Yep, it's that time again, time to help you "teach someone to fish." Small Basic harkens back to the early days of Basic, where it was a language meant help you learn how to program, the "Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code."
I came across this "map" recently and thought it a great starting point for jumping onto the Small Basic wagon. If you have someone in your life that would like to learn how to develop, this post will help them map their journey...
Table of Contents
- Maintaining your enthusiasm
- Setting and Using your Goals
- Don’t Give Up at First Attempt
- Be Patient
- Choosing the ‘Best’ Language
- Learn by Doing
- Talk to other programmers
- Relevant Health & Safety Issues
- Using Small Basic and MSDN (a self-paced Learning & Development Map)
Using Small Basic and MSDN (a self-paced Learning & Development Map)
The following is an example of a self-paced Learning & Development Map using some free and available resources (listed below). It’s not intended to be the only way but may give you some ideas that may help you develop one suitable for yourself. Formal education and employment are generally considered to be the best sources of education and experience.
Practice and experience are what this map is trying to help you get started with. Getting in some regular practice time, whatever you can responsibly manage will be conducive to learning.
Setting completion times to accomplish your goals is a great way to assess your progress.
My map was as roughly as follows:
- At the start of each month I would set my goal.
- At the end of each month I would assess my progress by how much of the material I had covered and if I could successfully solve the monthly challenges and ‘show what you know’ exercises in the curriculum.
- My self-assessment would then help me set my goals for the next month. For example:
What is the Small Basic Curriculum?
Learn all about Small Basic by using the curriculum. With the curriculum, you can lean Small Basic with separate lessons - just like you would in a classroom. You can download the curriculum, which includes PowerPoint decks to teach from. As a teacher or as a student learning Small Basic on your own, the curriculum will guide you step by step.
If you do not have Microsoft Office PowerPoint on your computer, you can view the curriculum by installing the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer at no cost:
- Download the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
But what IS it!
- Lesson 1.1: Introduction
- Lesson 1.2: Statements, Properties, and Operations
- Lesson 1.3: Variables
- Lesson 1.4: Conditions and Loops
- Lesson 1.5: Branching and Subroutines
- Lesson 2.1: Graphics Window
- Lesson 2.2: Turtle Graphics
- Lesson 2.3: Exploring Shapes
- Lesson 2.4: Sound, Program, and Text Objects
- Lesson 2.5: Clock, Desktop, and Dictionary Objects
- Lesson 2.6: Flickr, ImageList, and Network Objects
- Lesson 3.1: File Input and Output
- Lesson 3.2: Stacks and Arrays
- Lesson 3.3: The Math Object
- Lesson 3.4: Events and Interactivity
- Lesson 3.5: The Controls Object
- Lesson 3.6: Debugging Aids
- Lesson 4.1: Playing with Shapes
- Lesson 4.2: Responding to Events
- Lesson 4.3: Collision Detection
- Lesson 4.4: Advanced Games
- Lesson 5: Sharing Code
- Lesson 6: Graduating to Microsoft Visual Basic
- Show What You Know Answer Key
Oh, what is Small Basic?
Small Basic is a project that is focused at making programming accessible and easy for beginners. It consists of three distinct pieces:
- The Language
- The Programming Environment
The Language draws its inspiration from an early variant of BASIC but is based on the modern .NET Framework platform. The Environment is simple but rich in features, offering beginners several of the benefits that professional programmers have come to expect. A rich set of Libraries help beginners learn by writing compelling and interesting programs.
Small Basic is intended for beginners that want to learn programming. In our internal trials we've had success with kids between the ages of 10 and 16. However, it's not limited to just kids; even adults that had an inclination to programming have found Small Basic very helpful in taking that first step.
It's free, meant to be easy to learn, yet being built on .Net, powerful and, well, free! Help your budding Dev get the concepts of programming and their belts...