a2, actually the hardware "programming" tools are much more software like. If you are programming FPGAs, for example, you use languages like Verilog or VHDL. The former is basically C, while the later is based on Ada. Then tools which are like compilers produce code that is used to actually program the device. These languages are also used for custom chip designs.
Not only Ruby, any programming language has become easy right now. Writing of lines and lines of code is no more there. Its just drag and drop mostly. I think the Hardware Programming tools do remain a bit same. Other than that everything has made the lives of the programmers very easy.
Cabe, this looks like a good book. I agree that with the importance of software in our electronics based life that it is useful for kids to learn early. This is becoming a required skill, like mathematics. Actually, much mathematics cannot be done without programming.
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