Hi Chris,

Well, BASIC style language is my "first" language. It is pretty easy for someone to start with.


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Gray
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 9:17 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] You *are* a coder. So what am I?

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.