Touch of Class: How we teach introductory programming
My friends of Seminarios Athena are presenting, next week, "Touch of Class: How we teach introductory programming". The talk will be hosted by Bertrand Meyer, Eiffel's language creator. This is the presentation's overview:
Teaching programming faces a host of challenges, due in particular to the unprecedented variety of student backgrounds and to the demands of the IT industry. Techniques that worked well in the seventies do not scale up to today's context. The "concepts or skills?" debate is more relevant than ever, especially in the ever more globalized world of software development.
For the past 6 years, we have taught introductory programming at ETH, based on an "outside-in" approach that makes it possible to introduce the reality of large software while emphasizing the principles of sound software development. This approach has resulted in a forthcoming textbook ("Touch of Class: An Introduction to Programming Well With Objects and Contracts", Springer-Verlag, May 2009). I will present the result of our experience, including metrics that we have systematically collected along the way, and draw conclusions regarding how to teach programming today. I will argue the task consists of teaching twenty-six seminal concepts, and will explore one of them in depth.
Presentation will be at UTN medrano 951 on next wednesday 19hs (UTC-2)