Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 09:10:19PM +0900, Marc Heiler wrote:
>> "The "Ruby in 20 Minutes" tutorial is obviously geared to the 

>> Everyone should start with the pickaxe2, really. Or Pine tutorial. ;-)
> 
> The Pickaxe has some severe shortcomings as an instructional text for
> people who are not experienced programmers.  It's a great book in many
> ways, but for a newbie programmer, not so much.  It assumes a fair bit
> of foreknowledge.
> 
> I'm glad Messrs. Thomas and Hunt didn't decide to try to make the
> Pickaxe everything to everyone.  Books that result from such an attempt
> tend to be notoriously bad at being anything to anyone.  Pick a target
> audience for your book, and stick to it -- you'll have better luck that
> way.  The Pickaxe is great within its niche.  Just don't make the
> mistake of thinking that niche is for people who are new to programming.
> 


I bought the Pickaxe and did great with it for the first few chapters. 
I read it religiously.  Big game - Michigan vs. Ohio State.  (GO BLUE!) 
I brought the Pickaxe with me to the 'in-law's' and read the book while 
my partner watched the game.  I was glued to it.

But, at a certain point, I got lost.  Even though I had gone through the 
Pine tutorial (not as thoroughly as I should have, but I have a crappy 
attention span), and even though I had taken a logic and design course 
in school... I got lost.

I have found that just eventually writing little stupid things and 
seeing what tweaks I could make to those little tweaks, as well as 
asking questions on this list, participating with my Ruby Mentor(s), and 
going through code has been invaluable.

Now, I'm starting to go through the Pickaxe again, with a little bit 
more experience and understanding this time.  I'm nowhere near the skill 
level of being able to write wonderful applications/programs, but I'm 
better than when I first posted to this list.  I'm even highlighting 
things now.  Wahoo!

-Samantha