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Ich durfte gestern auf dem Kindergeburtstag der Mädchenmannschaft spontan einen kleinen Workshop geben, danke dafür! Der Workshop hieß „Programming alright, cool, but where to start?“ und es ging um die ersten konkreten Schritte für Menschen, die sich dazu entschlossen haben, Programmieren zu lernen. Und der Workshop war auf Englisch, weil meine Notizen auf Englisch waren.
Es war ein Riesen Spaß! Und überhaupt war es eine lustige, intime und dankbare Veranstaltung und Lotterleben saß auch als Einzige mit einem Bier im Publikum. Die Mischung aus ProgrammiererInnen und Nicht-ProgrammiererInnen ist immer recht fruchtbar für die anschließenden Diskussionen und Fragestellungen.
Ich freu mich auch sehr darauf, am 02. Oktober bei der OpenTechSchool in Berlin im co-up sprechen zu dürfen, für das Beginner’s Meet-Up. Wäre natürlich geil, wenn Lotterleben wieder mit Bier im Publikum sitzt und ich darüber hinaus ein paar von euch kennenlernen darf.

Aber zum eigentlichen Sinn des Posts. Weil ich so eine krasse H4ckerin bin, habe ich es nicht hinbekommen, meinen Laptop an den Beamer anzuschließen, daher hatte ich den ZuhörerInnen versprochen, nochmal alle Links plus kleine Zusammenfassung hier zu sammeln.  Die Links und Tips, die während des Vortrages gesammelt wurden, kann ich auch noch gleich einbauen. Merci beaucoup!

„Programming alright, but where to start?“

  • Who am I anyways?

–  Fiona, @fotografiona, student of European Ethnology in Berlin
–  started to learn programming in January, with Assembler, moved over to C and will proceed to Python soon

  • Why programming?

– convenience – indivualize your interaction with technology e.g. by programming your own tools or websites that suit your needs
– curiosity
– emancipation from production preconfigurations ( imagine: you can adapt your technical devices independently from the capitalistic interests of the producers)

  • Where to start

Find out with which programming language you want to start. There are low-level and high-level languages that differ due to their level of abstraction from the actual processes in your machine.
Low-level languages like Assembler offer a basic knowledge for understanding the computer, but yield few short-term successes, you’ll rather understand than produce code
High-level languages like Python might be more accessible and will grant you small results in a short while
In the end you’ll have to decide for yourself and people will tell you that your decision sucks anyways, others will become a fan of yours

  • How to start

Online Courses
Code Academy – Program that started in January with a JavaScript course, that sends you little lessons once a week. Quite convenient but not many people I know stuck to it. Apparently they have improved a lot though, so check out the Python course!
Khan Academy – simple, big variety, seems like fun, colorful

C – Programmieren von Anfang – small steps, I’m a huge fan and having fun with it
The Cookbook Series – Not sure whether suitable for beginners, but very much     focused on practical challenges
– Try to find E-books, there are gazillions of free E-Books for almost every programming language, I prefer books on paper, though for the „disadvantage“ of having to type every program

Programming Project
e.g. programming a Wiki, a Website, a diary applications, whatsoever
That is definitely a jump in at the deep end but the necessity of your desired tool might keep up your motivation to continue until the end. The main challenge is to find answers for your numerous questions on the Internet. I strongly recommend you though to find one or two programming friends that accompany your project.

Get together in groups! Bildet Lernbanden!
– different expertises benefit all members of the group, even the experienced might deepen or expand their knowledge
– set common goals
– check out the Rails Girls , they organize workshops on Ruby on Rails in different cities throughout the world. Might be a good starter for networking or finding others you can get together in groups with

Somebody asked a question on the Internet!
Keep in my mind that there is plenty of support either on Forums or in IRC Channels.
Feel free to join ##fionalerntprogrammieren on freenode as well for staying in contact or ask your questions on my blog. At least 50% of the readers are nostalgic experts and might be able to help answering the questions of the beginners.

What do you need?
Technically speaking – an editor. Otherwise some stamina for the frustrating phases that are guaranteed to come. Some friends that you can call at night, when your program just won’t compile can come in handy as well. But above all some fascination for the magic beneath your interface. An entire new universe, filled with answers and questions both is about to open up for you! Good luck with that and stay in


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