Dr Brian Ballsun-Stanton

Hey folks: I'm giving advice to someone who just finished HS. She will be entering a CS + Linguistics program in some shortish time from now. As I'm mindful of so many of my bad programming habits come from before I entered uni, what resource would be best to teach her?

"Best" defined as: most able to *think* about the programs/model them in head/not be messed up when hitting intro to programming courses in other langs?

@DenubisX Just Fucking Do It is the only consistent theme I've seen in practical learning. Start with a personally interesting goal of making a thing. Website, game, calculator, whatever. That interest will drive the resource seeking and questions and writing of the code which gives the practical glue to fit class concepts into your brain. College doesn't create programmers any more than art school created Da Vinci. It's the practice.

Also: tech is really about people.

@DenubisX what do you mean by ‘resource’?

Probably git and/or vim tho

@swizzard Good question. I meant educational resource. In the most trivial sense: "What book should she read?" ESR, Knuth...

@noelle Thanks. My first look makes my hackles rise. You recommend it from experience? Hrm. Looking at learnpythonthehardway.org/pyth I.. mmm

Then I read the intro. Oh this looks delighful. Thank you.

@DenubisX This isn't exactly what you asked for, but if your student has extra time and interest she might be interested in looking at programs from the side they don't teach you in school, the dark side, the eeevil tester's (i.e., my) side. Glenford Myers's "Art of Software Testing" and Boris Beizer's "Software Testing Techniques" are good, especially if you get an earlier, pre-bloat, edition. Testers have....unusual.....ways of conceptualizing a piece of software.

@bmt She's got a few months before hearing what US unis accepted her, as here in Australia, she's out of phase. So yeah, time is a resource she has.

@DenubisX Also, "The Psychology of Computer Programming" is a classic, is truly fun, and will give her an idea of what she's getting herself into :)

@DenubisX You're welcome! I hope you get some good suggestions that are more on point, too. I started off as a developer, then became a tester. I kind of wish I'd gone the other direction, since then I would have had all the skewed, sneaky, thinking-in-the-corners, socially unacceptable, and similarly useful traits I learned in testing BEFORE writing any code :)

@bmt Yep. That's what I'm trying to pass on. And an evil QA mindset will likely be.. uh... type... of asset... during university work?

@bmt Wait, I already said thanks. Argh. uh... look, over there!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Follow friends and discover new ones. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. This server is run by the main developers of the Mastodon project. Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!