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Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source) Paperback – 10 Oct 2008

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Reardon on 17 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the book I wish I had bought before I bought the pick-axe book.

It is a perfect introduction to Ruby for people without a programming background.
It takes nothing for granted and takes the reader through a gentle introduction
of the language and ( just as importantly ) the Ruby philosophy ( the why of Ruby ).

While being gentle to the new student, I find there is still a depth to the book.
As a beginner, I suspect it will take several more readings and lots of coding
before I begin to grasp the power of objects and classes.
But now I don't feel I am not so much in over my head.

I enjoyed Peter Coopers writing style and would recommend this book and the website
to any programming novice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philip Poots on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a title that brings to the world of introductory programming books what Ruby brings to Object Oriented Programming (OOP): A huge breath of fresh air. It is simple, clear, well-explained, well thought out and should be the first book you read when learning Ruby. Especially recommended to the novice programmer, or those wishing to acquire a good grasp of OOP. A perfect blend of tutorial and explanation gently introduces both concepts and code at a pace that is easily manageable and dare I say, fun.

Agile Web Development with Rails (Pragmatic Programmers) won awards for being an influential programming text, but this was probably as much linked with the ability and success of Rails as a development framework than as a text in its own right. The Pickaxe (Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide) is good as a reference but not for getting your feet wet. For those who want a solid introduction to Ruby for it's own sake, or want to build a solid foundation for Rails, this is the book to buy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eelctric Kettle on 8 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction to Ruby, well written, easy to get into as well as engaging. The book has just the right pace and tone. Good stuff, I look forward to reading more by Peter Cooper.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. J. Caudle on 19 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I have programming computers since 1981 when as an eleven year old I borrowed a friends ZX81. I have programmed in all the major languages (C, C++, C#, various BASICs, Java, Pascal, LISP and COBOL plus a little machine code). It doesn't matter how hard or how simple a programming language is, the key to being good at it is the training provided. If the materials you are given are not up to scratch then learning will be hard and tedious. A very obtuse language and a good teacher can make you an expert.

I have been developing a Rails app for a while now but I was being hampered by my lack of Ruby which was down to the books I have read already. But this book is different - it doesn't assume that you have ever programmed before and this a plus because it breaks your conscience connection to other programming languages you may have used and makes your concentrate on Ruby. Add to that the fact that book is so well written and you have a winner on your hands.

I want to add a class to my Rails app that does an MX record lookup to test that the domain part of a persons email address is valid - this book covers things like that and gives you the confidence to search out Gems and other goodies.

Ruby really is a simple language but the syntax can be confusing to old school hackers like my self who are always thinking: this is too easy. And that is the main theme of the book, Ruby is easy and powerful so be careful.

I can not recommend this book highly enough. Read it once and then use it as a reference as every thing you need is in there.
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