Category: News

New Release: A Tiny Introduction to JavaScript

150 pages. 35 fun and interactive exercises on CodePen. No setup required (just a web browser). Available in print (good) or as a a PDF ebook (even better). Best of all, it’s free! You can get more more details (and the story of why I wrote it) on the Gumroad project page. Happy coding!

WordPress: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition

It’s been a while! The first edition of WordPress: The Missing Manual was released almost exactly 8 years ago to a very different world. Websites were complicated, web hosts were stingy, and video hosting was a luxury. Today the world is radically different, but WordPress has only grown in popularity, now accounting for a staggering…
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A Flowchart for Kids Learning to Code

In the past decade, the world has gone crazy for code-themed education. There’s an iPad app or robot caterpillar for every age. Many of these toys and games are perfectly fun activities that do very little to teach actual computer science concepts. To be kind, they overpromise. (To be less kind, their claims are bunk.) That…
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Messing Up the Web: A free tutorial for kids

There are plenty of ways to help your kids learn the basics of HTML. (I’m a fan of the no-nonsense videos at Khan Academy.) But when it came to teach my own daughters, they wanted something that seemed a little more… fun. Sitting down for a long lecture about angle brackets wasn’t going to cut it.…
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The Rise and Fall of Visual Basic

After 28 years, are we are finally seeing the beginning of the end for one of the world’s most popular languages? I have a confession to make. Before I became a respectable developer working with modern curly-bracket languages like C# and Java (and that hot mess of a platform we call JavaScript), I was a…
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Under development: “HTML & CSS For Kids”

Interesting story—my first ever book was written for the excellent No Starch Press almost two decades ago. Despite writing many books since, our creative paths never crossed again… until now! Yes, I’m tiptoeing into the very fun but very competitive kids market with HTML & CSS For Kids (expected release: early 2020). If you’re interested…
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Young Coder is growing…

About a month ago, I launched the Young Coder publication at Medium to cover the field of kid coding and STEM education. Young Coder isn’t mature yet, but it’s slowly growing up. Recently we published a couple of stories about alternative approaches to teaching computer programming. If you’re tired of Scratch and coding games, you might want…
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Young Coder

Recently, I’ve been thinking about kid coding and the world of tech education. My children are just starting to take their first steps in tech. They’re experimenting with HTML, trying out different programming languages, and playing with plenty of STEM toys. Unfortunately, the world of kid coding is filled with wild promises and overinflated hype. Parents…
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My favorite color illusion

10 years ago I wrote a book for O’Reilly that remains one of my favorites to this day. The book—Your Brain: The Missing Manual—is still in print, and every once in a while I get an email from a reader who’s stumbled across it and discovered something weird and wonderful about the squishy gray matter…
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Cthulhu for Kids

Here’s something a bit different this Halloween: Three of H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror tales (and one bonus) adapted for young readers. There’s no snark. There’s no cutesiness. Just gothic creepiness. Recommended for ages 10+. Download a free excerpt here or read about the book on Amazon (paperback, Kindle). The inspiration for this project came…
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