Why Do Most Programming Books/Tutorials Suck?

Posted on Mon 29 March 2021 in Programming

I legit cannot get my brain wrapped around modern JavaScript. For some reason, Perl sits well with me, but not JavaScript. Even C just works in my brain, as I’ve looked through both Applications Programming In ANSI C (which I received today in the mail) and Effective C (from No Starch Press, which I got from a humble bundle), and my mind just kinda got some of the example code.

And I don’t understand why I’m like that. Maybe it’s the way that most tutorials on the subject just kinda suck in general, or perhaps it’s because many of the tutorials I run into tend to push an agenda of some sort. I mention the latter because I kinda have the same problem with RustLang. I’m giving Programming Rust by Jim Blandy and Jason Orendorff a try, but Chapter 1 of the book starts by taking digs into the C Language, and I just don’t like that sort of thing.

The Rust Programming Language from No Starch Press is still on my tablet as well, so I do need to dig into it as well. But when my first few experiences with RustLang are people evangelizing it in force, and agenda in beginner’s documentation, I’m less inclined to give it a shot.

I had this exact problem with Python as well. Most of the “newbie-friendly” stuff pushed advanced concepts early, and an agenda of “our language is better because reasons” from the beginning. In fact, that was what led me to buy Programming in Lua, Learning Perl, Intermediate Perl, and Mastering Perl at roughly the same time. eBay is my friend.

So, I think the real question is: Why do so many “newbie-friendly” programming books and tutorials tend to be subpar for actual newbies? At least, that’s been my experience.

I dunno. Maybe my view will change over time.