Introducing Kids to Programming: 2 or 3?

Emeka emekamicro at
Wed Sep 29 15:46:55 CEST 2010


This is a great news coming out of Africa. I would very much like to see
this your success story replicate across the continent. I would like to
participate and to have your programs for my country, Nigeria.

>From what you asked for, I would say that those kids should be part of the
future and not the past. So, go for Python 3. Being new to programming, what
matters most is learning programming and not the minor syntactical
differences. Get them to understand the real thing and they would build up
from there.

Regards ,

On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 4:48 PM, Marco Gallotta <marco at>wrote:

> Hi there
> I'm sure you get a lot of "2 or 3" questions, but here's another.
> Umonya [1] uses Python to introduce school kids to programming. The
> initiative is only 15 months old and up till now we've been using
> existing notes and exercises and thus Python 2. But we're at the stage
> where we can either stick with 2 for the next few years, or go to 3
> now.
> We received a grant from Google to reach 1,000 kids in South Africa
> with our course in 2011. People have also shown interest in running
> the course in Croatia, Poland and Egypt. We're also eyeing developing
> African countries in the long-term. As such, we're taking the time now
> to write our very own specialised course notes and exercises, and we
> this is why we need to decide *now* which path to take: 2 or 3? As we
> will be translating the notes we'll probably stick with out choice for
> the next few years.
> Since these are kids, we feel the nice changes in 3 such as removing
> integer division will help in teaching. It will also remove confusion
> when they go to download Python and grab the latest version. Since
> they're just starting, chances are almost none will be hit by the
> limited library support for at least a year or two. They will,
> however, be hit by the confusion of seeing Python 2 code all over the
> web.
> We're tending towards 3, but I am a little cautious myself.
> Marco
> [1]
> --
> Marco Gallotta
> MSc Student
> Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town
> <> |
> marco AT gallotta DOT co DOT za | 073 170 4444 | 021 552 2731
> --

*Satajanus  Nig. Ltd

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