What books or resources do you know of for teaching programming from the most basic beginning? While publishers like O'Reilly have a book for pretty much every occasion, these are all for a fairly sophisticated audience and there seems to be a fairly serious gap between what's required to understand those books and what an absolute beginner knows, especially someone who's not that old.
Books like Hello Ruby look like an effort to bridge that gap, it's a very gentle introduction to the subject. Are there any that go further? Are there books like this that can take someone all the way to writing actual, useful code?
The Girls Who Code series seems more focused on making programming itself seem fun, worthwhile, and engaging, which is absolutely a great thing to see as there's a lot of misunderstanding and bias here worth addressing, but these books don't actually commit to teaching programming per-se, just preparing people for the idea that they can program.
The classic Poignant Guide to Ruby certainly aims to do just that, combining whimsy and practical lessons, but I'm concerned that it's a bit too quirky to be a good general approach. It's like an amazing art project that just so happens to teach a bit of Ruby in the process.
Have you got any favourites for someone who's aspiring to program but has zero knowledge of how to go about doing that?