About difficulties of mentoring of beginners in programming /Geek magazine
Even before the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Russia, the thought occurred to me: “Can I somehow mitigate the economic consequences of the epidemic?”. The idea came almost immediately: "If many people can potentially lose their jobs, then I must help them with the development of new skills in the field with a great demand for labor." And since I have been programming in C /C ++ for quite some time, I decided in my free time to teach people programming in python.
A wonderful free python course with tasks .
I invited picabu users to the VK group and announced that I myself would answer simple questions from the pythontutor as a mentor. Immediately one of the first problems surfaced:
the payttutor did not have a mobile version.
People wanted to take a python course on their smartphone. Unfortunately, the only way I could help in this case was to advise the free sololearn mobile application.
A little later, I discovered two more excellent introductory courses on programming on the step:
As you know, the stepik has a mobile application.
Publication of other people's videos from youtube
The next step that I wanted to take was to post training videos on the most basic topics on the wall. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that
even on fairly well-developed python training channels, facilitators make many mistakes and inaccuracies.
So, for example, the author of the popular channel egoroff_channel assumes minor inaccuracies - in one of the videos I got, he confused the concepts of static /dynamic and strong /weak typing. So already in the first video about the concept of a variable, I had to look through a dozen videos to find one worthy. Then I realized that publishing someone else’s training materials from YouTube is a rather dreary business. It is worth noting that in one of our topics, we still began to collect materials suitable for training python in our opinion.
Learning through the example of developing a simple application
In general, here I encountered difficulties almost immediately. It turned out that
development training should not begin with the development itself, but with everything around
: Installing an IDE, a story about a version control system, and accepted development processes. Now imagine that you have a group of two thousand people - someone has already taken a course in OOP, and someone has just started studying cycles. It turns out that the group does not have a common base, what exactly to talk about is incomprehensible.
About naivety [/b]
I started developing an open organizer application and wanted to show the members of the group that, thanks to the ability to program, you can really change the world. I posted my project on the website of sustainable development practices - smarteku . On this site you can vote for your favorite project, and the three winners will receive one hundred thousand rubles according to the results of the popular vote. A little later I realized how naive I was - my friends didn’t want to vote for my project because of the complicated registration procedure (after authorization through the VK site, I still need to fill out phone, mail, etc.), and the projects of other contestants simply rolled up their likes via cheat services.
Compilation of training tracks and the collection of useful material.
Everything went more or less smoothly here. We were able to compose training tracks in two areas: data science and auto-testing. We have not yet reached web development. But then another flaw came to light:
few want to go the "right" way.
In our group, I suggested starting to go through the data science track together with a course on probability theory. Condition: availability of excellent certificates for the two indicated courses python from stepik. Many people expressed a desire to participate in this when I just announced the idea, but, unfortunately, no one has sent certificates yet. The reason I see people reluctance to spend time on something incomprehensible.
Two-month learning outcomes (survey results) 3–3–3110.
At the time of the survey, the group had about two thousand people. The survey involved 58 people. I will give a few pictures further. Gender Distribution:
And so the age of the participants was distributed: 3–3–3227.
It is interesting that a large part of people study python not only from the materials of the group, which pleases: the search for information is one of the most important skills of a programmer.
We have several strong programmers in our group, they just did not dare to spoil the statistics:
Interestingly, the “oldies” are still active, but there is also a surge of “young blood”.
Further statistics on the course of Paytontutor. By the way, one of the group members wrote the function of arranging the display of the survey answers:
We also asked why people joined the language study group:
It is interesting to see how people complete the tasks in the courses:
and how satisfied they are with learning the language:
Results and plans for the future 3-3-3195.
So, for two months, I and a few other people helped people learn programming. Our group helped someone to start, someone to continue, and one person even got motivated and found work as a self-tester. The main difficulties we identified are the following:
many people lack access to certain courses (a mobile application for learning on the go)
it is difficult to motivate people to go the right way (through studying the basic concepts of computer science) 3-3-33217.
learning real programming requires training and development technologies (DVCS, CI /CD), which only adds complexity
selection of good quality teaching materials is extremely labor-intensive 3–3–3217.
it is difficult to interest and motivate people in the initial stages (people want something applied, but just pass the conditional operator).
In the plans for the future we want to conduct some more interesting activities: to develop a training track for a web developer in python; hold, if possible, webinars on the development of simple games on pygame; Create a simple framework for learning web development. And, of course, we plan to continue to continue to answer questions on courses in basic python.
In the end, I want to say that it was unlikely that I managed to somehow significantly affect the consequences of the coronovirus for the Russian economy, but I got great experience, many members of the group tried their hand at development, someone got the motivation for action and got a job work.
It may be interesting
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