[Newbies] Smalltalk is a Mystery to Me

Todd Blanchard tblanchard at mac.com
Sat Aug 23 17:41:22 UTC 2008

On Aug 23, 2008, at 4:44 AM, Randal L. Schwartz wrote:

> I'm of the belief that you don't show people bad style, no matter  
> what their
> level, and especially newbies, because they tend to fall back on  
> what they
> learn first.

My experience teaching for ten years at university is help beginners  
get something working fast (early success), then help them refine it  
as needed.  That's more like real development anyhow.  For instance,  
you represented each hand as a Set.  It won't be long before that  
turns out to be inadequate and they want a BridgePlayer to keep track  
not only of unplayed cards, but tricks they've won, their bid, etc...

Also I hinted at the value of collection when using the hands  
temporary to do the deal.  That was also intentional.

People improve over time and there is value in teaching them how to  
recognize when things need improvement (or refactoring as the  
buzzworders like to say).  It would not be long before the individual  
would recognize that he was doing too much boilerplate and start  
looking to reduce the work.

So there's my philosophy for teaching programming.  Stuff I post on  
newbies is often intentionally naive/simple/concept limited.

-Todd Blanchard

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