Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Programming

Summer Programming Courses Before Heading Off To College? 183

Posted by timothy
from the straight-to-the-army dept.
First time accepted submitter LiteWait writes "My son is heading off to college next year and although he is bright kid with a great background in math and science, he has indicated that he'd like learn some introductory programming skills this summer. The courses at the local universities are pretty sparse and most of the CS101-type courses I've seen offered are too general to meet his needs. Even though he is a self-starter I think he would benefit from actual courses/code camps/etc rather than just slogging through online samples and tutorials. I'd like some advice on possible options for code camps, online courses, or developer training."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Summer Programming Courses Before Heading Off To College?

Comments Filter:
  • Python (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kimomaru (2579489) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:26PM (#42823903)
    Python is considered by many to be a great entry-level language and it's also very popular in the real world. There are many good books on the subject, so it might make for a great self-taught experience.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:30PM (#42823961)

    The best thing to get a jump start would be to find out what texts are going to be used for his courses and to start on them.

  • doing it wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:42PM (#42824123) Homepage

    Sending a kid to a CS-101 type introductory class will very likely bore him to tears and possibly give him a lasting negative impression of programming.

    Why not help him pick a reasonable goal (somewhere in between "make a web page" and "write a new operating system) and then just let him code. Programming well isn't something you learn in a classroom, its learned by coding poorly a whole lot, and then learning how to do it better, and then learning how to do it even better, again a whole lot. At some point in that process a classroom might be involved and might even help, but not at the beginning.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:43PM (#42824133) Homepage

    When I got out of college, most of my older coworkers where shocked at how quickly I could type Java code because I learned how to touch type the non-alpha numeric characters pretty well. When you don't have to hunt and peck for those characters, you can actually type out code about as fast as you can think "I'd like to make this change..."

    If you want to drive this point home, get your son into a Perl class or doing Perl work. He'll go nuts if he doesn't bother to learn how to do this skill well.

  • MS Office course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:47PM (#42824185) Journal

    I know I am about to be modded down, but hear me out.

    First off as a freshmen he wont even touch any programming course. More than likely he will take english for poets, speech, intro to worplace management, and Intro to computers 101.

    Most universities require you to take that ridiculous intro to computers 101 as many assignments today are group projects done in blackboard which use Outlook, Word, Excel, and even Powerpoint. They do this to emulate work which is a good thing to learn. I learned the Powerpoint slide rule, no more than 3 bullets per slide, etc from my biology professor believe it or not.

    In college excel is used in math, statistics, and computer science with datasets. Most bright kids today know how to type but do not know even how to set a margin in Word! They just tab all over the place and wonder why formatting errors occur etc. These can be bright kids but just are not used to doing office tasks on them.

    Have your son learn this and get a certificate in it so he can exempt from that course and save himself/yourself $2,500 in student loans. He can probably get his WPM typing up too so can get done with papers quicker too.

  • by seyfarth (323827) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:58PM (#42824309) Homepage

    Having been a successful programmer for 35 years, I would discount the value of touch typing. It has been my experience that thinking is far more important than typing skills. Fast typing helps, but I think your son would find this boring. Taking whatever beginning programming course is handy will help. Well, I would dodge Cobol, Fortran and Perl. Perl is relevant but pretty ugly. Java, C, C++, Python, or Visual Basic would all be fun and useful. Just be sure that the course is for beginners.

  • by sureshot007 (1406703) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @05:14PM (#42824545)
    Tell him to stop worrying about college and just enjoy the summer. Once you go to college, it's all about studying and doing well, then summers are for working jobs to pay off some debt and have spending cash during the school year, then back to school....and once your graduate and get a job, all of your freedom is gone!

    Have him enjoy his last moments of freedom from responsibility and have fun with his friends.

    Besides, if I had a dime for every kid in Intro to CS that thought he knew how to program but couldn't grasp the idea of simple design patterns...I wouldn't have had to be a TA.
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Thursday February 07, 2013 @05:31PM (#42824823)

    Having been a successful programmer for 35 years, I would discount the value of touch typing. It has been my experience that thinking is far more important than typing skills.

    Your logic makes no sense. Learning to type faster is in no way going to diminish his ability to think.

  • by Zordak (123132) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @05:33PM (#42824851) Homepage Journal

    Having been a successful programmer for 35 years, I would discount the value of touch typing. It has been my experience that thinking is far more important than typing skills. Fast typing helps, but I think your son would find this boring.

    Ah, see what you did here? A is useless. B is more important than A. (Which is orthogonal to whether A is useful in itself.) (And now the admission.) A helps, but is boring.

    A person can't program without thinking, but between two people who have identical thinking skills, the one who can type is the better programmer. Which means that typing is a great skill for a programmer.

    I used to think the way you do, that typing is a waste of time, that I could do without it. Then I took a typing class in high school because I needed to fill half a credit (this was 20 years ago). That's when I realized how much not knowing how to type had been getting in my way. It's like living in a country where you don't speak the language. Yeah, you may be able to get by, but it's a lot easier if you just learn to talk.

    I was also surprised at how easy it was. It takes only a few weeks to get to basic competence on the keyboard. After that, it's all repetition (with plenty of opportunity for repetition). The only way I can encode my thoughts faster than typing is speaking, and until Dragon get a little better, even that's a tossup. It's dumb for a kid not to learn to type today. He'll probably use computers in every job he ever has has. No reason to do it with a handicap.

  • Re:Python (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kimomaru (2579489) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:56PM (#42826289)
    "The language used in the introductory course of the college he will be attending this fall."

    I'm sorry, I must disagree completely. You shouldn't leave it to the school you're attending to figure out which language is best for you, quite often educational institutons are the least in-touch with what drives the market or an industry. Ask programmers and professionals which language has the most value in the current market and industry. The school's opinion should almost rate dead last, not first. Every college graduate I know has agreed that there is practically no link between what's learned in school and how the real world works.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

Working...