How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

Discussion in 'Scripting & Programming' started by ffreeloader, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    I thought I would post a link to How to Think Like a Computer Scientist here as I've found this to be a pretty good introduction to the basic principles of scripting and programming. It uses the Python language, which if you aren't running Linux you'll most likely have to install as it doesn't come with Windows, but that's easy enough to install. You can download the pywin32 package from SourceForge if you're interested in learning on a Windows machine.

    Python seems to be pretty straight forward and simple, at least as far as I've gotten into it(I'm still a rookie at this), and this book does a really good job of introducing basic principles and concepts to the non-but-wannabe programmer. The examples used correspond with the principles being explained and everything so far has been introduced in an order that is logical and easy to understand. The author also makes sure to include a lot of terminology/concepts I haven't seen in other beginners books that helps explain how to go about writing scripts and programs.

    Most, well all of them I've read up to now, beginners books don't even begin to teach how to construct logic and program flow. They will say here's an if statement, here's a function, here's a loop, and the it's up to you to put all the concepts together to figure out how to construct the program. Since this is the hardest part of writing scripts that actually can do some work it seems to be a major oversight to me. This author begins introducing these concepts early in the book. As I haven't finished the book yet I don't know how far he takes these things, but so far he has been building on them all along, just as he has the language itself.

    If you're interested in learning how to script and do some light programming I'd recommend this book pretty highly to you. I've been playing around with scripting for off and on for a year or so in VBScript, JavaScript, a very little Perl, some PHP, and some Bash scripting but nothing I've read has taught the basic principles as well as this author does. And, if you learn the basic principles in one language the second language you learn will just be another implementation of those basic principles so it will make it much easier to learn.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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