On Learning Programming

Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie in their classic The C Programming Language wrote that the biggest hurdle in starting beginning learning a programming language is to write a program to print the ‘Hello World’ on the screen, the rest is relatively easy. This is because it requires mastering the mechanics of writing a program : writing it somewhere, running it and seeing where the output went.

This quote from an excellent introductory tutorial on quartz composer perfectly encapsulates my relationship with programming and stumbling blocks that have at times kept me pursuing it more than I did.

There are a lot of ways that this simple idea could/should be applied to efforts to recruit people/children/women/minorities/low income folks/etc. into programming. I know from my personal experience that seemingly small barriers can prevent otherwise qualified folks from doing something they are perfectly qualified to do.

 
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