Book review: How to think like a coder

Please note that I was sent a free copy of this book.

(Click the book cover to see the book on Amazon. This is an Amazon affiliate link.)

The subtitle of this book is 'Without even trying'!. While there's a bit of poetic licence in that description, the book definitely does a good job of putting 'coding' within reach.

It's worth considering three aspects of this book:

  • Content.

  • Structure.

  • Look and feel.


The book is developed logically, going from simple ideas, through logic puzzles of different kinds, to programming syntax. It includes sections on how computers 'think' and how the human brain thinks.

I think it would have benefitted from having a few more questions. For example, the section on where computers are to be found in everyday life might have asked the reader to list examples rather than just providing them.


As the book develops we are introduced to flowcharts and other computer programming concepts, such as loops and variables. The activities, games and websites suggested are good, and there's a glossary and index too.

In other words, the book progresses from easy to more difficult, which is how it should be. I also like the fact that each topic is polished off in two pages. It makes a difficult and potentially dry subject palatable. 

Look and feel

Sumptuous is the word to sum it up I think. It has a hard cover, glossy pages that look water-resistant (though I haven't tested them!), different coloured pages and even different kinds of 'notepaper' backgrounds. 


This is excellent value for money, and will be useful for students, so I recommend buying two or three copies to place in your ed tech library.

I wish it had been called 'How to think like a programmer' instead, but at least the book is about how to think like one rather than just how to 'code'.

This review first appeared in the free Digital Education newsletter.