First Time Programmers
If you’re more than a little intimidated with trying out your first programming project at school, think how the students feel staring at the keyboard and blank screen. No Starch Press’s Super Scratch Programming Adventure is a programming textbook masquerading as a graphic novel to make the information and techniques inside more accessible and less scary to both teacher and student.
Scratch is a programming language developed at MIT specifically for code newbies to make get into programming easy. The comic book’s hero is Scratchy, a cyberspace cat with an attitude. There’s also Mitch, a student who loves creating computer games, as well as Gobo, Fabu and Pete, trans-dimensional aliens who maintain the balance of the universe. Together they show how to make simple programming projects.
Along the way, the Scratch crew shows you how to create ever more complex programs, culminating in a complete game. You’ll need a recent PC, Mac or Linux computer with 120MB of free hard drive space to use the downloadable Scratch environment. It’s all a lot of fun, very educational and the book has a slew of online resources available to help teach the art and science of programming. Compared to $200 textbooks, this book is a steal at $25 for the paperback and $20 for the eBook version. You can try out a chapter for free.