There are three distinct philosophies that you can apply to computer programming. You can think of programming as a science, where the measure of progress is how well you discover and reflect fundamental mathematical concepts in your code. You can think of it as a discipline, where you seek to establish and follow rules about how code should be written and organized. Or, best of all, you can think of it as a craft, where, yes, you apply some of the science and some of the discipline; but you leaven those with a generous helping of human creativity. To do this successfully, you need a fair bit of experience, because crafting something is an inherently intuitive process. This book aims to get you to a level where you can craft code confidently. It does this by distilling and passing on my own experience of writing F# systems in numerous different industries over the past eight years.
Before you start this book, you’ll need at least some knowledge of F# syntax and concepts. Maybe you’ve read some of the wide range of beginner material that’s available, and probably you’ll have written at least a few simple F# programs yourself. You may well have deeper experience of other languages and environments, such as C# and .NET. That said, I have framed the book so that C# knowledge is not a hard prerequisite: I learned F# before I learned C#, and if I can do it, so can you! Also you definitely don’t need any background in Computer Science or functional programming. I don’t have even a trace of formal education in either of these areas.
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