[Windows] Teaching a ten year old to code...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by costabunny, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    So this summer holiday I have promised my ten year old nephew that I will teach him some programming.

    This is quite the task. I myself have not coded anything more than the odd snippet of php/html for many moons.

    The problem I face is what language to teach him. I want him to get to grips with the basics and ideally learn a modern language that he can grow with. I know he wants to learn to write games (doesn't every ten year old boy?).

    I have a basic background in ANSI C, CoBol, Pascal etc, but that was mostly at college (some 20+ years ago)

    I always remember the principles: It's not the language that matters, rather the techniques and principles to be used.

    I just thought I'd pick something useful that will a) let him grasp the concepts of planning, developing and testing code, as well as a language that is reasonably modern enough to be relevant if he wants to experiment. In 'Ye Olde Days' I would have taught him in Pascal and then straight on to C...

    Besides I think it will do my brain good to learn this object oriented malarkey too.

    I am contemplating going the C++ route (that's partially my inner prejudice for anything Java vs C). I am downloading a bunch of tutorials, source and vids for Java and C++ at the mo. I shall have a go at them myself and see what I think he will be able to get on best with.

    If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate the input.
  2. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    Anything formal (C++, Java, etc..) would be quite overwhelming for a ten year-old.

    Check out Scratch. It's an MIT program for teaching kids how to think programmatically, which you noted is an objective. Unless he has a specific goal (aside from wanting to learn to program), the subject of formal languages is pretty dry without practical application. If interest and desire increases, actual computer languages could be introduced.


    Enjoy! I'm looking to do the same with my son in the very near future...
  3. tomvos, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014

    tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    You might want to take a look at http://www.processing.org/.

    It comes with an easy editor. Compiling code is as simple as pressing the run button.

    It’s targeted toward graphics—which is reasonably close to games. Well, actually you can build games in processing. But doing some animated graphics via code it some fun of its own.

    Underneath Processing lies Java, so what you learn is not only processing but the basics of java, too.

    There are lot’s of examples and tutorials on the Processing website which will help you and should be no problem if you have ever written programs in basic or pascal before.
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Lego Robotics. Huge fun, and he'll learn important principles of code construction in an accessible, visual way.

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