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This repository is now deprecated and maintained only for historical posterity. For future versions of this talk please see the following repositories:

How to Train Your Programmer

Originially prepared for a talk at the University of Amsterdam's Coding for Humanities Seminar, Summer 2014.



Programming language design from an educational perspective as told by Jacques Derrida, Richard Feynman, Pablo Picasso, and Carl Sagan (among others)!

The world of programming education is currently exploding. This talk will both survey the current approaches as well as take a deep dive into the approach-agnostic theoretical and pedagogical challenge of teaching programming and computer science, mainly: abstraction. Through a multidisciplinary montage I will identify the problem of teaching abstraction as a ubiquitous demand across nearly every domain, and align the issues of creativity and critical thinking in the humanities with issues in computer science. The talk will conclude with a discussion of how the discipline of computer science and that of the humanities can inform each other to produce more effective and creative solutions to both teaching abstractions and developing abstractions.


Ashley Williams is an Open Web Engineer and Educator at Bocoup. She also co-organizes 2 meetups: Papers We Love, Boston and BostonJS.

Formerly a NYC Teaching Fellow, Ashley's career arc tracks from middle school science teacher to web developer. A self-taught programmer with a background in philosophy and neuroscience, she's always been an advocate of the well-rounded developer from a non-CS background. Since transitioning from public education to the world of technology, she has made it her aim to deeply interrogate how we as a community teach ourselves and the next generation of web developers. Long a critic of the armchair philosopher, Ashley has spent the vast majority of the past few years teaching beginner web developers, most notabley running the NYC Web Development Fellowship in its flagship year.


[DEPRECATED] presentation: interdisciplinary perspectives on abstraction and their implication for teaching programming






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