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Teaching programming basics

I’m considering teaching one of my non-technical coworkers the basics of programming. Another developer on my team asked what language I was planning to use, and I replied “Javascript” before I’d even processed the question fully. Why JavaScript and not C++ or even C#? Here’s a few reasons:

  1. There are millions of websites and tutorials targeted at beginners.
  2. There are tons of freely available examples through the wonder of view source.
  3. It’s weakly typed, which means casting, boxing and those sorts of topics can be avoided for a while.
  4. No IDE necessary. Almost everyone who uses a computer should have a text editor and a browser.
  5. Lots of chances to show off your work to your friends since most of them should be able see your work since you’re just sending around text files.
  6. Understanding how the web sites you use work can only help you be a more effective web site user.
  7. More inline with the Gerrard Philosophy: “Make simple goals and achieve them. Pat self on back.”

Maybe I’ll be energetic and post the lessons I create here…we’ll see how lazy I am when the times comes.

P.S. Uber Geek Don Box is planning on teaching his kids SmallTalk, or Ruby or Lisp. Don, if you see this, consider using JavaScript. SmallTalk may be fun for geeks, but I bet your kids will have much more fun if they can show their friends the cool dynamic web page they’ve built with their new skills.