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Discussion on: Where Does Everybody Begin Programming?

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perpetual_education profile image
perpetual.education

We feel like you have to start out even before HTML and really get down the point of it to begin with. Here's our thoughts on that:

Totally agree with HTML and CSS first though. Without it / you can't build a website. PHP, and Rails - JavaScript are all creating HTML in the end... so, you'd better know it! These bootcamps are setting people up for failure by teaching Bootstrap and React right out the gate.

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perpetual_education profile image
perpetual.education

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mccurcio profile image
Matt C Author

Hi PE,
I don't know if I understand. What would you start with before HTML?
What would you call the 'point of it'?
Could you clarify?

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perpetual_education profile image
perpetual.education • Edited on

Hi, Matt. We see that you are a teacher! Thank you for your service!!!

So, - it's always a work in progress... but we suggest that our students read "Don't Make Me Think" - before learning any HTML. We also talk about human memory and explore how we break down information. It's mostly subconscious - but it's key: value pairs.

"One day I went to the store to buy salsa" is a piece of content.

If you were to describe this piece of content (to the computer), how would you do it?

We force the students to think as if they were a markup language designer. That leads to a bunch of funny ideas. Sometimes they make up something just like "markdown."

Eventually - they all come to the conclusion that you need a "start" and an "end" to describe something. That's the same with every language.

CONCEPT { // start
    // description 
} // end
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At that point / we're also talking about those key: value pairs.

dev.to/perpetual_edu/baby-talk-for...

ELEMENT
  - type = "paragraph"
  - content = "One day I went to the store..."
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HTML is a language that is easy to pickup (by design) but it's also easy to emulate and to memorize it's visual look. At it's core, it's the same as every other language. It just looks funny.

Node {
    element: "p",
    textContent: "One day I went to the store...",
    id: null,
    classes: ['calm-voice'],
    styles: [],
    dataset: {
        theme: "light",
    }
}
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So - it may not be the fastest way to getting someone to "just learn how to type HTML" - but by building empathy for the user with a book like "Don't Make Me Think" - and by forcing the student to imagine creating their own language: we seem to be able to power through CSS, PHP, and JavaScript/DOM - because they'll basically already know the foundations of those languages now.

That's what is working for us so far!

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mccurcio profile image
Matt C Author

Just looked up "Don't Make Me Think". I will have to look it over.
I like your idea on discussing coding. Do you Teach? or ...
Care to talk on Google Meet some time?

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perpetual_education profile image
perpetual.education

I swear I responded to this !! But I must not have hit send! Ivy noticed it and said "you'd better respond!" ha!

Yes. We teach. perpetual.education

You can book some time to talk about here! : )

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mccurcio profile image
Matt C Author

The next several weeks are (all of a sudden) up in the air.
I will keep you in mind and will let you know soon.
TY