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Why Learn to Program?

Making a Computer Sing

As important as foundational skills like the command line and version control are, to really make a computer sing you need to learn to code.

Writing computer programs, a.k.a. “coding”, involves writing a series of instructions telling the computer exactly what to do. These instructions are written in specialized languages—“computer” languages—that can take time to master.

Luckily, you don’t need to master them to be productive—you just need to learn enough to be dangerous.

Learn Enough focuses on two computer languages: JavaScript and Ruby. (Eventually we’ll probably have even more.)

These languages are especially useful for web development: writing programs for the World Wide Web. Simply put, the Web is the greatest software and distribution platform in history. As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt once put it, “Don’t bet against the internet”.

Avoiding the monoglot trap

As with learning more than one natural language, learning more than one computer language teaches you much more than learning only one.

JavaScript is the only language that can be executed inside web browsers. As a result, it’s an essential part of any programmer’s toolkit.

Ruby, meanwhile, is an elegant and powerful language that’s “optimized for programmer happiness.” Though originally designed mainly for use at the command line (in programs called “shell scripts”), Ruby is widely used in web development.

Learn Enough JavaScript and Learn Enough Ruby give you the necessary foundation to be productive in both these languages.

Industrial-grade web development

You’ll also get the perfect preparation for Learn Enough’s 800-pound gorilla: a comprehensive introduction to web development known as the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

Once you finish the Rails Tutorial, you’ll be ready to build industrial-grade web applications using the powerful Ruby on Rails web framework. This means having the skills to get a high-paying job or maybe even start a company of your own.

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