Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning to Code

I've only ever taken one course on computer programming. That is, if you don't count the more than 100 that I have taught (tip: teaching is the best way to learn something).

It was a course in HP BASIC taught by a Mr. William Gibson at Santa Ana Junior College (Community College today as JC seems to have fallen out of favor over the years).

We used an HP computer that was about size of a small... fridge (tall, but narrow). We used a single teletype terminal like a DEC-writer to enter code and stored our programs on paper punch tape (looks like a thich ticker tape with brail).

We had a quiz every week, in which we would be asked to write out the solution in HP BASIC to a specific problem like reversing a string or something simple. There were generally 10 blank lines on the quiz sheet and the scoring was simple: if the program was correct and under 10 lines, you got an A. If you got it correct and needed more lines, you got a C. Otherwise, F.

It was a fun class and I learned a lot about problem solving.

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