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Best age to start learning perl

by Swineflu (Initiate)
on May 06, 2009 at 09:05 UTC ( #762194=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Swineflu has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi guys what do you think the best age is for a kid to start to learn how to make programs in any language and also what do you think the best first language is?And what do you think the best books are that you could find in a library or even on the internet?Thanks and have a good day!!

Comment on Best age to start learning perl
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by moritz (Cardinal) on May 06, 2009 at 09:16 UTC
      The Teaching Perl to Children node covers the use of LOGO, a language developed to teach programming to children. Recommend reading that.

      Got to agree with moritz it depends on interest and aptitude more than age.

      As to what languages, not Perl to start with something like LOGO as others have suggested or HTML.

      The visual aspect of both of these programming languages are ideal for children, as they can easily see how simple changes can have such a dramatic effect.

Re: Best age to start learning perl
by Anonymous Monk on May 06, 2009 at 09:26 UTC
    As soon as kid learn to read and learn elementary arithmetic.
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by planetscape (Canon) on May 06, 2009 at 09:29 UTC
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by hda (Hermit) on May 06, 2009 at 09:55 UTC
    well, from, say, 4 to 99 ... or as long as your brain keeps working!
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by targetsmart (Curate) on May 06, 2009 at 10:07 UTC
    Once I have a problem to solve I search for ways to solve it, I saw perl is easy for that purpose, the basic need is 'a problem to solve on hand'.
    Of course some knowledge about computers, editors & perl is necessary (nowadays a 4 year old kid knows how to operate on computers)
    If I would have had no problems I would have been the happiest soul ever, never turned back to computers ;-).

    Vivek
    -- In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by JavaFan (Canon) on May 06, 2009 at 11:09 UTC
    Hi guys what do you think the best age is for a kid to start to learn how to make programs in any language and also what do you think the best first language is?
    That depends on the kid, and what you consider "making programs". As long as the kid has short attention spans, there's little point in teaching it programming. And it helps if the kid can read and write first.

    As for first languages, I'd start with a language with a small, and fairly rigid and consistent syntax. Definitely not Perl, for the same reason you don't use Shakespeare to teach someone how to read.

Re: Best age to start learning perl
by KSURi (Monk) on May 06, 2009 at 13:16 UTC
    don't let children see perl if you don't want they to get a psychological trauma)
Re: Best age to start learning perl
by rovf (Priest) on May 06, 2009 at 13:19 UTC

    I remember a speech by Adele Goldberg on a conference about History Of Programming Language; it was about successful experiments to teach Smalltalk to pre-highschool children. You can find about this here: http://gagne.homedns.org/~tgagne/contrib/EarlyHistoryST.html#smalltalkAndChildren.

    Most responses to your question say: As soon as there is interest. This is certainly (I would almost say: trivially) true, but it applies to the rare cases where a certain bright child starts showing interest, and you are teaching him or her individually. The question of age becomes more serious when you want to offer a teaching for a class of students, i.e., at which age can you expect that a sufficient percentage of children is able to grasp abstractions - assuming here that the necessity of doing some abstract thinking is the biggest stumbling point, even for adults. I still remember when, at the age of 16, our class was the first time exposed to programming. It was an optional subject, and nearly the whole class showed interest and attened. But after a few months, only about 10% were left - it was too difficult for the rest. Nowadays teaching has improved, so I guess the percentage would be much higher now, though.

    IMO it makes sense looking where we request abstract thinking in other areas. This can be mathematics, as soon as it leaves pure calculation and introduces concepts such as functions or group theory, and languages as soon as it starts to cover grammatical concepts. For the average student, I guess this means they should be at least 10-12 years, though some very gifted ones might be able to master it earlier.

    -- 
    Ronald Fischer <ynnor@mm.st>

      I don't think the teaching improved. The requirements and expectations were lowered. Statistics is the king, everyone wants to have the highest ratio of citizens with university degree, even if it means that the universities have to accept and let finish every alternatively intelligent dude.

      Jenda
      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

        ++ Jenda

        "even if it means that the universities have to accept and let finish every alternatively intelligent dude."

        .....doing Mickey Mouse degree courses

        Students are no more intelligent now than they were 40 years ago, the only difference is the goal posts have been moved.

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