1. meerkat's Avatar

    I've got three kids (17,15,13) and as an IT Consultant and developer myself I've often had the urge to teach them a little bit about programming but never really knew how to start. When I was about 9 years old (30 years ago) I got my kicks from machine code peeking and poking on an old Sharp MZ-80K, MZ-700, MZ-800 and then an Amstrad PC-1512 and BBC Model B as a teenager. However, kids today are likely to need more immediate results otherwise they will quickly lose interest I expect. My 13 year old is very smart so I'm sure he will pick it up quickly if I start at the right level.

    I program in Java, VB/VB.net, C/C++/ObjC, Ruby, PL/SQL, various script languages, HTML, CSS, JS and a bunch of other languages to a greater or lesser extent. I learned structured programming mainly in Pascal and Comal with a smattering of BASIC and machine code. I'm thinking that object oriented languages are the best bet for someone to start learning today. If Javascript was a bit more friendly then I'd maybe start with that using HTML and CSS as well. Maybe Coffeescript would help to hide some of the JS syntax? Or is it better to stick with mainstream languages?

    Anyway, has anyone out there tried tackling this with their kids? Any tips? I'm worried that if I try something too difficult they will not learn anything but if it is too simple (eg. a loop to create square numbers at the command line) then it won't be gratifying enough. I'm looking for a good balance between learning the essentials (ie. loops, conditions, functions etc) but with results that are useful in the modern world. I can't help thinking there must be frameworks out there which can do this.

    Thanks for your time,
    11-28-2011 07:32 AM
  2. ctt1wbw's Avatar
    Is BASIC still around? That's what I learned on, but quickly found out that I am NOT a programmer! LOL After Visual Basic and some Pascal, I think I can leave programming to the programmers.
    11-28-2011 05:44 PM