Learning To Code Blog

Programming Languages Have Social Mores Not Idioms

Posted by: Zed on AUG-19-2012

I'm currently editing my Learn Ruby The Hard Way book and cleaning some things up here and there. In the process I've stumbled on what Rubyists call an "idiom", the use of .each to do loops instead of a for-loop. To them this is one of the most important signs that you are a real Ruby programmer. They look at this usage of one looping construct over another as some sign that you are incompetent, and haven't been properly indoctrinated into the Ruby community's ways. It's not just Ruby. Python, Java, every language has these weird "idioms" that denote your acceptance of their community standards. I'm just using Ruby's .each since it seems to be one of the most arbitrary yet vehemently demanded code constructs out there.

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Can't Code? Learn Design

Posted by: Zed on AUG-17-2012

This was originally a comment on a blog post but I thought it'd be a good blog post here too. That other blog post basically is lamenting the fact that it's difficult to learn programming ending with the question, "I want to learn to code. But what if I’m not built to be a coder? Guys, am I missing the point here?"

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Do Not Read The Django Book (For Now)

Posted by: Zed on AUG-3-2012

This is just a quick announcement that I'm removing all references to The Django Book from my books as it is wildly out of date and isn't actually official documentation. This is not to be confused with the The Django Tutorial that is accurate and official Django documentation.

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LPTHW Exercises 39 Through 44 Rewritten

Posted by: Zed on JUN-18-2012

I'm currently editing Learn Python The Hard Way to incorporate feedback from comments and improve the methodology based on the in-person teaching I've been doing. The biggest problem students have is the exercises on Object Oriented Programming. Based on the fact that these exercises had easily 100+ comments on them all asking the same or similar questions, I can say they really weren't working for people.

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Please Don't Become Anything, Especially Not A Programmer

Posted by: Zed on MAY-15-2012

I'm going to give you a piece of advice when you're trying to learn something new: Never listen to people who try to make beginners feel like losers. For whatever reason, some people get off on making beginners feel like they're worthless for attempting something. Maybe it's because they feel threatened by new entrants, or maybe they were picked on as kids and this makes them feel powerful. Who knows, but generally if they're trying to make you feel like a loser because right now you're not that good at something, then just ignore them. They suck.

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I'm Taking Fridays And Saturdays Off

Posted by: Zed on APR-15-2012

I've been running an experiment for the last month or so where I take "weekends" off from the comments section of the site. This has given me the weekend to relax and also write more chapters for newer books. Typically I'll spend about 2 hours answring comments, and then I'll get in a few hours of writing or coding. On weekends I can get a lot more done for the books.

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Using TIOBE To Research My Book Topics

Posted by: Zed on APR-9-2012

When I sit down to figure out what books to write, it's usually a combination of what I think people will benefit from, or what I see being "in demand" among programmers. In the case of the Regex book it was simply that I saw many of the people who read my Python book could benefit from a book that taught parsing and regular expressions. With the SQL book it was similar, because I saw that many students (and professionals) had a hard time with grasping data design.

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Fun Survey About Learning To Code

Posted by: Zed on DEC-26-2011

I'm trying out this service called Urtak.com which let's you post these fun interactive surveys. I'm curious about people learning to code this year, and so I did up a quick survey for it. With Urtak you can ask your own questions and people will answer them. Give it a try.

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Trying Out Disqus Comments

Posted by: Zed on DEC-22-2011

This is a quick announcement to say that I'm trying disqus for comments on the books I'm writing and this blog. I'm doing a trial run on just the Command Line Crash Course first. What I'm looking to see is if it makes commenting on the quality of each exercise easier, and if it helps students get their questions answered quicker.

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Learn Ruby The Hard Way For Sale

Posted by: Zed on NOV-12-2011

I am pleased to announce that you can buy Learn Ruby The Hard Way in PDF and ePub as of today. The HTML version is still free, and the PDF or ePub is $29.95 with a $5 bundle if you want both in one shot. This is now the same pricing and setup as what I'm doing on Learn Python The Hard Way.

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Learn Ruby The Hard Way Back To Sphinx

Posted by: Zed on NOV-4-2011

I spent this week slowly converting Learn Ruby The Hard Way back to Sphinx and now it's finally done and ready to be turned into PDFs. It's now ready and you can read the LRubyTHW book just like before but now with next/prev/index links. The conversion wasn't difficult, just tedious. Rob had to go and convert all the code back into separate .rb files. I then had to go through and convert the text back to RST format, which I did with pandoc. After that I just went through and checked each exercise for errors.

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C Half Done, SQL Organized, Regex Started

Posted by: Zed on OCT-11-2011

In the month or so since I started working mostly full time on writing books, I've managed to start this site, get Ruby and Python organized, and I started working on the topics I wanted to hit. As of today I now have the start for a number of books that cover useful topics beginners want and need to learn, and my goal is to have a bunch of books and courses up. Here's a quick status update on what I've been doing and what's coming in the future.

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Started The New LxTHW Site

Posted by: Zed on AUG-31-2011

I finally got a site template and the guts of this site going so I can start publishing and working on my next title, "Learn C The Hard Way". The purpose of this site is to act as a place for me to blog about learning to code, writing my books, and clearly to pimp the hell out of them. Hopefully people who are interested in the work I'm doing to teach coding will get a kick out of it.

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