The "Hello, World!" Coffee Table Book Idea


In late 2015, while Daniel and I were still in high school, we were discussing how programming worked. He explained to me that he had learned Java from a book he picked up the library, Python from an online course he found from MIT, and JavaScript along with the rest of webdev first by inspecting page elements and reading over the code, but then also by trying to make stuff and searching online.

I was shocked that he had learned three different programming languages – why not only learn one? Why was there more than one to begin with? When he explained that there were hundreds, and that many people go on to make their own basic languages in college, I was fascinated.

We started looking up different programming languages, what they were used for, why this one was used over that one, why this person created it, and started learning about all the subtleties and nuances of the different languages. Some people had essentially started religions around their favorite languages like Lisp and Ruby.

What started as a small project into learning about coding and programming languages turned into a bigger endeavor. We were sitting around at my coffee table, and on it were stacked about 5 different coffee table books about different things. Motorcycles. Education. Kid photo books. Why not one about coding and the languages we learned about?