I am a self-taught programmer. After a year of self-study, I learned to program well enough to land a job as a software engineer II at eBay. Once I got there, I realized I was severely under-prepared. I was overwhelmed by the amount of things I needed to know but hadn't learned yet. My journey learning to program, and my experience at my first job as a software engineer were the inspiration for this book.
This book is not just about learning to program; although you will learn to code. If you want to program professionally, it is not enough to learn to code; that is why, in addition to helping you learn to program, I also cover the rest of the things you need to know to program professionally that classes and books don't teach you. "The Self-taught Programmer" is a roadmap, a guide to take you from writing your first Python program, to passing your first technical interview. I divided the book into six sections:
1. Start to program in Python 3 and build your first program.
2. Learn Object-oriented programming and create a powerful Python program to get you hooked.
3. Learn to use tools like Git, Bash, regular expressions and databases. Then use your new coding skills to build a web scraper.
4. Study Computer Science fundamentals including computer architecture, data structures, algorithms and network programming.
5. Learn to program for production: I cover the software development process, testing, and best coding practices.
6. Finish with tips for working with a team and landing a programming job.
You CAN learn to program professionally. The path is there. Will you take it?
"I always keep a few copies of The Self-Taught Programmer around to give to anyone that comes to me for career advice."
--Robin Abrams, Board Member, HCL Technologies, FactSet Research, Lattice Semiconductor and Sierra Wireless
"I am incredibly impressed with this book."
--JoAnn Buchanan, Senior Research Associate, Allen Institute for Brain Science
"Learning to program is increasingly important in finance. Althoff's book taught me the skills I need to stay competitive."
--Derek Schaefer, Senior Finance Manager, Charles Schwab
"The Self-Taught Programmer was a pleasure to read--something I never thought I would say about a technical book."
--Melinda Sacks, Former Writer, Editor, San Jose Mercury News
From the Author
I spent one year writing The Self-Taught Programmer. It was an exciting and rewarding experience. I treated my book like a software project. After I finished writing it, I created a program to pick out all of the code examples from the book and execute them in Python to make sure all 300+ examples worked properly. Then I wrote software to add line numbers and color to every code example. Finally, I had a group of 200 new programmers "beta read" the book to identify poorly explained concepts and look for any errors my program missed.
Every paperback copy of The Self-Taught Programmer is printed in full-color. It is easier to read code when it is in color, so I was determined to print the paperback version in color instead of black and white.
I hope you learn as much reading my book as I did writing it. Best of luck with your programming!
Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
By Lloyd Garrick
VERY well written, excellent style. If you are a complete beginner it may advance too rapidly; it actually starts out quite basic, and if you are intermediate level and have been playing with Python for a while (as I) you can just breeze over the elementary stuff. I found the chapter(s) on OOP (classes etc.) particularly useful. I have been doing mostly functional and procedural type short programs and haven't paid much attention to OOP. But I am trying to get a handle on it now, (as I must if I'm gonna get anywhere with GA). The concepts were explained with code examples very clearly and in few pages! The section on BaSH is mostly review-over for me as I have been using Linux for a while now, but if you are also new to Linux (and you should get into it and dump MS ... don't get me started ...) it provides a very good intro to the command line and basic Linux usage, as well as "regular expressions" which are very good to know and apparently trip a lot of people up learning. You can even download the code snippets if you are too lazy to type them in (using the tinyurl web site).
I am now working on the web scraper and plan to elaborate it for my own use (hint: don't you hate it when cool web sites won't 'let' you download the videos and full size pics ...).
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful.
Overall a solid read for self starters!
By Michael Horton
I am a self taught (mostly) designer trying to learn a bit of programming. I found the author's writing to be easy to read but also informative. I was worried that the technical nature of the book may cause the content to go over my head but Althoff did a good job of breaking down for us beginners. His personal anecdotes and accounts of his journey made the content very relatable and helped break up the tech talk too. Overall a solid read for self starters.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
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it'll change your life
By Amazon Customer
This helped me start a new career and making much more money than i thought possible.