How Do You Teach New Users Programming?
I've recently fallen in love with a site called Code Academy, which juxtaposes a real-time programming console with instructions and activities. It's the most hands-on, interactive site I've come across, and I want to someday model my own help to be like it.
Here are a few key points:
- Users learn by doing. Each concept has an associated activity with it that reinforces the concept through the activity.
- The concepts have to be somewhat simple and concrete in order to demonstrate them through a hands-on activity.
- Implementing a similar site would require help from a programming team.
- Similar to the Let Me Try simulations, if you don't program the code exactly as it should be, the system sometimes thinks you did it wrong.
- The instructional column is somewhat limited in the depth it can cover. Sometimes I'd like to just read a few paragraphs or pages on the topic.