by V. Anton Spraul
August 2012, 256 pp.
Examples in this book are written in C++, but will improve your ability to think like a programmer in any language.
The real challenge of programming isn't learning a language's syntax—it's learning to creatively solve problems so you can build something great. In this one-of-a-kind text, author V. Anton Spraul breaks down the ways that programmers solve problems and teaches you what other introductory books often ignore: how to Think Like a Programmer. Each chapter tackles a single programming concept, like classes, pointers, and recursion, and open-ended exercises throughout challenge you to apply your knowledge. You'll also learn how to:
Although the book's examples are written in C++, the creative problem-solving concepts they illustrate go beyond any particular language; in fact, they often reach outside the realm of computer science. As the most skillful programmers know, writing great code is a creative art—and the first step in creating your masterpiece is learning to Think Like a Programmer.
About the Author
V. Anton Spraul has taught introductory programming and computer science for more than 15 years. This book is a distillation of the techniques he has used and honed over many one-on-one sessions with struggling programmers. He is also the author of Computer Science Made Simple (Broadway).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Strategies for Problem Solving
"The author is obviously very knowledgeable and experienced with teaching hard concepts to new learners and this shows in his no-nonsense, down-to-earth but enjoyable writing style."
Featured in Develop Magazine's October 2012 issue! (Read More)
"Spraul has taught intro computer science classes for over fifteen years and it shows. He does a great job showing the theory using concrete examples, and rightfully puts a great deal of emphasis on programming exercises to strengthen the concepts."
"The combination of conceptual overview and common problem-solving techniques that are applicable to many applications make this a particularly feasible way to supplement or review programming skills while learning a systematic approach to problem solving."
"This is one of the most helpful books I've read, due to the fact that it guides you towards designing a system for yourself, as opposed to encouraging a mindset where there can be only one correct method."
"The book is well-written, with tons of excellent advice and solid, well-thought-out examples. If you’re willing to devote some time to studying the material, you’ll soon find yourself equipped with an impressive array of problem-solving strategies and, maybe, a new outlook on programming."
"I guarantee if you work through the entire book you will stretch your brain."
"I would definitely recommend this book as a companion to whatever text is used to introduce [new students] to programming and/or program logic."
"[V. Anton Spraul's] advice is simple, straightforward, and practical. It's an easy—and valuable—read."
"I highly recommend Think Like a Programmer to anyone who wants to hone their creative problem-solving skills or to anyone who has learned to program, but doesn't feel that they fully understand the concepts."
"This is definitely a book that I would use in teaching programming to others."