Biblegateway Verse of the Day

The Self-Taught Programmer (Book Review)

By Benjamin H. Liles

           Even though Cory Althoff's book The Self-Taught Programmer was released in early 2017, he still asks those who have either bought his book or received a complimentary copy to give a review of the book. I have spent some time going through his book as I have previous experience as a programmer. Years ago I got started in it as a kid having an Atari 400 (Atari 400 is an old 8-bit console that hooked up to your television). It came with a couple of games, as well as games my dad purchased for us to play on.

          The system also came with a Basic module as well a booklet to help you get started programming. I had fun with that at, I want to say, around seven or eight years old. I also got out of that habit until I was in high school. In high school a friend of mine got me interested in programming at the command line of DOS (what some called "Dirty Old System," but known as "Disk Operating System").

           That friend of mine taught me some tricks about how to create batch files though DOS. So by the time of my second year of high school came around our school was offering Pascal programming classes, which I jumped on. I made a number of programs, which have since been lost (unfortunately), but I sincerely loved programming a great deal.

          I can't say I'm proficient yet in Python programming as I'm just starting off but with Cory Althoff's help with this book it has whetted my appetite once more for programming. I do know how to create web pages with HTML, CSS and some javascript, but to me it's not the same is getting down and dirty and simply programming because you enjoy doing it. Ever since those early days of my life I still enjoy programming, be it in DOS, Pascal, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual C#, or even in Python.

          What I can say about Althoff's book is that he gives a tremendous amount of help in programming, and even later on going over terminology as well as getting into the programming/coding industry. The book is unlike any other reference/programming book. He gives a great deal of thought and advice in terms of programming in Python. But I thought since I write book reviews as well as talking about my Christian faith, I thought I would do Cory Althoff this favor considering I have wanted to get back to programming in a language that seems easier than C++, Basic or C#.

          The little bit I can say about Cory Althoff is that he is very much a self-taught programmer. He has worked as a software engineer at Ebay and other companies in Silicon Valley. He also helps people program through an online course available at When he isn't programming he enjoys reading and traveling.

          I received this book to give it an honest and fair assessment on it. I plan on keeping this book to be help and a guide in my own journey as a programmer as well.

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