I would suggest any attempt to teach people to code should begin with 
Software Carpentry <>.

An important point here is that there are many misconceptions about 
programing and teaching that won't stand up to empirical investigation. 

I'm afraid on that score, Perl is not a good choice for a first language 
(nor is VBScript or VBA).  I know people won't like me for saying that 
but there is hope of getting past religious wars if we insist on 
evidence over opinion.


On 2/15/2013 8:59 AM, Joe Hourcle wrote:
> On Feb 15, 2013, at 8:22 AM, Kyle Banerjee 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 how
>>> 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 learning
>> to program. What most of them need is very different than what is discussed
>> 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.
> Well, as you mention that ... I'm one of the organizers of the
> DC-Baltimore Perl Workshop :
> Last year, we targeted the beginner's track as a sort of 'Perl
> as a second language', assuming that you already knew the basic
> concepts of programming (what's a variable, an array, a function,
> etc.)
> Would it be worth us aiming for an even lower level of expertise?
> -Joe
> ps.  Students & the unemployed are free ... $25 before March 1st,
>       $50 after; will be April 20th at U. Baltimore.  We're also
>       in talks with a training company to have either another track
>       of paid training or a separate day (likely Sunday); they
>       wouldn't necessarily be Perl-specific.