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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Python is booming, and now it looks to be taking over the classroom too.

http://www.itworld.com/software/426242/ ... g-language

I'm not a huge fan of Java, but at least the syntax is similar to other languages, making moving on easier. Not something that can be said for Python.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:10 am 
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I've always wondered if it would be better to teach Python instead of Java in programming 101 courses. I learned programming through JavaScript, which I've always loved, and I think that not having to mess with types for at least a little bit was really nice. On the other hand, I think JavaScript's syntax is probably closer to C's (and therefore a lot of other programming languages') than Python's is, as you pointed out.

That being said, I think that for most people the first language that they learn always has a special place in their hearts, and since I'm not a huge fan of Python in general, it kind of kills me to have it be so many people's introduction to programming XD Of course, that's just IMHO; not trying to start a flame war :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:36 pm 
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I'm not the world's biggest python fan either, but for teaching the basics I think python is the right way to go.

it supports interactive programming, it's fast enough, doesn't have a lot of syntax, doesn't force design patterns down your throat, and most of all, forces people to worry about indentation. I've seen some of the code people write in CS214 (which is the first CS class where they actually teach you to program at my school) and it's as unformatted as it could possibly be, even though they're using an IDE.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:07 pm 
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stoopdapoop, I kind of disagree about the indentation for Python. In my experience, this really seems to trip people up, and seems like an unnecessary difficulty to introduce when people are learning so many other things as they begin to learn how to program. I don't know why, but it seems like it's easier for people to learn that the code between two braces is part of one block than that all of the code that's at one indentation level is one block. In my experience, beginners also seem to often ask "wait, how many spaces do I need to put here?", too, and it throws them off. I don't have a ton of experience with this, though; just with a couple or a few people :)

Do you have any thoughts about teaching JavaScript for a beginning language? (Just curious :))


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:08 pm 
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A friend of mine that never programmed before was starting with python at his university and he said it was really easy to pick up and he understood it pretty well. now he's doing C++ and java in school and he just can't get his head around anything. I'm not sure if this proves python to be a great language for beginners or a horrible one though...

In any case I started with a scripting language as well, it was ActionScript for Flash and VisualBasicScript for windows environment. I really enjoyed both of these. It seems that scripting languages offer a great introduction to programming before moving on full languages. Mostly probably because with scripting languages you can see the output immediately and you don't need to worry about graphics or objects or anything because the program using the script is handling that!

Based on that, which is only my opinion, I would say that python is probably not the best language to start with as it's not exactly that well optimized language and it's still a full language which needs libraries and all the work needs to be done by the coder. It also diverts from standards like {} blocks and it's easier to make a mistake without and IDE.

When I first used python I found it really easy to use but that's probably because I already had ton of experience coding before. So it's a great language to do quick stuff with a lot of power, but idk about introductions...

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