MrValdez's Blog

My anecdotes on why I think Python should be a beginner's first programming language

Posted on May 8, 2018

Disclaimer: I'm primarily a Python programmer, a board member of Python Philippines, and used Python before it became popular (I don't remember the exact version, but I encountered the language when it was introduced in Blender).

I started programming with Pascal, honed my skills on C and C++, and made commercial products with Visual Basic 6.0, PHP and Python.

Python is the programming language that I found the most fun to work with [1]. Over the years, I've written a lot of code. Based on pure experience, I can see the programming foundation a beginner will ...

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Categories: Essays, Personal, Python, Teaching

Programming learning tip: Stop copy-pasting

Posted on May 3, 2018

When I am learning a new library or programming language, I don't copy-paste. I type the code snippet manually.

In order of importance, the benefits of typing code are:

  • You are actively thinking what you are typing. You are unconsciously learning the code as you read the text.
  • You get extra time thinking how the copied code fits in your existing code.
  • You get typing practice

I strongly believe that copy-pasting inhibits learning, that when I teach programming, I intentionally write on the whiteboard to force the students to type.

If I have an extra monitor, I would move ...

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Categories: Programming, Teaching

What makes a great student? They don't need to be spoon-fed

Posted on May 2, 2018

I've been a teacher of computer programming for a while now. I've taught people on how to code and how to think like a programmer. Over the years, I've noticed students who would become leaders in their field.

There are a lot of ways a student can learn from a teacher. These are my essays on the subject.

Motivated students don't wait for instructions

For an average teacher, it would be great if the students listen intently to everything you say and do what you tell them to. This is fine for an average student, but ...

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Categories: Essays, Teaching

What makes a great teacher? They can teach a complicated subject and make it accessible to other people

Posted on May 1, 2018

I've been a teacher of computer programming for a while now. I've taught people on how to code and how to think like a programmer. Over the years, I've been developing strategies and philosophies on teaching. I've decided to put them in writing.

There are a lot of ways to become a great teacher. These are my essays on the subject.

Matt Striker is a teacher who wrestles. ...or is he a wrestler who teaches?

Great teachers can teach the fundamentals of a complicated subject

The first step in simplifying a hard topic is to first ...

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Categories: Essays, Teaching