Thursday, September 15, 2011

Programming Options for Kids

This is a good thread on Boing Boing.

Learning how to program helped me a lot, and such learning might be good for grown-ups too. Consider that the kid is going to be looking at the computer for a fair chunk of his or her life: understanding that you can have power over the fucking thing is important in addition to the logic-building skills.

First mentions were of Processing, which I have mentioned before. It, alas, has some system-specific kookiness.


Brando said...

I keep a spare computer around so that, when my regular one acts up, I can hit the spare with a hammer and show the regular one what happens to computers that take too long to open iTunes.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I used to be a programmer.


wv: yopalin

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Yeah, a lot of people freeze up when they confront a computer. I just tell them, think of it as a stone axe for the space age, don't let it psyche you out.

Smut Clyde said...

My offers to introduce Doktorling Sonja to the basics of C++ were politely but firmly rebuffed.

However, she does eat cold pizza, so there is hope for her.

mikey said...

That's actually one of the (few) downsides of the rise of the graphical web. In the pre-browser world, it was pretty clear that the industry was going to develop an easy to use graphical development environment. We saw HyperCard, and Visual Basic. The rise of objects and APIs - standardized modules that could work together. In order to make your system useful to you it was often necessary to build some of the pieces, and it was inevitable that would become simpler, more drag n drop.

But then one day we got up and brushed our teeth and booted up and discovered we were all connected to everybody else, and there was this simplified hierachy of HTML and Jscript and Java and then the various PHP/Python/Ruby solutions and millions of little online communities to build all these little tools and it wasn't necessary anymore.

In my own experience, having to build assembly programs (remember DEBUG as a compiler?), shell and batch scripts made it much clearer to me what was going on 'under the hood' and how I could make it do things a little differently...