Published on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 00:00
Written by Kshipra Singh
Packt Publishing has today launched a new series of Beginner’s Guide books designed to make open source tools and other advanced software accessible and usable for Beginners.
“There are thousands of tremendous software tools out there,” says series editor David Barnes. “The way they are designed, built and documented means they can often feel like they are created by experts, for experts. Newcomers often don’t know what the software can even do, let alone how to do it.”
Packt Beginner’s Guides aim to overcome this problem. They teach newcomers a technology by presenting realistic, useful examples with clear step-by-step instructions.
Packt has already announced two Beginner’s Guides on their web site: Moodle Course Conversion, due out next week, and WordPress Plugin Development, due out in January.
“If you’re trying to teach a new application to somebody sitting next to you, you won’t just give them loads of facts about it” Barnes continued “Instead you’ll guide them through some simple, useful operations before explaining them and then gradually moving on to more complex tasks. Beginner’s Guides work like this. They feel more like a hands-on ‘lab’ than a lecture” he concluded.
Beginner’s Guides are especially suitable for tools that aren’t completely geeky, and aren’t completely mainstream either. Tools such as Moodle, WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal all suit this kind of ‘learn by doing’ approach.
Beginner’s Guides take Packt’s approach a step further by providing friendly step-by-step books on topics and tools that are just starting to be adopted by mainstream users. Not long ago, if you used a computer for anything more than typing a letter, sending email and using Google you were considered an expert. But now anybody can use a computer in a wide range of creative and interesting ways –from building web sites to making videos and music. The need for friendly Beginner’s Guides on a wide range of topics and tools is greater than ever.
Packt is looking for authors to write books in the Beginner’s Guide series. “A good Beginner’s Guide author thinks like a teacher,” says David. “They need to be well versed and comfortable with the topic, so that while writing they can focus their attention on leading the reader into the topic area. We have plenty of editorial resources, templates, and guidelines that will help authors do just that.”
with the subject you want to cover, or some information on your areas of expertise.
Read more: Packt Publishing seeks authors for new Beginners Guide series.