Eloquent JavaScript: an interactive programming tutorial

September 30, 2011 in Data,Internet,Technology

Via my friend Will Gaybrick (@gaybrick), I discovered an excellent programming tutorial called Eloquent JavaScript. Not only is it extremely well-written, clear and friendly, but it features a completely interactive console allowing readers to run and experiment with every single example. You'll never have to struggle to decipher what a piece of code is doing -- just hit the arrow next to the code block, and it jumps into the console and prints its output.

Obviously, the guide is about JavaScript but the concepts apply almost universally to any language, making this by far the best interactive tutorial I've seen. (That's from a completeness standpoint -- for user-friendliness the hands-down winner is tryruby.org!)

I actually found myself enjoying reading the text despite covering topics I was intimately familiar with, and certainly learned a thing or two in some of the more advanced chapters. I can't recommend this enough for anyone looking for a gentle introduction to programming.

Also, I want to mention that Will will be teaching HackYale, a semester-long course at Yale focused on new web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript and Ruby. Unfortunately, it isn't an open enrollment like Stanford's new AI class, so the rest of us will have to watch enviously from afar.

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