Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

rusi rustompmody at gmail.com
Thu Dec 19 05:29:31 CET 2013


On Thursday, December 19, 2013 6:19:04 AM UTC+5:30, Rhodri James wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Dec 2013 15:51:44 -0000, Wolfgang Keller wrote: 
> > The only issue for me was to figure out how to do in C what I already
> > knew in Pascal. And I had to waste a *lot* more time and mental effort
> > to mess with that language than it took for me to learn *both* the
> > basics of programming per se *and* Pascal in the first class at my home
> > university.

> It's sounds like you made, and are carrying on making, one of the classic  
> mistakes of software engineering: you're trying to write one language in  
> the style of another.  It is possible to write C code as if it were  
> Pascal, but it's a painful process and it won't be pretty.  It's far  
> better to use a language as it is rather than as you want it to be.

Yes but the reverse is also true: Sometimes the best code in language
L is first conceptualized in design-language D and then 'coded' into
L.

When we were students D was called 'flow-charts'
Gone out of fashion today and replaced by UML.

Now I expect the majority on this list to not care for UML.
However the idea of a separate design language is not negated by the fact
that UML is overkill and silly.

eg Saw this (on the Erlang mailing list)
In some Australian university (in the 90s) 2 sems of Cobol was
replaced by 1 sem Scheme + 1 sem Cobol.  Students learnt more Cobol in
the second arrangement than in the first. [Note: 'More Cobol' not 'More
Programming']

Now if you were to ask those *students* I would expect similar
emotions towards Cobol as Wolfgang is expressing towards C.
That is however a separate issue :D



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