[Edu-sig] Python at grades 5-9 summer program
david at handysoftware.com
Fri Jun 17 18:11:31 CEST 2005
On Thu, Jun 16, 2005 at 11:26:28PM -0700, Dave Briccetti wrote:
> Hi all. I'm pleased that I've finally discovered what a great resource
> Edu-sig is.
Hi Dave, welcome aboard.
> I've been a professional programmer since 1978, and a self-employed
> consultant since 1983. These days I work mostly in Java on Linux, Windows,
> and MacOS X. In the summers I teach for six weeks at a community college
> program for grades 5-9 in Pleasant Hill, California (not far from San
> Francisco). Over the years I've taught QBASIC, Visual Basic, C++, and
You sound like a man after my own heart. Professional software developer
with a desire to teach young people. Me too.
In fact this week I sat down with my 8 and 11 year old sons and taught them
binary arithmetic and logic design (AND, OR, and NOT gates) just like my
father taught me when I was 10...it's a generational thing.
> A few weeks ago I got an email from an adult who is a friend of a student
> who will be in my Python class this year. The man works in industry, and
> wanted to know why I would teach Python and not Visual C++... suggesting
> that I'm some tired old professor who was just teaching what he knows
> instead of something useful.
I'm rolling on the floor laughing! Python boosts productivity more than 4x
over C++ for me and thousands of other developers and that's not useful?
Sounds like he's the one stubbornly sticking with the things he knows
instead of learning things that are new and different.
I'm not worried about folks like that, let them have their own opinions.
What bothers me though is that I'm meeting young people who have been
influenced by folks like that. They want to skip Python and go straight to
C++ because that's what they think "cool" game developers do.
They've got to understand that games they think are so "cool" are written by
teams that consist of 3 to 5 programmers and 50 or more graphic artists,
designers, etc. working full time for a long time with costs in the
millions. They want so much to impress their peers, their teacher, etc. They
need to understand that people will be a lot more impressed by something
that's funny and original that they did themselves in Python and it actually
runs vs. something they attempted in C++ and it would have been the next
Starcraft only they never got it finished or working. That's the beauty of
Python -- your success rate goes way up.
Anyway, welcome again to EDU-SIG.
Computer Programming is Fun!
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