Absolute Beginner's Guide to Programming


No prior programming experience necessary!

Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Programming helps readers understand what programming really is. Readers not only get an overview of the job of programming, but also learn which specific skills are needed for certain jobs. Coverage includes how a computer interprets a program¿s instructions with insight into what goes on "under the hood" when a computer runs a program, how programming can and does relate to the Internet and the skills ...

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No prior programming experience necessary!

Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Programming helps readers understand what programming really is. Readers not only get an overview of the job of programming, but also learn which specific skills are needed for certain jobs. Coverage includes how a computer interprets a program¿s instructions with insight into what goes on "under the hood" when a computer runs a program, how programming can and does relate to the Internet and the skills required for adding security to programs, and compiled versus interpreted languages like JavaScript and HTML. Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Programming offers "hands on" programming for the "absolute beginner". Though there are hundreds of books for beginners about specific languages, this is the only book that takes today's programming environments and explains why each is important and where each works best.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789729057
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Perry has personally taught thousands of people how to program in the classroom and lectures, as well as impacted the computer world through the sale of more than two million computer books internationally.

He has been a programmer and trainer for the past 20 years. He received an undergraduate degree in computer science, followed by a master's degree in corporate finance. After working as a supervisor of financial systems for a Fortune 500 company, he turned to teaching at the college level, where he remained until he began to write full-time and lecture at programming conferences.

Some of his other book titles include Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic 6 in 21 Days, C by Example, and several books in the 24 Hours series, including Sams Teach Yourself PCs in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself Office in 24 Hours, and Sams Teach Yourself Windows Millennium in 24 Hours. He has also written articles for several magazines, including PC World and Data Training. He is fluent in several computer languages and speaks a little Italian as well.

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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with a Summary.)


Who Should Read This Book? Conventions Used in This Book.


1. Computers Are Tools.

Computers and Programming. What a Computer Does. Common Misconceptions. Ease-of-Use Matters to Programmers. People and Computers. It Takes More than a Computer. A Quick Overview. Networking It All. Todays Computers. Types of Computers.

2. Anatomy of a Program.

The Programmers Life. The Need for Programs. Programs, Programs, Everywhere. Programs As Directions. The Language Translator. Accuracy Is Everything. The Need for Design. The Program Language.


3. Programming Languages: The Early Years.

Storage of Programs and Data. Binary Arithmetic. The First Programs. Enter the Keyboard. Getting Closer to English. Other Languages Through the Years.

4. Programming Languages: Modern Day.

Pascals Importance and Demise. The C Programming Language. C++s Impact on Modern Languages. Hypertext and Scripting Languages. The BASICs. Which Language Is Best?


5. Your First Language: Visual Basic.

A Visual Basic Quick Start. Your First Visual Basic Program. Learning the Visual Basic Environment. The Visual Basic Screen. Help Is Close By.

6. Input and Output.

A Quick Windows Program Analysis. Controlling Events. Application Specifics. The Interface Controls. Walking Through an Applications Development. Other Controls. Document with Remarks. Message and Input Boxes.

7. Data Processing with Visual Basic.

Adding Code. The Basics of Visual Basic Data. Expressions and Math Operators. Comparison Operators.

8. Working with Data.

Making Decisions in Code. Using Else. Other Forms of Decision Making. Nesting If...Else Statements. Selecting with Select Case. Looping in Visual Basic.

9. Having Fun with Visual Basic.

Using Shapes. An Aside About Controls. The Line Control. Mastering the Shape Control. A Sample Shape Application. The Picture Box Control.

10. Advanced Visual Basic Programming.

Application: Interest Calculation. Adding the Forms Labels and Text Boxes. Adding Code.

11. Online Visual Basic Programming.

Introducing Visual Basic Wizards. Using the Wizard for the Internet. Sampling the Internet Controls. A Preview of Advanced Issues.


12. Program Algorithms.

Counters and Accumulators. Swapping Values. Sorting. Nested Loops. Searching Arrays. A Brief Introduction to Data Structures.

13. Programming with C.

Introducing C. Analyzing a C Program. Using the main() Functions Format. Using the #include Statement. C Data. C Comments. Declaring Variables. C Functions. C Operators. C Control Statements.

14. Programming with C++.

Learning C++. Object Terminology. Fundamental Differences Between C and C++. Introducing Objects. Benefits of OOP.

15. Macro, Batch, and Scripting Languages.

Batch: The One That Started Everything. Macro Languages. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Scripting in Windows.

16. Internet Programming Concepts.

Internet Programming Considerations. The Need for Simple Navigation. HTML Programming. ActiveX Controls. Scripting in Internet Applications. ASP and .NET Technologies.

17. HTML Programming.

Understanding HTML. Simple HTML. Simple HTML Text Formatting. Simple HTML Graphics. Using Hyperlinks. E-mail HyperLinks.

18. DHTML Programming.

Introducing DHTML. A Sample DHTML Page. The Technology Behind DHTML. The Microsoft and Netscape Battle. The Rollover Effect.

19. Introduction to XML.

XML and Its Impact. Multiple Platforms. A Complete XML Example.

20. Java Programming.

Introducing Java. Java Provides Executable Content. Multiplatform Executable Content. The Java Usage Summary. The Security Issue. Give Java a Spin. Visual J++: A Sample Java System. The Java Language Specifics. Exception Handling.

21. JavaScript.

What JavaScript Can Do for You. Reviewing JavaScripts Objects. JavaScripts Events and Handlers. JavaScripts Language Is Complete.


22. The Importance of Maintenance.

Flowcharts. Pseudocode. Introduction to Structured Programming. Structured Programming Techniques. Proper Testing Is Vital. Debugging.

23. Distributing Your Applications.

Issues Surrounding Software Distribution. Distribution Used to Be Easy. Windows Application Distribution. Deploying Your Application. After Generating the Setup. More Helpful Tools.

24. The Programming Business.

Data Processing and Other Departments. Paying for the Data Processing Department. Computer Jobs. Job Titles. Consulting.

25. Your Programming Future.

Will Programming Go Away? Training Never Stops. From Beginner to Guru.


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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2003

    Absolute Beginner

    I bought this book because of the glorious praise it received on this website, as well as on others. I am definitely an ABSOLUTE beginner, and found the first four chapters extremely easy to read and informative. I was very much looking forward to Chapter 5 and beginning to program. The book DOES NOT provide a CDROM with the necessary programs, and if you are an absolute beginner like me, you probably have no idea where you can get these programs (except to purchase them all). I'm still bewildered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2002

    you've got to see this one!!!!

    The storyline was closer to the real thing than the real thing itself. I was there a among the stars with them and holding my own.The plot was intense and very suspenseful with just the right amount of action to spice it up. I recomend this movie to any of you looking for adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    The BEST beginner's programming book!

    I have read a multitude of beginner's programming books and found that they lack in painting a sense of overall purpose for the beginner. Too many times the details in these books are overwhelming and unnecessarily complicate matters for BEGINNERS like the book states. This book does a fantastic job in giving a well-rounded introduction to programming concepts and languages while never straying from their intended purpose: help the BEGINNER gain a solid footing in a sometimes daunting and directionless wasteland of details. If half these other books followed the fundamental 'top-down design' that this book so clearly illustrates (p. 34) in their teaching methodology, more people would be spending their time programming than scratching their heads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2002

    This is REALLY a book for dummies! LOL!

    I bought this book yesterday as a backup for a B&N programming class and have been totally engrossed. I also have spent the past week perusing 'Beginning Programming for Dummies' by Wallace Wang. Although I was very happy with Wang's book for dummies, I find that this book is speaking my language better for some reason. It's very engrossing as a evolutionary chronology of the whole subject matter. So here we sit, the nerdettes, my daughter's nose stuck in her book on HTML and mine doing double duty with this book and Wang's. Ahhhhhh!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2001

    Excellent beginner's look at Programming

    This book takes a good overall look at computer programming, starting with an early history of both computers and early programming languages, starting off with early ones like FORTRAN and later COBOL, all the way up to the current ones, like C++ and Java. It also dives into the 'nuts and bolts' of programming, describing various programming concepts using Visual Basic. However, the book points out that a lot of what is covered in Visual Basic can be applied to other languages. Languages such as C, C++, and Java are covered here, along with batch and scripting languages and 'Internet programming languages' like HTML, DHTML, XML, and Javascript. There's also excellent advice on maintaining your programs, distributing them and what the future of programming holds. A great book for anyone interested in becoming a programmer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000

    Awake at last.

    I have stacks and stacks of books that I have read and put down before the fourth chapter because I fell asleep reading them. This book has made me not only understand the basics (what I have been missing all along) but has helped me to understand all those other books. No offense but the dummies series have not helped me at all. Greg Perry puts programming into perspective. If you want to learn programming start here. Nuff said.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    Beginning programmers don't miss this!

    This is a book that teaches you the foundations of programming in a simple, effective and entertaining way, you'll find yourself not wanting to put it down, besides, the author gives tips on how to go further in the programming profession and also recommends books for the next level

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