Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Tue Dec 17 15:10:22 CET 2013

On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Oscar Benjamin
<oscar.j.benjamin at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was also taught C as an undergrad but having already learned Java, C
> and C++ before arriving at University I found the C course very easy
> so my own experience is not representative. Many of the other students
> at that time found the course too hard and just cheated on all the
> assignments (I remember one students offering to fix/finish anyone's
> assignment in exchange for a bottle of cider!).

Student cheats on assignment and gets, in effect, a fraudulent
certification. (Piece of paper claims competence, competence doesn't
exist.) Graduating student shows certification to employer. Employer
hires ex-student, because employer doesn't know good code from bad
(hence hiring someone). Ex-student writes a pile of junk, then leaves
for a better opportunity. Real programmer is hired, or seconded from
another project, to fix a few small issues in ex-student's code.
Lunatic asylum gains another patient.

It's all too common. I'd like to tell people that they're only
cheating themselves, but the trouble is, they're cheating other people
a lot more.


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