Even though I'm not an education expert, and I don't really have a professional background in didactics, I have some experience when I comes to teach people how to code, especially if they never wrote a single line of code before.

The topic of teaching accompanies me since some time now. For one, the most obvious one, I'm an apprentice trainer. This means it's part of my job, to teach our young apprentices how to program. But it doesn't stop there. I'm quite active on StackOverflow (although one could argue this doesn't count as teaching). Then last year, I got the chance to hold a workshop at the Jugendmedientage to teach programming to young journalists, that never coded before. All these experiences led me to believe that:

  • Programming can be learned
  • It takes time, effort and patience for both the teacher and the student
  • Curiosity is the key

Workshop at Jugendmedientage 2014

I'm writing about this topic, because not long ago we were discussing this topic at work. One of our project managers said, she wants to learn at least a bit of programming, in order to understand what her team is doing. Intuitively I disagreed. I argued, that it's not the responsibility of a project manager to understand programming. Everybody should focus on their main responsibilities and skills.

But then again:

  • Wouldn't it be nice to have a common understanding of some basics?
  • It would be a tremendous help, if a PM could already decide if a problem is hard or easy
  • Or if a PM understands some technical terms that get thrown around in the room all the time?
  • Why should anybody stop someone from learning something they are clearly interested in?

But it's not just about PMs, and it's not just about my work place. It's nice to be able to code. To know, that this task, you've been doing manually since so many years could be written in just a few lines of code. Your life can get easier.

One of the projects I really like is OpenTechSchool. It aims to create free online learning material for everybody to learn about programming and related topics. Apart from the docs, there are workshops, free of charge, led by volunteers like me.

The goal of such workshops is not to become a super-hero-programming-ninja. It's about understanding how a programmer tackles a problem, learn new skills and grasp some basic concepts.

Everbody can learn to code. If they want to. I'm happy to help.

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