Intro to Programming

A review of the basics of computing, programming and robotics. We'll build simple Python apps and play with Raspberry Pi's.

We program little turtles to dance on the screen then we play with real robot cars. Learning how to program is an awesome time. I love my job.

Acceptable Layer of Abstraction

For the people that say "I'm not good with computers"

Computer Science may be intimidating but like any other field of study, you don't have to learn it all at once. We're skipping so much in this class. Don't worry about it. You'll have enough tools to figure out if you want to invest the time to learn the deeper, more challenging (and more powerful) stuff.

In any line of questioning, you can keep asking "Why?" Eventually, you just stop when you think you've learned enough. For example, you can legitimately claim you know how a car works (you put gas in, turn a key, etc) even if you're hopeless as a mechanic. You've got a different acceptable layer of abstraction than a mechanic claiming too that she knows how a car works. The inner-workings of a car engine may just be an abstract idea that you only broadly understand (something about spark plugs). The point: You can start learning really cool tech without having to shift your acceptable layer of abstraction too much. It'll be fun.

You need to know about the pieces, even if you don't know exactly how they work.

In order to understand basic computer programming, you will need to understand some of the components in your computer. If you understand the basic shape of the environment, the behavior of programming languages will have better context. You won't need to understand exactly how a processor works, but you'll need to know roughly how it fits into the picture so you can solve some common problems.

Links and Resources

Software

Free Code Training