TITLE: Acceleration AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 14, 2018 9:24 AM DESC: ----- BODY: This was posted on the Racket mailing list recently:
"The Little Schemer" starts slow for people who have programmed before, but seeing that I am only half-way through and already gained some interesting knowledge from it, one should not underestimate the acceleration in this book.
The Little Schemer is the only textbook I assign in my Programming Languages course. These students usually have only a little experience: often three semesters, two in Python and one in Java; sometimes just the two in Python. A few of the students who work in the way the authors intend have an A-ha! experience while reading it. Or maybe they are just lucky... Other students have only a WTF? experience. Still, I assign the book, with hope. It's relatively inexpensive and so worth a chance that a few students can use it to grok recursion, along with a way of thinking about writing functions that they haven't seen in courses or textbooks before. The book accelerates from the most basic ideas of programming to "interesting" knowledge in a relatively short number of pages. Students who buy in to the premise, hang on for the ride, and practice the ideas in their own code soon find that they, too, have accelerated as programmers. -----