By @SimonCocking, review of Confident Coding available from KoganPage here.

If you want to master the fundamentals of coding and kick start your career, Confident Coding is the book for you. Everyone has a digital life, but too few truly understand how the software that dominates the world actually works. Coding is one of the most in demand skills on the job market and grasping the basics can advance your creative potential and make you stand out from the crowd.

Rob Percival gives you a step-by-step learning guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, building iPhone apps, building Android apps and debugging. On reading this book and honing your skills through practice, you will be able to code in each of these languages, build your own website, build your own app and have the confidence to supercharge your employability.

This is an interesting book, looking to bridge the gap between coding masters, and the wider world of people looking to understand the more general concepts of coding. We asked Rob who this book was aimed at. He explained “I wanted this to be the one book most people would read about coding. Unlike my previous book, and courses, this is not a book for those that want to become developers (although it might give some people a nudge in that direction!). It’s really about teaching professionals – teachers, doctors, managers, lawyers etc – everything they might want to know about coding to advance their careers, start their own businesses, create simple apps or websites, work better with developers etc.” This is certainly true because each chapter could certainly take up a whole book alone, particular Part Two which covers languages, including HTML, Python, and JavaScript among others. That said we have come across a number of very smart people, who worked in other fields and then taught themselves enough about to coding to then understand what was possible to build, and often then who to hire to build it for them.

In this context Part One – Why Coding, and Part Four, in particular, ‘Coding and Entrepreneurship’ make a lot of sense. Time and time again, it is more about the overall business strategy, and insights into which problems are worth fixing, in achievable time frames. These are the areas where many people will make their fortunes. For the right audience this book could be very helpful, and the catalyst towards helping them to launch their own businesses.

We then also asked Rob if he thought coding would remain a valuable skill, we know he is naturally an evangelist for it, but even so his answer was interesting. ” Coding is just a way to unambiguously communicate to machines what you want them to do. Knowing how to do that will be an increasing important skill, even if at some point we can convert normal language into code (which I think is still a long way off, if it happens). That writing will still have to be precise, not open to interpretation, and able to achieve complex tasks, so the skills you would learn from this book would be useful, even if the particular language you are using hasn’t been invented yet. The more we rely on computers for everyday tasks the more people can benefit from being able to make machines do their bidding.”

This is probably the book to read on your lunch break while working at the multinational which only values 50% of what you have to offer, while you dream about how you’d like to make a go of it launching your own business!

Why coding is still a relevant skill, insights with Rob Percival, author of Confident Coding


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