Monday, June 15, 2015

Awesome Books - Help Your Kids with Computer Coding by DK Books

Help Your Kids with Computer Coding

There are four books in this series I saw at Costco, and I had planned to feature them all together. But as I read through them more thoroughly, I realized that each of them is worthy of its own post. So, here I am starting with this one.

I've heard a lot about coding, and when I saw it at Costco while back, I thought I'd pick it up. I don't know much about coding, and I thought this might be a good book for all of us (my daughter and me) to get started.

One thing I REALLY like about this book is that it seems so friendly. Technical books can be quite intimidating, yet this one is quite friendly with a lot of graphics and explanations. As I said, I don't know much about coding, so this was a good fit for me. But if you know a little more, I'm not sure how you'd feel about this book. You might think it's too easy.

This book is broken into roughly four sections. 

The first section is about Scratch (an MIT developed coding language).

My daughter and I worked on installing it and working on a project together last year when she was in 2nd grade. Sure, we had our share of glitches (typos for small fingers), but it was fairly painless to follow the book & program something to see it work.

The second section is about Python. Python is a text-based programming language (the type I'm familiar with). Dare I date myself and tell you that my first computer language was...Fortran?

OK. I haven't coded in Python, yet, but one thing I love about this book is that it gives you equivalent commands in both Python (left hand light blue column) and Scratch (right hand more colorful column). So, if you've coded with Scratch already, it would be easier for you to understand what you're doing in Python (theoretically speaking).

This third section is a brief introduction to what's inside a computer.

The last section is about programming in the real world.

I bought this book from Costco for $11.95 last year, but a couple of weeks ago, when I went to Costco, I saw it there, again. So, if you have a Costco in your neighborhood (and who doesn't), you might want to pick one up. It's a great deal at the sticker price of $19.95 (especially when you think about how much you have to pay for a week of programming classes).