Programming for Poets

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Revision as of 20:49, 29 April 2010 by Jtfoote (Talk | contribs)

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This is for everyone who wants to learn how to program but has told themselves it's "too hard."

I know how easy it is to feel dumb in the face of computers -- I do it every day -- and this will be a supportive and easy going group, with emphasis on hands-on learning rather than formal lectures. People will help each other as they get up to speed. I'm especially keen to reach people who think they "can't do programming" -- because they can.

(In a previous life I (Jon) was the head instructor for a large introductory programming course at Brown University, and I've taught hundreds of people how to program, and won a teaching award for doing it.)

We'll be using "processing" (http://www.processing.org), a simple yet powerful graphic programming language targeted to artists and designers. Learning to program a processing "sketch" is straightforward and quickly rewarding: you can get up to speed and produce algorithmic art and interactive games in a session or two.

Though it is simple, processing is a full-featured language, not a "toy": the concepts you will learn (variables, loops, functions, arrays) are fundamental and necessary for programming in any other language.

You can run sketches right in your browser with no download or install. Try it: http://sketch.processing.org/ (click on the top left arrow to run). More information, including downloads for all computers can be found at http://www.processing.org. I suggest you try some of the tutorials: you may not even need a class!

sign up

If you might be interested, please sign up below. Thursday evenings look relatively free at NB, modulo Five_Minutes_of_Fame, please indicate whether that would work for you or if there's a better time.

Who

  • Jon Foote (facilitator)
  • someone
  • someone else
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