Learning to code

How does a student actually go about learning a language like Java, Python, or JavaScript? What knowledge and skills are necessary?

Two things are needed: knowledge and skill

At the beginning, a student needs knowledge: that is, knowing the syntax and commands that a language uses.

That’s the easy part!

Much harder is acquiring the skill.

In our lessons, we will spend the first few weeks on knowledge, but rapidly we’ll be practicing skills.

Skills necessary to code

The main skill in using a language is the ability to manipulate code in your head and imagine what your code will do when you run it. This involves imagination and the ability to “think several moves ahead” (as if you were playing chess).

My students develop this skill gradually. They may first understand how to do it with simple things like “if” statements, later gaining the ability to imagine more complex things like loops and functions.

Coding is like playing the piano. Many individual skills need to be in place before you get fluent at it.

I can answer any questions you may have about programming skills in our free introductory lesson.

An introductory curriculum

As we work on both knowledge and skill, here are some topics our lessons will cover:

  • How “if” statements and loops work
  • Variables
  • Working with numbers and text
  • Functions
  • Mathematical equations
  • Interacting with the user
  • Graphics

As you gain this knowledge, you’ll also gain the ability to imagine the possible ways of using it.

To learn more about general approach to tutoring, see my home page.

For a free introductory lesson, contact me.