Page 1 of 1

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:30 pm
by kevvy_wilch
I've just had a lovely weekend with my family, we enjoyed a nice meal out together and then in the afternoon I decided to share the joys of programming with my eldest son (he is 10)!

I"m certainly no expert, but I used to know my way around Sinclair BASIC back in the day, but I know nothing of modern programming languages.  I"ve always wanted to though and would love to learn more.  So, what better way than to do it together, with his young fresh mind, he may even be able to help me!

I first explained to him all about the Raspi, what it is, what it"s for etc. and then we sat down and started going through Chris Roffeys" fantastic Coding Club Python Basics book (http://codingclub.cuteseal.co.uk) - the look on his face when we finally got the program to display times tables working was absolutely priceless!  Reminded me of myself 30 years previously dabbling with my ZX81 and Spectrum.

He also can't wait now for the Raspi to be released.  Still, he's in the queue, going to get mine first!

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:00 pm
by meltwater
Sounds excellent, I think such stories will be played out across the world when the R-Pi's arrive...what a wonderful thought that is!

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:26 pm
by zag
Nice site thanks.

Will be teaching python to 30+ kids so it will come in useful!

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:36 pm
by Joules
The forum seems full of 30+ kids.....

Are they here yet.

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:37 pm
by meltwater
Joules said:


The forum seems full of 30+ kids…..

Are they here yet.


Yep, I'm a 30+ kid!

It is nice that you don't have the power cable wobble problem anymore, usually a few hundred lines of code in...good old ZX.

@kevvy_wilch have a look at Liam's tutorials too (http://www.youtube.com/raspber.....itutorials) good introduction stuff, again using Python (just skip the first few about setting up a VM).

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:04 pm
by kevvy_wilch
meltwater said:


Joules said:


The forum seems full of 30+ kids…..

Are they here yet.


Yep, I"m a 30+ kid!

It is nice that you don't have the power cable wobble problem anymore, usually a few hundred lines of code in...good old ZX.

@kevvy_wilch have a look at Liam"s tutorials too (http://www.youtube.com/raspber.....itutorials) good introduction stuff, again using Python (just skip the first few about setting up a VM).


I wish I was still a 30+ kid! Sadly, I became a 40+ kid last year

Many thanks for the link though, we'll definitely give that a look.

Don't get me wrong everyone, I think the Raspi is a fantastic idea and one that I wholeheartedly agree with and support.  But there is nothing stopping anyone from learning programming these days, is there?  Most kids (admittedly not all, and this is where the Raspi is excellent) have some sort of access to a computer/laptop, either through school or home, and all sorts of free programs exist to learn programming.  I have no good excuses as to why I haven't done this peviously with my son.

It's funny how the Raspi has come a long and re-ignited everyone's passion for computing and programming again.  Such a tiny little device, but such a huge splash it has made (sorry didn't mean to sound all Yoda there!).

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:50 pm
by mebrew
I'm a 60+ kid and am still dead excited about getting a raspi and starting learning all over again. Its been said many times already but I'm going say it again " great work Liam with the tutorals and thanks very much with all the time you are spending". But dont forget your studies! Even us fogies can understand what you are saying.

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:56 am
by meltwater
I agree, there was nothing stopping programming being taught in schools or at home for that matter, but we all need excuses and things to light that little fire.

For me, the glimmer of interfacing to real hardware is too tempting, it's something I wanted to do with the ZX Spectrum all those years ago (I even had a build your own robot book) but I didn't have the money, skill or was brave enough to risk killing the shared computer to do it...to be fair it was probably a good choice not to, my brothers would have been VERY annoyed and they were bigger than me!

When I moved on to PC's I was disappointed that interfacing with hardware was even harder!  Then with USB it was harder still.  The dream faded away.  So I have a good excuse again!

It's like I wanted to do stop-frame animation all those years ago, I dreamed of getting a video-8 camera and making some kind of animation...It was only a few months ago, I picked up my digital camera and thought, why on earth have I not tried doing it now with one of the many digital camera's/webcams or whatever I've got, it's a 1000 times easier than it was then!  So I did...

The R-Pi project is very well timed, since many of us BBC and Spectrum generation have our own kids (and new excuses to play!).  I also thanked my parents for buying us the Spectrum all those years ago, it was rather expensive!

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:42 pm
by zven
I'm 50+ and had my first programming experience on a ZX81, followed by a BBC Micro. As well as BASIC programming, I was fascinated by the use of assembler.

One of the things I liked about those days was being closer to the hardware. Today, while it's easy to set up a programming environment such as Processing.org or Python, it's wrapped in a sophisticated computer and operating system.

I have a 14 yo son and have tried to get him interested in programming over recent years.  He tried Processing last summer hols, but lost interest pretty quickly. I think he felt there was too much to learn before it started getting interesting.

I'm hopeful that RPi will fire his imagination. To be able to see the whole computer, there, on a small circuit board, wires connecting other devices.

I'm no Linux wiz, though I've played with various distros over the years. In preparation for the RPi, I'm learning Python. I never had need for Python in my work (mainly Java in recent years). The book I'm using is good so far: "Beginning Python" by Magnus Lie Hetland. It's early days, but I like the style (minimal humour / waffle)

Looking fwd to getting a RPi, though I have no expectation when that will be, with the high demand. I'm hoping there will be a thriving community with ideas for projects that will capture the imagination of children.

Re: Priceless! Introducing your eldest son to the joys of programming.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:44 pm
by ZirconiumX
Heh - I am a kid - and being bored decided to teach myself how to program in C++.

Now I have a few homemade chess programs that need to be tested on another platform, and £25 should be easy to save up.

Matthew:out