Adding to what Chad says, most folks I know who work in offices that
have some of their functions in a computing environment (and that
includes libraries) get their first taste of programming by learning how
to use the macro language for whatever software supports their job.
Building on that seems to me to be a great place to start. This can
include (ugh!) Excel macros, then building to exporting the data and
doing more "free range" operations, and then on to using consumer-level
database technology (Filemaker, Access). I think people respond best to
learning a tool with immediate application to their job rather than some
abstract notion of "programming." They also can more easily justify the
learning time when there is an immediate application.
On 2/15/13 7:01 AM, Chad Nelson wrote:
> Along those lines, I'd say the first place I started learning to be a coder
> was writing Excel functions. It was where I learned, in a very basic way,
> the ideas of looping through a set, defining and using variables and
> constants, etc. The first time I successfully completed an hours worth of
> data report drudgery in a few minutes, I was hooked.
> But more importantly, I started thinking differently. The data I dealt with
> every day suddenly became much more usable and malleable; I really
> understood the value of naming conventions, structured data, etc.
> Yes I had (and still have) a lot more to learn, but as Jonathan Rochkind
> puts it<http://bibwild.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/computational-thinking-getting-started/>,
> I had begun thinking computationally about the the everyday problems in my
> library. I wouldn't have self-identified as a coder then, but that shift in
> thinking certainly started me on the path to becoming a coder.
> On Feb 15, 2013 8:22 AM, "Kyle Banerjee" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:40 AM, Jason Griffey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> The vast, vast, vast, vast majority of people have absolutely no clue
>>> code translates into instructions for the magic glowing screen they
> look at
>>> all day. Even a tiny bit of empowerment in that arena can make huge
>>> differences in productivity and communication abilities
>> This is what it boils down to.
>> C4l is dominated by linux based web apps. For people in a typical office
>> setting, the technologies these involve are a lousy place to start
>> to program. What most of them need is very different than what is
>> here and it depends heavily on their use case and environment.
>> A bit of VBA, vbs, or some proprietary scripting language that interfaces
>> with an app they use all the time to help with a small problem is a more
>> realistic entry point for most people. However, discussion of such things
>> is practically nonexistent here.
>> IMO, the first step to removing the magic around coding is to help people
>> recognize opportunities provided by the tools they're already using every
>> day. Once they realize there is no magic, they can pick up anything they
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