Thursday, February 5, 2009

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
With Objects and Contracts", Springer-Verlag, May 2009).
I will present the result of our experience, including metrics that we have
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)

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