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Lowering the Barrier to Learning Programming (No Notes)

Lowering the Barrier to Learning Programming (No Notes)

Talk given at Velocity 2014. This version without the speaker notes.


Pamela Fox

June 25, 2014


  1. Lowering the Barrier to Learning Programming Pamela Fox ! @pamelafox

  2. We need more programming literacy.

  3. How can we increase those numbers more quickly?

  4. How did I get into programming? 5 Computers T1 Line

    Supportive Parents
  5. I was lucky.

  6. We can’t afford to rely on luck anymore. ! We

    need to lower the barriers.
  7. You can help.

  8. Barrier #1: Access to a Computer

  9. Barrier #2: Local Dev Setup Many students don’t have their

    own computers. Many students are using ChromeBooks/iPads/Phablets. …therefore, we need more online programming environments Many students struggle with setting up a local environment
  10. Online Programming Environments Khan Academy Codecademy PyTutor JSBin JSFiddle

    CodePen CodeSkulptor Blockly GA Dash Snap Scratch JavaScript Block-based Python HTML/CSS/JS Thimble Multi
  11. Online Programming Environments What are we missing? Curriculum/Community Hardware Languages

    Use Cases C++ Objective-C Fortran Swift ChucK
  12. Barrier #3: CS Classes In 28 out of 50 states,

    CS does *not* count towards math/science graduation requirements. 9 out of 10 high schools don’t offer CS classes.
  13. Barrier #3: CS Classes

  14. Barrier #3: CS Classes

  15. Barrier #4: Social encouragement ! 1. Parental encouragement (regardless

    of occupation) 2. Familial encouragement 3. Peer encouragement ! Most important forms of encouragement:
  16. Barrier #6: Career Misconceptions Especially true for females. “Research

    reports that students finishing high school have a difficult time seeing themselves as computer scientists since they do not have a clear understanding of what computer science is and what a computer scientist does.”
  17. Barrier #6: Career Misconceptions Computing is Everywhere

    Meet the Computing Professional Made With Code
  18. That’s not an exhaustive list. There are many more barriers,

    and many vary based on demographic.
  19. Your goal: ! lower the barrier for one kid to

    learn to code. Pamela Fox @pamelafox ! Velocity 2014