Programming language for children

Knapp magick.crow at
Mon Jun 15 09:03:20 UTC 2009

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:08 AM, marc<gmane at> wrote:
>> 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.
> --
> Best,
> Marc

I think it depends what you are after. I can set someone down with QT
Creator and have them make a very cool GUI in seconds and compile it
and run it. But to go to the next level take a huge jump in
understanding and learning. If I go the other way and teach them to
make a little python number guessing game, the over head of learning
is right at the front but the steps after that get easier for a long
time and by the end of the path the person can really program. I think
both ways do have their high points but someone using a complex IDE
like QT Creator will run into a huge wall without a basic
understanding of programming.

Douglas E Knapp

Why do we live?

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