Noel Welsh – How to Teach Programming

A lot of us find ourselves teaching programming. Teaching is a distinct skill from programming, and just like programming we can do it badly and we can do it well. I’ve been teaching programming for nearly a decade, and in that time I’ve learned a few things that I’ll share in this talk.

Lots of us try our hand at teaching programming. If you’re a senior developer then teaching juniors is likely to be part of your job. If you’re a parent you might try teaching your children. Maybe you’ll volunteer for a project like ScalaBridge to teach programming to new programmers.

When it comes to teaching programming it is natural to fall back to the techniques used when we were taught. If your experience was anything like mine then there is a lot of room for improvement. People tend to fixate on the choice of language, but what is taught—the curriculum—and how it is taught—the pedagogy—it much more important. In this talk, I’ll cover the what and the how, giving practical tips for small group and one-to-one teaching of Scala and other functional programming languages.


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