I'm not advocating the Google CT lessons as the best way to learn Python. Karen, I really like your hacker space idea. Anyone else know of an online environment like that?  Another option is maybe a Python IRC channel or a local meetup discussion list. For example, we have a really good Ruby meetup group here in KC that meets once a month. I also know between meetings that I can go to the mail list to get help with my Rails questions.

I am interested more in the Google CT lessons in the Data Analysis and English-Language subjects as entry points into "how to think differently about your work and about this thing you're hunched over for 8 hours a day". Sure, those lessons focus heavily on spreadsheet functions, but that's a familiar way to introduce the concepts. I think it could also be adapted to Ruby, Python, whatever.


Jason Stirnaman
Digital Projects Librarian
A.R. Dykes Library
University of Kansas Medical Center

From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Karen Coyle [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2013 3:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Getting started with Ruby and library-ish data (was RE: [CODE4LIB] You *are* a coder. So what am I?)

On 2/18/13 12:53 PM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
> On 2/18/2013 2:04 PM, Jason Stirnaman wrote:
>> I've been thinking alot about how to introduce not only my kids, but
>> some of our cataloging/technical staff to thinking "programmatically"
>> or "computationally"[1] or whatever you want to call it.
> Do you have an opinion of the google 'computational thinking'
> curriculum pieces linked off of that page you cite? For instance, at:

I looked at the "Beginning Python" one[1], and I have to say that any
intro to programming that begins with a giant table of mathematical
functions is a #FAIL. Wow - how wrong can you get it?

On the other hand, I've been going through the Google online python
class [2] and have found it very easy to follow (it's youtubed), and the
exercises are interesting. What I want next is more exercises, and
someone to talk to about any difficulties I run into. I want a hands-on
hacker space learning environment that has a live expert (and you
wouldn't have to be terribly expert to answer a beginner's questions).
It's very hard to learn programming alone because there are always
multiple ways to solve a problem, and an infinite number of places to
get stuck.

> Or at:

Karen Coyle
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ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet