A book that takes a complete novice and shows them how to become an elite programmer. This isn't much about a particular language but a particular way of thought. Currently stalled at the final draft stage waiting for a publisher.
Download the final draft : PDF 1Mb

The book they said couldn't be written

How can you have one book that takes people from being complete a novice to an elite programmer? It is possible and you can read the final draft for yourself.

In small steps we go from what is programming and how can I do a bit to see if it's my sort of thing just using Javascript. A key aspect is 'thinking like a programmer' which as programmers know is a specialised mental approach.

Then we gradually get the student familiar with YCPL (Your Chosen Programming Language) whatever that, or they, may be. In doing so we begin to explore the program development process while continuing to encourage thought processes such as WCPGW (What Could Possibly Go Wrong).

By now the student should be have grasped the mechanics of YCPL and realise that there's more to programming than writing code. Now we can cover the standard programming subjects (design, UI, data structures, objects, threads) enabling them to find out how they might implement such things in YCPL.

Increasingly we can ask questions like "why is this different to what we've seen before" and "what ways to deal with that can you think of". All the time we're looking at the way the world works and flops in order to develop the student's enquiry and decision making processes. The second part of the book covers a variety of 'what every programmer should know' subjects, for example the practicalities of cutting quality code and why it's useful to 'think protocol'.

The last chapter, "Get a life", is about why programmers are superior beings (or can be if they try a little) being well paid for doing a stretching but fun job that is beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. By now the reader will have no doubt about the difference between a donkey and a thoroughbred and know which they are and how they should be treated.

Looking for a publisher

Unfortunately this isn't a formula book that slots into a series or a course text so the usual suspects don't want to know and can't be bothered with even a courteous rejection. So if anyone knows a tame publisher send them this proposal.
  1. Please comment and point out mistakes. I'd particularly like feedback on how well the early chapters work with real novices.
  2. Sorry about the loose ends and lack of index, these have been left until a publisher gets involved.
  1. The last chapter is a good place to start for managers, 'team leaders' and programmers who think they're getting a raw deal from 'the system'.

Contact Peter@Vulpeculox•net