To say the least.
And knowing the language will open more opportunities.
Well, there is.
And here’s why.
By providing multiple ways of learning, you’ll gain a multilayered understanding of the concepts in this book.
Mark Myers wants to maximize your learning experience. So this series has:
- Short Chapters – easy to digest chunks
- Coding Examples – plenty of visuals
- Real World References – uses every day scenarios to explain concepts
- Interactive Exercises – test your skills online
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1. Short chapters, small bursts of information
Are short chapters a good thing?
The idea behind this style of learning is that you read for 10 minutes (one chapter) to understand a concept. Then you work on interactive exercises to test your knowledge. Finally, you move onto the next chapter.
Many chapters are broken down into fragments of concepts. For example, strings are broken down into 4 chapters:
- Strings: Measuring length and extracting parts
- Strings: Finding segments
- Strings: Finding a character at a location
- Strings: Replacing characters
These short bursts of information help you learn and retain new material better.
This is called microlearning.
🧠 Did you know? We now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. So short chapters are perfect for learning.
2. Engaging interactive exercises
The exercises are structured to drill the concepts into your brain. If your answers are wrong, you can go back and try them again. As many times as you need until you get them right.
They use different methods to challenge your understanding:
- fill in the blanks
- type out code snippets
- drag and drop code
- JSFiddle – an interactive code editor
This lets you move at your own pace.
Take your time.
Work on each chapter until the material makes sense. When you understand the material, you’ll be able to apply it to real world coding.
For example, I got a perfect score on the exercises in Chapter 3. Even though I got the questions right, I still didn’t understand why I got some of them right. I kept using the interactive code editor and retaking the questions until it made sense.
🧠 Did you know? You learn more through active learning. By interacting with the material, you remember it better.
3. Ample coding examples
- introduces a coding action
- provides a coding example
- summarizes the function of the code
- provides shortcuts for repetitive code
For example, Chapter 35 introduces
functions. After explaining what a function is, Myers provides sample code. He then explains how to apply this code. Finally, you’re shown how to write repetitive code more efficiently.
🧠 Did you know? By attacking the same idea multiple ways, you remember it twice as fast.
“…If you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.” – Pablo Celnik, researcher from John Hopkins University
4. Real world references
By using real world references, Mark Myers makes content relatable. You can compare a new coding concept to something you have experienced in your own life.
To illustrate the purpose of a loop, Myers references the classic “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Just how would you explain it to someone?
You could teach the song line by line, but you’d be there all day!
Or, you could teach the idea of the song and instruct the person to reduce the number by one each time.
He then applies this to
for loops. And how to write more efficient code for an otherwise lengthy concept.
🧠 Did you know? By applying new learned information to real world examples, you understand it better.
“My books have taught coding to grandmothers, cab drivers, musicians, and 50,000 other self-learners. Anyone can learn to code if they start with the right book.” – Mark Myers, Author of A Smarter Way to Learn book series.
Mark Myers holds an AB from Harvard. And he formerly lectured at the Communications School of Boston University.
And he believes in the importance of interactive learning.
Mark couldn’t find any programming books that made it easy for him to learn to code. And that’s why he wrote the A Smarter Way to Learn book series:
These all use the same method of short chapters, coding examples, and interactive exercises.
Did you know? Interactive learning keeps your brain at attention. That’s why you learn more. And learn it better.
- Short Chapters
- Coding Examples
- Real World References
- Interactive Practice Questions
With short chapters and interactive exercises, you’ll learn and retain information better.
1. fill in the blanks
2. type out code snippets
3. drag and drop code
4. JSFiddle – an interactive code editor