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Journal PresidentEnder's Journal: Teaching Programming to Kids? 2

I'm an undergrad Math/CS student. One of my cousins, an exceptionally bright 11-year-old, is interested in learning to program. I'd like to give him some kind of direction; at least, more than I got: to teach him to avoid bad habits, use design patterns (OO vs procedural, especially) properly, and make sure that he stays interested. I'd like to see what Slashdot thinks: what are appropriate resources to use? Which language should I try to teach him? Are there any good books out there?

I hesitate to teach him Java, even though it was my first language, because I'd like to be able to explain "hello world" completely, and the arguments that Java's main() method always requires would mean that I would need to explain arrays, command-line arguments, and String objects right away. I hesitate to teach him a dialect of Basic because of the bad habits that seems to invite. Python looks promising. Any thoughts?

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Teaching Programming to Kids?

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  • by knewter ( 62953 )
    If you've not given Ruby a thought, might I recommend starting out with Hackety Hack [ [] ]

    I quit my job as a .NET VB/C# professional to pursue starting a company using Ruby. I've still got that company around, and now I'm also a partner at a company where we develop websites in the CMS that I built in Ruby on Rails. The autonomy RoR gives me is amazing, and I've developed in Perl, PHP, VB6/.NET, C#, Python...

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10