Learn basic coding

My friend’s son is 12 and has asked what books I recommend he read to learn basic computer / coding skills.

Recommendations from those who can -

I’m not sure he needs a book, does he? There is a wealth of good resources online these days. But I guess the bigger question is where he wants to go with this. If he wants to supplement the IT classes in school, he should probably stick with the languages they teach (Scratch, Lua, Python etc.) Does he want to write apps for robots? Break in to corporate systems? Experiment with neural networks?

Given our interests here, I guess it’s predictable that I would suggest he starts with some HTML. The web is a big part of our lives, and understanding how it works will always be useful. In HTML it’s easy to see the results, too, and test out if something works, And there are lots of interesting snippets, of various degrees of sophistication, that one can play with on places like Codepen. HTML will lead quite quickly to CSS, and onto ‘real programming’ with Javascript. By then he’ll have some skills that could land him a better Summer job than fishing leaves out of people’s pools. And there is a clear line of progression that could lead on to doing server-side stuff with PHP and SQL.

I can’t really see much benefit — or joy — for a kid learning objective C or Swift. But then I don’t know what kind of kid he is. Maybe he’d love it?

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