepts and ideas presented apply to any programming language, Hello World! uses the easy to learn Python programming language. Python is free, and is available for different platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. Hello World! covers all the basic concepts of computer programming, including memory, looping, decisions, input and output, data structures, graphics, and many more. It then applies them to fun, interesting topics like computer graphics, game programming, and simulations.
Hello World! makes computer programming accessible and fun for kids, which is essential in today's hi-tech world. It can be used at home or in a classroom setting.
About the Authors
Warren Sande is an Electronic Systems Engineer who uses Python (and other languages) in his work, and also uses it to help teach his son about computers and programming. He holds a degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, as well as a Diploma in Communication Arts, specializing in Broadcasting, from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He has taught introductory software courses to computer novices. He has written many readable and user-friendly technical documents in his engineering work.
Carter Sande is a bright, curious, energetic, and thoughtful boy who loves computers, playing the piano, bouncing on the trampoline, and Mario. He has been playing and experimenting with computers from a young age.
WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING
Carter and Warren Sande, authors of Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners appeared November 9 on the Young Programmers podcast. Watch Carter use PythonCard to make a graphical user interface in Python for a Fahrenheit to Celsius temperature converter and a hangman game.
“...a gentle, and humorous introduction to the idea of programming and a whistle-stop tour of the idea of coding, and getting the computer to respond to what you have done.”
“I like the vibrant mix of hands-on experiential learning, discussion of concepts and historical context. In my own teaching, I have found that it is essential for students to have practical learning exercises that provide quick access to the thrill of writing code that does your bidding. The exercises focus on specific concepts and authors do a good job of explaining what is going on, and, just as importantly, what might go wrong...I would recommend the book for anyone who wants to learn programming.”
—Sarah Allen, teachingkids.railsbridge.org
“...I'm very pleased to discover this new book written by a father and son team to help make up for a very real deficiency in the educational system. Learning to program is a mind expanding experience so while the book has been written to appeal to a young audience it has a lot to offer all beginners.”
—Sue Gee, iProgrammer
“The writing style is clear and friendly without coming off as cutesy. Each chapter is relatively short, with review questions at the end in the style of a text book (the answer guide is available in the appendix). There is a liberal use of sidebars to break up longer sections or highlight related digressions. And the authors also don't shy away from showing 'broken' versions of programs as they evolve, which teaches the reader how to understand error messages and debug problems—an extremely important skill for a programmer.”
—Doug Hellmann, Senior Developer, Racemi, former Editor-in-Chief of Python Magazine
“As soon as my daughter saw that she would get to make her own computer games she immediately asked me if we could start working through the book together... I would say that on her end it has been a complete success. It has been a great time for us as father and daughter and educational for us both.”
—JR Peck, Slashdot review
“I recommend checking out Hello, World! if you have a young person in your life who is interested in learning about programming. Writing the book was a father/son project, and reading it together seems like a fun parent/child activity for the summer.”
Watch Warren and Carter Sande, authors of Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners, interviewed on Canada's CTV news. Congratulations to the Sandes on a successful book launch event June 24 in their native Ottawa, Canada.
“...an excellent read for a 12-year old, or an adult novice, and will provide superb instruction and entertainment for its readers.”
“In an unusual twist, the authors chose to use Python as their computer language. In this they made an outstanding decision...Beginners learn best with a kind of language called an interpreter—that allows you to experiment interactively, and Python is a fine choice. Plus the Python language is similar enough to other languages so that a kid who learns it will be able to move to others if necessary.”
—Dan Appleman, Examiner.com Review
“Hello World! Programming for Children and Other Beginners is a clear and easy to digest voyage through the beginnings of programming with Python. The ease of navigation is supported through the balanced teaming of an author experienced in programming and a novice that isn't afraid to ask the questions that most of us would likely let pass accompanied by a glazed look. The core elements of Python programming are clearly explained in terms and concepts that anyone, at just about any age, can understand.”
—James Wagner, Bucket-O-Cool
“Hello World! helps challenge young people to take on technology, making it fun, without dumbing-down the adventure.”
—David Brin, author of The Postman and The Transparent Society
“I think this is a great book that fills a real niche—I don't know of any other programming book on the market that targets kids. What's amazing is that it has set its sights so high, and yet manages to meet its goals. I think it would be great to see this book promoted as a way of teaching programming in primary schools. In the meanwhile if you know 12+ [year old] kids interested in computers, give them an opportunity to develop a fascinating hobby and get them this book.”
—Noel O'Boyle, Noel O'Blog
“It is a book in the spirit of those old BASIC programming books. It covers the fundamentals of programming using the Python language and has game programs that you can get started with including a lunar landing game and a ski-free clone. If you want to learn programming or teach it to a kid, this is your book.”
—Josh Cronemeyer, Senior Consultant, ThoughtWorks