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Any advice for the slightly motivated beginner?

My wife has recently asked me to teach her some programming. I doubt she will be that highly motivated though. I am guessing her interest is just to explore this world and perhaps better understand the work I'm doing. I have never taught any beginners but this could be a fun experience for both of us. I am wondering what kind of assignments, projects or scenarios to go through, and what kind of a development environment to use.

I love python and think it's probably the best language to learn (and use), but I'm not sure how excited my wife will be from looking at a console? I was considering a little bit of javascript together with HTML/CSS, but most of the programming involved with interactive web pages I find a little boring... Any suggestions for some cool simple projects to walk through and learn programming with?




Students pick up on the enthusiasm of their teachers; motivation can be catching. Assume she's highly motivated and work from there. In general, I don't think that people who are "slightly" motivated learn much in any area.

A friend of mine who is highly motivated is having fantastic success with Zed's "Learn Python the Hard Way" (http://learnpythonthehardway.org/). I can't say I'm teaching him, though, I'm just in text and email contact if he hits a sticking point.


Thanks for the tip. That's true, of course. She might become highly motivated, but at this point there's nothing burning to motivate her. She's not hoping to get a job as a developer, she's not particularly passionate about building a new app or a website. She's curious enough about it to try to explore. The same way she enjoys knitting occasionally. Does one have to be highly motivated to enjoy it?




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