[SATLUG] nnOT: Recommendations to engage novice programmers with feasible & realistic programming task

hc at lookcee.com hc at lookcee.com
Tue Dec 4 20:28:41 CST 2012

Hey Don, This may be useful to you as a warm-up to programming & only take a few min.
 Great op for an ancient to tell old war story, lol.

Back in days when Cobol was the hottest symbolic programming language I worked for Scientific Data Systems (SDS bought by Xerox became XDS) assigned to marketing my job was to give some training lectures to a client Co's Management many had never worked in a computer environment. I would explain to the group that the importance of a systems study before implementation is important to uncover the total detail items involved in getting the best results from the machine. 

The first task for you is to write out every step involved to fry one egg, the scene is your own kitchen everything is in place so the first three steps are open the cabinet door, remove the fry-pan, close the cabinet door. so from there describe all the moves necessary to fry one egg & serve it to the table. 

The worksheet I handed out had the full flow chart drawn on back so they could self test. None ever completed the test & it made a remarkable effect opening the door to tons of questions it made a great relaxer for the group laughing at the total mess most of them made in the kitchen most got opening the fridge door removing the egg but leaving the fridge door open even though I closed the cabinet door as example. 

Anyway it was a fun way to get the group started dunno if it fits your plan.
Good luck
On Tuesday, December 4, 2012 09:11, "Don Davis" <dondavis at reglue.org> said:

> Programmers, CS & IT specialists,
> I'm developing a prototype for a learning environment for complete
> novice programmers (read no experience whatsoever)(many of whom may
> never program again). They will be asked to complete some programming
> tasks for a fictional community-oriented nonprofit. They will create (or
> alter an existing) AppInventor program that could hypothetically
> resemble something a programmer might be called upon to do.
> So far, I've thought of - a) generate an app to create a mailing list,
> b) create an app that maps something using GPS coordinates, c) batch
> edit some pics for a web site.
> The program should be potentially relevant but doable in AppInventor
> (think relatively simple) and as accessible as possible to a complete
> novice i.e. writing scripts to fire off SQL triggers across various
> databases or checking disk integrity won't be the way to go.
> Balancing feasibility and reality for *complete novice* programmers,
> what sort of tasks might you recommend?
> Thank you for your time - please respond off list.
> Additionally, I will need to film someone, who is bilingual
> Spanish-English, (very briefly) giving the instructions, in case you or
> someone you know may be interested....
> --
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