programming: February 2009 Archives

Wrote my first program today. Instructions for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius. Simple, but more challenging than I expected .. considering I can do the conversion in my head with ease (TCel = TFahr-32 x 5/9).

Felix the Cat & his Bag of Tricks

Here it be » (define (TFahr>TCel f) (* 5 (/ (- f 32) 9))). [We all have to start somewhere.]

Kinda glad they password-protect the solutions page. Forced me to figure it out on my own. (Cuz if they hadn't, I definitely would've peeked.)

I am enjoying learning Programming .. something that was missing from my repertoire of techno-skills (digital bag of tricks). I mean, how many geeks do you know who can't program? I just never had a compelling reason to learn.

My only frustration comes from not being able to assimilate the info faster. There's a scene in the Matrix .. where Neo & Trinity are stranded on a rooftop. Spying a chopper, Neo asks, "Can you fly that thing?"

"Not yet," she replies before whipping out her cell and calling Tank (who's sitting back at the Control Panel). "Tank, I need a program for a V-212 helicopter. Hurry!"

Her eyelids flicker for a moment before popping open. "Let's go!" she says, running toward the chopper with her newly upgraded skill-set.

As mentioned last week, here's a brief ('Radified') intro to the introductory course on Programming I've been researching » How to Design Programs (HtDP).

This entry is distilled from info contained in the Preface. If a real programmer could check my phrasing for accuracy (to ensure no glaring errors) I'd appreciate it .. cuz I'm not yet familiar with all the terminology. See here:

How to Design Programs | An Introductory Course on Programming

Everybody should learn to program! Programming teaches a variety of skills (e.g. » critical reading, analytical thinking, creative synthesis, & attention-to-detail) important to many professions.

Educators should therefore give Programming the same priority as Math or English. [ RADical statement, no? ]

The HtDP course de-emphasizes the details of programming languages in order to focus on » the design process.

Two things make this course different from other introductory courses on Programming:

  1. Explicit design guidelines (comprising a 6-step process that begins with Analyzing-the-problem and concludes with Identifying-errors-thru-testing).
  2. The DrScheme programming environment (which is able to grow with a student as they master more material).

Programming boils-down to two essential concepts:

  1. Relating one quantity to another
  2. Evaluating a relationship by substituting values for names

The Scheme programming language allows students to focus on these two basic aspects, making it the natural choice for beginners. Students are therefore able to develop complete programs during their very first session.

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This page is a archive of entries in the programming category from February 2009.

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