Preferred books for the first steps with Julia?

Dear Juliafriends

I’m totally new to Julia, in other words a beginner, but I’m interested to get more details for becoming familiar with Julia.
@TheCedarPrince kindly recommended JuliaAcademy to learn more, a good opportunity. Independent of JuliaAcademy and the other online tutorials I would like to have a printed book about Julia as an addition for the first steps in learning Julia - the reason for the latter is, that when not sitting at my desktop then I like reading books :wink: , printed books more than ebooks.
I have seen that there is a category Books mentioning a lot of Julia related books. I would like to know, which of those books do you prefer for the first steps of Julia beginners?

If it’s the wrong place to ask that question here, then feel free to move it to a more correct one.



Tanmay Teaches Julia for Beginners
by Tanmay Bakshi


Depends also on whether you begin with Julia or with programming in general. Did you program before?


No I’m not beginning with programming in general, not from scratch.
In the past I have used Freepascal, not very extensively, but for a while. Against this backdrop I know programming in general, shall say not all bifurcations, but I know the main features.
So by implication, beginning with programming in general = No, wanting to begin with Julia = Yes.

Keeping this in mind, suggestions/ideas regarding books for the first steps with Julia are welcome.

Think Julia is very good. Think Julia: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist


Thanks together, I think I’ll probably choose the “Think Julia” which @PetrKryslUCSD suggested.

I think it’s more oriented towards people who are new to programming in general. The book’s introduction says This book is for anyone who wants to learn to program. No formal prior knowledge is required.

Steven, as I am not new to programming in general - shall say do have some prior knowledge from former times - and only Julia is new for me, which book would you recommend dealing with Julia?

If you’re experienced with programming in general, I would recommend the manual. (If you need a paper version, then omitting the standard-library reference chapters it’s about 450 pages, which you can print and bind for about $30, but that does seem like a waste of paper.)


In general, my advice for picking a textbook on any subject is to look up the same specific topic in every book and see what it says. You’ll quickly find that some books speak to you and others do not.

Unfortunately, this is harder without having a sample copy of a book, e.g. at a library. The next best thing is to read a sample of each book online.

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Thanks :slightly_smiling_face: , Steven.

For people who actually do know how to program but don’t have deeper computer science background (most working scientist including ML guys) I find the Julia Tutorial by Jesús Fernández-Villaverde from the UPenn right on money. Anything deeper than that would involve multi year standard CS education starting from Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and involving at least several different languages. Most scientist neither have the time nor need for such deep understanding.

When I say people who know how to program I mean people who know a bit more than a single domain specific language (MATLAB comes to mind) and preferably a language that is useful for scientific computing.


What languages do you have experience in?

I have a spare copy of this volume as new and unused at half price plus postage, If anyone is interested.

I have two copies of Tanmay Teaches Julia for Beginners :slightly_smiling_face:. I let others borrow the second copy when I am helping them become familiar with Julia, as some are reasonably new to programming.

I agree that Think Julia is well written and a useful resource when learning Julia, I like it as the first reference.

Jane Herriman’s Introduction to Jula is a real asset for newcomers.

I have some knowledge in Freepascal and its IDE, but I would never define my knowledge as top range, let’s say my Freepascal knowledge is about mid-range. I realise that I have to learn a lot regarding Julia, keeping that in mind I am looking for good Julia books for getting some background knowledge as support for the first programming steps with Julia.