[Chicago-talk] Teaching kids perl

Sean Blanton sean at blanton.com
Tue Sep 13 11:07:21 PDT 2016

We were just talking in the office about 'C++ for Kids'. (No opinion yet).

Teaching the command line is important: cd and ls, and my then 7 year old
picked up the basics of vi no problem.

Even though Perl is not as trendy right now, I think it is a fantastic
language to start with. Don't need Python's half-assed object oriented
notation, when you don't want to be teaching object oriented programming

The natural language roots, simple commands and straightforward procedural
program are benefits of Perl.

print "Johnny  " x 30

Where, "johnny" is your kid's name is about as easy as it gets

C++ also has an abstraction difficult to deal with at the beginning "What's
#include <iostream>?". You have to explain libraries, essentially, and then
functions (int main...). It's not bad to start with the fundamentals, but
starting with abstract concepts may lead to waning interests the younger
you go.

My son wanted to program a video game, so we did a text-based Perl program
that did "Choose your character; get random numbers to hit and be hit and
subtract hit points and see who dies first" program.  That was very easy
and quick in Perl and I got a "cool" and an "I-want-to-do-more".


Sean Blanton
sean at blanton.com

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 11:12 AM, Jim Thomason <jim at jimandkoka.com> wrote:

> To be brutally honest, Perl just ain't cool like it used to be any more.
> So most of the "teach kids to code" things out there are probably going to
> be in another language - probably python, which seems to be the dominant
> thing nowadays. Javascript to a lesser extent.
> I think your best course of action would probably be to start with one of
> those courses as a framework, and just port it to use Perl as the language
> instead.
> That way, you're not creating a curriculum from scratch and are basing it
> off of something existing without trying to guess a good pace to move at.
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 10:43 AM, Richard Reina <gatorreina at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I have a 10 year old and an 11 year old. I would like them to learn a
>> little perl and am trying to come up with a mini (30 day) perl course
>> designed for them that will make it fun. Something like Randal Schwartz
>> stroll thru perl from his Learning Perl book but eaiser. What I was
>> thinking was something like the following but I run out of ideas after
>> about 3 days. If anyone can help with more days worth of ideas I would be
>> grateful to here your suggestions.
>> Thanks
>> Day 1: Create a Hello World script.
>> Day 2: Make hello world script ask for users name capture it and respond
>> "Please to meet you "user".
>> Day 3: Ask user if they wan't to know the date and time and give it to
>> them if they type "y".
>> Day 4:
>> Day 5 ....
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