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From a Non-programmer: How to Program


Video source: Debbie Koo

First-year student Debbie Koo describes her experience learning how to code during her first semester.

In “Slow Code,” our introductory class to programming, we were asked to create a tutorial that would teach someone how to write a program for a particular task. As resource and inspiration for the assignment, we were told to look at Kahn Academy.

With very little programming experience, I set off to watch tutorials on the website. The video tutorials featured a great interface that allowed the code and the visual representation of the code to be displayed side-by-side while an experienced programmer provided narration. Additionally, changes made by the programmer to the code could immediately be seen in the visual output. This was helpful because it made the cause and effect relationship of the programming changes clear.

Inspired by the “How to Animate” tutorial on their website, I decided to create my own version of it. Not only was it a lot of fun to make the tutorial, it was a great learning experience. Both modifying the code and explaining each step to a prospective student increased my understanding of the different programming elements.

I went from not really knowing how to program to teaching someone else how to animate a car!

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