LaunchCode 101, Unit 1

The first unit of LaunchCode 101 is almost complete. Class size has probably halved (based on visual inspection, not exact numbers) since the beginning because, though the material is introductory, it is also challenging. Those who remain have made serious personal effort to stay on track, and the buds of knowledge are finally beginning to bloom.

What’s really interesting to me is how different minds approach the same problems. Just tonight I reviewed three assignments wherein each student achieved the same goal by taking a unique approach. And all three were different than my solution.

The class also stretches my communication skills. When I explain things to other seasoned programmers, I can make assumptions about the knowledge that we already share and talk at a higher conceptual level. For students who have no prior programming knowledge, it is necessary to build a hierarchy of concepts from the ground up. Talking about complicated things in simple terms is both trying and rewarding.

This unit has also been more math intensive than I anticipated, which is good for *me* because I am mathematically weak. Working problems along with students gives me an opportunity to expand my own knowledge beyond the realm of code. And that’s music to a nerd’s ears.

Other than some technical difficulties, LC101 has been a success. Everyone is ready for winter break, but I think students and TFs will return for a strong start in January.