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Play and Pragmatism: Recapturing the Beginner’s Mind

A session at Write the Docs

  • Jonathan Mukai-Heidt

Tuesday 9th April, 2013

3:40pm to 4:00pm

Code helps to achieve concrete goals, but it also gives us room to play in the sandbox. Recent experiences teaching programming have taught me that these two facets of writing code need to be taken into account when teaching or writing documentation. Students come in two broad flavors. Some have an overly specific goal (“I want to make a social app for cat owners to share pictures”) that they pursue to the detriment of their overall learning (“I don’t understand how printing ‘hello world’ in this black box gets me any closer to uploading a photo of Dr.Mittens.”) Others come to the table with the very general goal “learn to program.” I believe that we can play these two mutually beneficial but frequently opposed attitudes about programming off of each other in order to teach programming, learn new technology ourselves, and write better documentation. A firm understanding of this interplay in code (pragmatic construction vs. playful exploration) can help us not just teach, but also become better developers.

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Jonathan Mukai-Heidt

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When

Time 3:40pm4:00pm PST

Date Tue 9th April 2013

Short URL

lanyrd.com/scfpfd

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