Programming for Poets

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Revision as of 18:32, 28 May 2012 by (talk) (sign up)
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The class is currently on hiatus. Sign up below if you are interested, or pester me about it, and we can start it again.


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: I've taught hundreds of people how to program, and won a teaching award for doing it.)

We'll be using "processing" (, 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: (click on the top left arrow to run). More information, including downloads for all computers can be found at 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. We'll start at 8. If you are interested but can't make it because of the time, please note it and we'll see what we can do.

  • Tracy Jacobs
  • Adam Fisher
  • Helen Tout
  • Jesse Zbikowski - interested in Processing+Arduino
  • Stella
  • Lee Sonko
  • Carissa Koo
  • Terri
  • Elcaset
  • Dana Ospina-also interested in Processing+Arduino
  • William O'Shea
  • Salem


If you want to be able to jump right in, download and install processing from here:

If you missed earlier sessions, please go through this tutorial:

Also consider these as well:

This is a hands-on workshop: please bring a laptop with processing installed if you can!

Class minutes


Oh Noes: interested but can't make it

Please put name/nick and preferred alternate times