THE WIDE WORLD OF CODING by Jennifer Connor-Smith

THE WIDE WORLD OF CODING

The People and Careers Behind the Programs
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A human-centered look at programming.

Focusing more on the conceptual side of programming—how to think like a programmer as opposed to explaining how to write in specific codes—science writer Connor-Smith (Living With Panic Disorder, 2018, etc.) illustrates her points with punchy, efficient anecdotes about the real-world applications and occurrences of the various ideas she presents instead of getting bogged down in theory. Early chapters cover the various steps that creating a program requires (with emphases on the amount of design that can be done on paper and on troubleshooting) followed by an overview of programming language (from a development and function viewpoint) and thorough-yet-succinct algorithm coverage. But it’s in the second half of the book where Connor-Smith’s psychology background shines, in chapters covering good versus bad design (and the manipulative psychology behind addictive programming and why companies use it), a wonderfully timely chapter on ethics in the digital realm, and a chapter detailing both why computer science as a field lacks diversity and how—through specific examples—increasing diversity improves outcomes for users and programs alike. The final chapter highlights tech areas with exciting and sometimes scary developments happening now—the text doesn’t shy away from the dark sides of technology but avoids fearmongering—encouraging readers to jump into the world of coding.

This attractive, engaging volume is a must-have for every school library. (answer key, timeline, glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, further reading, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: April 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5415-5282-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2020