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Atomic Scala -- programming for beginners
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jducoeur
Not for the experienced programmers, for a change.

Several of my friends have, at one time or another, told me that they want to try out programming, and have asked where they should start. I've helped as best possible, but been slightly hindered by the fact that my language of choice is Scala, and the documentation on Scala, until relatively recently, sucked. Oh, it was fine for power programmers, and I even have a recommended book for Java programmers who want to learn Scala, but for learning how to program? Not so much.

However, I just came across Atomic Scala -- it's apparently been around for a year, but I hadn't noticed it before. A quick browse of the early chapters indicates that it is exactly that: a Scala book intended for the *complete* neophyte, teaching the elements of programming via Scala. Very step-by-step, very hand-holding (possibly to a fault), very focused on the relatively easy but important core of Scala -- the less-fancy bits where even I spend 90% of my time.

So if you're looking to learning programming from the very beginning, give it a look. I can't guarantee that it's the right thing (after 40 years of programming, it's a little hard for me to put myself in a beginner's shoes, and I'm too impatient to sincerely evaluate a ground-up book like this), but at first glance it looks like a pretty good option...

ETA: oh, and the reason this came to my attention is that they just released the Atomic Scala Activator Template, which provides you with runnable versions of all of the examples. Typesafe Activator is relatively recent, and is the newer and *far* easier way to play around with Scala.  I commend it to anyone who is dipping their toe in the water...

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