Intro to Programming Class (no experience needed!)

Hey, everyone! I’m interested in teaching an entry-level, no-experience-needed programming class. This would be intended for people who’ve never touched a programming language before. It’s not going to magically turn anyone into a master programmer in a single class, but what it hopefully will do is demystify programming, and give the student a solid foundation for learning more on their own.

Qualifications: I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Computer Science five years ago, and I’ve been tutoring full time for about four months. Seeing the kind of things beginners struggle with caused me to develop strong opinions about teaching methodology, and a desire to try teaching an introductory course in the way I think is best.

Student Requirements: a computer and a webcam (or at least a microphone). This class would be taught via Zoom. No software installation required, we would be using an online editor.

Length: 2 hours, with a break after the first hour. This is long enough to sink your teeth in, but not long enough to fry your brain.

Target Audience: people who have never programmed before, or maybe tried learning but didn’t get very far. It assumes no prior knowledge of programming, and requires no particular knowledge of computers. If you can use a computer well enough to browse this forum, you can learn to program!

Teaching Methodology: this will be very hands-on. We’ll use the online-python editor, and spend our time exploring the program that that editor loads by default, which just adds two numbers together. A simple concept, but with a surprising amount of depth! I’ve done a trial run of this class with my two roommates (both of whom had never programmed before) and it went well.

Class Size: I think four people is a good starting size. Enough people to spark good discussions, but few enough to make sure no one gets left behind.

Cost: zero dollars!

Date and time: TBD

If you’re interested, let me know!


I’m interested.

Awesome! I figure I’ll wait a week or until we get four people, whichever comes first.

i am interested


ooooh, i would enjoy attending that!

Disclosure: I have programmed in other languages, but not python (even though I mostly work with backend teams). I don’t want to take a spot if anyone else comes along and wants to do it – feel free to gimme the boot.

I just wanna be the “back of the class” student following along, and listening.


I love this so much.

I can put that into the class listing so we can capture registrations if you want. If you have any interest in doing other classes let me know and we can discuss.

Maybe for the next one! This is kind of a trial run – I want to make sure I can do a good job at it before I make it too official. :slight_smile:

But if it goes as well as I hope it will, then I’m absolutely down for doing more.

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Sure thing! You might find it pretty boring – although Python is the language of choice, you won’t learn much about it specifically, if you already know how to program. The class will be more about getting people comfortable with basic logic and whatnot.

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It’s been a week, so let’s get this show on the road! @RDChilders, @heymarii, @EricP – does Thursday (January 19th) 6:00PM to 8:00 PM, work for you? If not, please list some alternative dates and times.

If you still have room for a 4th, then I’d like to join. That date and time works for me^

Awesome, glad to have you!

It works fine but the 20th through the 25th is preferred. I am wanting to attend the Austin Robotics and AI meetup at that time. You?, Thu, Jan 19, 2023, 6:00 PM | Meetup

Okay, we can do something in that date range. I’ve created a Doodle: Doodle

If you’ve never used it before, Doodle is a scheduling app – just click the link, select all the date/times that work for you, click Continue, enter your name, and click Submit Response.

In case I have to tag you for you to get a notification: @RDChilders, @heymarii, @EricP, @thypical

Dude this is awesome! I’m thrilled you’re offering this to the community! And you’ve thought through all the scheduling and whatnot. Excellent work.

Can’t wait to hear some of the feedback after your first class!

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Hey, CrispinStichart.

Did anything get locked down?

Yeah, so it looks like tomorrow at noon is what works for you, Eric, and Thy. So let’s do it! I’ll send y’all a PM with the details.

The class went well – I wasn’t quite as organized as I thought I was, so I’ve taken some notes, and the next one will be even better. Big thanks to RD and Thy for being my guinea pigs. :slight_smile:

I’ll message David and see about getting the next one on the class listing, so if you’re interested, watch out for that in a few weeks.

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Awesome! First runs inevitably provide great lessons :grin:

David has transitioned to Lead Instructor and is focusing on instructor and curriculum development. Definitely reach out to him if you want some guidance in that realm, but if you are feeling good there and more just need help with scheduling aspects, you can email to get help from the Education Team with that.