Thinking Like a Programmer: Building a Programming Curriculum

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Excerpt

Let's discuss the development of a beginning Ruby programming curriculum for the general public.

Description

In the late 1990s, I taught beginning programming to classes of people ranging from 8th grade to adult with community education. The language was Python, and the point was to bring non-programmers to the field and teach them how to “think like a programmer.” The goal was to teach basic programming fundamentals, how to read documentation, how to read error messages, etc. Later classes tackled specific topics. After the class, students could continue on there own, secure in the confidence that they could learn on their own. Since I’m planning on teaching again through Hood River County Community Education I would like to talk with people about building a curriculum in Ruby, from beginnings (“what’s a string?”) to web application development. What do you feel is necessary to learn in order to “think like a programmer?” What topics would you want beginning programmers to learn? Let’s build a list of topic sections together.

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