Rethinking the Coding Manual: From Boring Textbook to High-Gloss Showpiece

You know what sucks about "Learn to Code" books? They're full of code.


And they contain odd words like "concatenate" which I can assure you, had no definition in any dictionary or website I could find back in 2001 when I tried to learn Java. (BTW, concatenate means "join" or "append".)

And then along comes someone with enough design sensibilities to not only write a series of Learn to Code books, but to design them as well.

Here's what I mean: Take for instance this page from the O'Reilly HTML and XHTML The Definitive Guide

Source: Google Books

Now check this out:

Jon Duckett's HTML and CSS
Bold, bright, interesting contrast, easy to understand. Now, that's a text book I can not fall asleep over.

On the official site, they call it:
A book about code that doesn't read like a 1980s VCR manual...
Precisely. And more engagement is more likely to keep you interested which is more likely to get you coding.  So with that in mind, they have posted all of the code samples on their website, so you can see them in action. It's the small things that show they care. I mean, really, looking at code and then seeing the result on a printed page just doesn't really convey how it works; especially since you can view the source in order to see how they structured the code for the various components, this makes learning more interactive and holistic. And it looks so simple to follow that it might be good for the Dude after he takes his computer engineering camp this summer.

Basically, this is a smart user-centered approach to teaching coding. Win!

(Source: Gizmodo)