Thursday, April 16, 2009

Python for Nonprogrammers

The EGS Honours class at UCT has requested a course on programming and the research they are attached to (CSAG) has decided Python is the best introductory language for them. I have never taught Python to people who have never programmed before and especially ones who have already done an entire degree. How quickly can you move through the basic programming concepts? Do you assign it as homework before your first lecture? Any suggestions?

I have read through a Byte of Python but I am not convinced it covers the topics in enough depth. I as a programmer can breeze through the whole book without a qualm but I do not remember a time when I didn't know what a variable is or what an IO stream is.

We will see how well things go next week. I might be designing the lecture material yet again. Sigh. If nothing else, it is a challenge to see how well I can still teach the basics.

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