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Discussion on: I Want To Be A Programmer: How Do I Start?

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arschles profile image
Aaron Schlesinger

I'm helping my spouse learn Python, so +1 on that for me. Her experience really opened my eyes to how hard it is to learn and teach technology.

The english-like syntax is the biggest thing that helps both of us every day. The other two bit things are (1) the tools are really good. We're using VS Code which has a great Python plugin. (2) She's building a web app and the Python support for all the APIs she needs is pretty good. It's generally a "first class" language for the major services like Stripe, Auth0, and so on.

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Tyree Chrisp Author

+2 for converting another one over to the coding side. I would love to hear about how the experience is going. What was the biggest hurdle for teaching it?

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arschles profile image
Aaron Schlesinger

Thanks 😊. Overall I'm really enjoying it these days. I think she is enjoying learning, but even after ~10 months there are still a lot of concepts and jargon that are completely foreign. I didn't realize how much of software engineering relies on acronyms!

The first memory I had of teaching her was explaining how the terminal is just another UI into the computer's underlying functionality (compared to GUIs and voice commands). But to do that, I had to explain what was under the hood in a computer. And down that rabbit hole we went!

These days, she has an app on Google App Engine (leksi.co if you're interested). It's a flask app with a Vue JS frontend. Architecturally, it's using a bunch of different APIs, using background queues & workers, and even has to do some complicated database operations and distributed coordination (she's generating a bunch of MP3s in separate processes and then combining them all together in the final step).

The easier part for me is explaining the architecture design, but when it comes time to translate that to code, it gets really hard. Kinda reminds me of when you can understand a spoken language, but it's crazy hard to actually speak to someone.

You gave me an idea to write about my experience teaching (with her permission).