Found in 2 comments on Hacker News
shawndumas · 2013-07-23 · Original thread
The only advice I can give is to share my story.

I started my son at five with MIT's Scratch [1] followed up by Lego Mindstorms [2].

I then created a text adventure engine [3] that could run adventures written in a very simple Lua based DSL so he could make a simple text game [4]. Mom helped with spelling and grammar and I suggested a puzzle but he wrote the adventure himself.

Then I transitioned him to Lua on the iPad with Codea [5] and he (with a little help from me) made a game called StarFighter [6].

I choose Lua because it is a great intro language. Very simple with minimalistic syntax, few concepts, few primitives, few keywords, dynamically-typed / garbage collected, variable arity, no real gotchas, good tool support, great speed, the ability to access a key in a hash either using bracket or dotted notation, and one of the best programming books for any language (PiL).

But it also scales well; closures, first-class / true anonymous functions, metatables / metamethods, nice simple API for talking between script and C, tail-call optimization, coroutines, short circuiting operators.

And, the path from Lua to JavaScript is very straightforward. In fact I'd say that mastery of Lua would make you a mid-level JS programmer right out of the box...

The next step was JavaScript and ImpactJS [7]. I got him two books [8][9] and he loved them.

He is now doing HTML/CSS/JS and is in the middle of a fantastic book called Pro Javascript [10]. Once he is done with that book I am going to consider him on his own...

But just to give you an idea; he is 11 now and I am learning Scala for work. He's been watching videos with me and I paused it and ask questions and then I asked him where he thinks the presenter is going to go. He ran to his Ubuntu desktop and apt-get'ed Scala and cranked up a REPL session and showed me; he was correct!












morbidkk · 2008-06-27 · Original thread
I had rhino book but things got better when I read

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