Best ways to teach a beginner to program?

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Original Question

I am currently engaged in teaching my brother to program. He is a total beginner, but very smart. (And he actually wants to learn). I"ve noticed that some of our sessions have gotten bogged down in minor details, and I don"t feel I"ve been very organized. (But the answers to this post have helped a lot.)

What can I do better to teach him effectively? Is there a logical order that I can use to run through concept by concept? Are there complexities I should avoid till later?

The language we are working with is Python, but advice in any language is welcome.


How to Help

If you have good ones please add the following in your answer:

  • Beginner Exercises and Project Ideas
  • Resources for teaching beginners
  • Screencasts / blog posts / free e-books
  • Print books that are good for beginners

Please describe the resource with a link to it so I can take a look. I want everyone to know that I have definitely been using some of these ideas. Your submissions will be aggregated in this post.


Online Resources for teaching beginners:


Recommended Print Books for teaching beginners

👻 Read also: what is the best laptop for engineering students?

Best ways to teach a beginner to program? absolute: Questions

How to get an absolute file path in Python

3 answers

izb By izb

Given a path such as "mydir/myfile.txt", how do I find the file"s absolute path relative to the current working directory in Python? E.g. on Windows, I might end up with:

"C:/example/cwd/mydir/myfile.txt"
877

Answer #1

>>> import os
>>> os.path.abspath("mydir/myfile.txt")
"C:/example/cwd/mydir/myfile.txt"

Also works if it is already an absolute path:

>>> import os
>>> os.path.abspath("C:/example/cwd/mydir/myfile.txt")
"C:/example/cwd/mydir/myfile.txt"

Best ways to teach a beginner to program? absolute: Questions

How to check if a path is absolute path or relative path in a cross-platform way with Python?

3 answers

UNIX absolute path starts with "/", whereas Windows starts with alphabet "C:" or "". Does python have a standard function to check if a path is absolute or relative?

175

Answer #1

os.path.isabs returns True if the path is absolute, False if not. The documentation says it works in windows (I can confirm it works in Linux personally).

os.path.isabs(my_path)

Best ways to teach a beginner to program? absolute: Questions

How to join absolute and relative urls?

3 answers

I have two urls:

url1 = "http://127.0.0.1/test1/test2/test3/test5.xml"
url2 = "../../test4/test6.xml"

How can I get an absolute url for url2?

139

Answer #1

You should use urlparse.urljoin :

>>> import urlparse
>>> urlparse.urljoin(url1, url2)
"http://127.0.0.1/test1/test4/test6.xml"

With Python 3 (where urlparse is renamed to urllib.parse) you could use it as follow:

>>> import urllib.parse
>>> urllib.parse.urljoin(url1, url2)
"http://127.0.0.1/test1/test4/test6.xml"

log

Python"s equivalent of && (logical-and) in an if-statement

5 answers

delete By delete

Here"s my code:

def front_back(a, b):
  # +++your code here+++
  if len(a) % 2 == 0 && len(b) % 2 == 0:
    return a[:(len(a)/2)] + b[:(len(b)/2)] + a[(len(a)/2):] + b[(len(b)/2):] 
  else:
    #todo! Not yet done. :P
  return

I"m getting an error in the IF conditional.
What am I doing wrong?

934

Answer #1

You would want and instead of &&.

934

Answer #2

Python uses and and or conditionals.

i.e.

if foo == "abc" and bar == "bac" or zoo == "123":
  # do something

log

How do you get the logical xor of two variables in Python?

5 answers

Zach Hirsch By Zach Hirsch

How do you get the logical xor of two variables in Python?

For example, I have two variables that I expect to be strings. I want to test that only one of them contains a True value (is not None or the empty string):

str1 = raw_input("Enter string one:")
str2 = raw_input("Enter string two:")
if logical_xor(str1, str2):
    print "ok"
else:
    print "bad"

The ^ operator seems to be bitwise, and not defined on all objects:

>>> 1 ^ 1
0
>>> 2 ^ 1
3
>>> "abc" ^ ""
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for ^: "str" and "str"
794

Answer #1

If you"re already normalizing the inputs to booleans, then != is xor.

bool(a) != bool(b)

We hope this article has helped you to resolve the problem. Apart from Best ways to teach a beginner to program?, check other absolute-related topics.

Want to excel in Python? See our review of the best Python online courses 2022. If you are interested in Data Science, check also how to learn programming in R.

By the way, this material is also available in other languages:



Carlo Gonzalez

Texas | 2022-11-29

Thanks for explaining! I was stuck with Best ways to teach a beginner to program? for some hours, finally got it done 🤗. I just hope that will not emerge anymore

Cornwall Lehnman

Munchen | 2022-11-29

Maybe there are another answers? What Best ways to teach a beginner to program? exactly means?. Will use it in my bachelor thesis

Cornwall Sikorski

London | 2022-11-29

Maybe there are another answers? What Best ways to teach a beginner to program? exactly means?. Will use it in my bachelor thesis

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