According to Rainer Hahnekamp, in his article “The main pillars of learning programming and why beginners should master them,” he says that university courses and bootcamps miss important approaches to teaching programming.
He goes ahead to share five basic pillars he believes a successful programming course should build upon when teaching newbies.
- Test Driven Development
Though it is an advanced topic that beginners are not ready for, they should learn how to use and work with tests.
According to Rainer programming courses should center around exercises and students should be taught how to locate the exercises, the button to trigger the test and how to use a debugger.
This will help students learn test-driven development behavior while acquiring programming skills at the same time.
2. Understand Fundamentals of Programming First
Students need to be familiar with basic elements and what it means to write code. They should be first introduced to the concept of functions, variables, conditions and loops.
“If students do not master the fundamentals, everything that follows look like magic and leads to confusion and frustration,” said Rainer.
3. Understand Libraries and Frameworks
Students must learn that most code already exists in the form of a library or framework, and they don’t have to spend hours writing a buggy version on their own.
4. Enhance Master and Apprentice Relationship
Self study can be a bad idea for a programming newbie. A learner should have a master who check how the student work, gives advice and adapt the speed of the course to their progress.
“Once the apprentice reaches a certain level of mastery, then they should be encouraged to explore new territories,” said Rainer.
5. Beginners Should Be Challenged and Motivated
By challenging them, you are teaching them that they can also get stuck somewhere in the future be it when writing code or debugging. But at the same time, they should be motivated by what it means to be a professional developer.