Programming language for children

marc gmane at
Mon Jun 15 07:08:46 UTC 2009


> On 14/06/09 02:51 PM, marc wrote:

>> One thing I don't agree with here is the avoidance of an IDE. Modern
>> IDEs are superb tools that do a huge amount of donkey work for you and
>> organise your work. And they're fun!
> They are nothing but a distraction for beginners and serve only to
> confuse.

My experience is the complete opposite. Beginners want to see results and 
build on them.

> They have to walk before they can run so let them learn the
> fundamentals of programming first, learn the language constructs for
> their particular language, and after they have some comfort level with
> that, you can introduce an IDE.

Nah! Give the student a fun environment in which to work and they'll 
learn what they need when they need it and be comfortable experimenting.

> Of course we may be talking about two
> completely different things when we say "IDE" because IDLE claims to be
> an IDE but so does Eclipse. Putting Eclipse in front of a beginner is a
> lost cause. It's overwhelmingly complex and can be very discouraging to
> someone who is just starting.

I put a complete beginner in front of Netbeans recently - a sales 
manager's admin - and she was happily tapping away after ten minutes. The 
IDE was not a barrier at all; as I said, quite the opposite.


"Change requires small steps."

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