Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning something New for the first time

I work with an individual on my team who does administrative tasks. She's been here 27 years, I've been here about 6, in the last few years, she's asked about my job and what we do (our team). I don't think many people have bothered go into any kind of details to tell her about what we do, since her main job is most definitely not programming. She has commented that she would like to learn more about what we do, and I've tossed the standard "go check out Udacity" or "go checkout Coursera" out there (from a programming perspective). But, that is poor form on my part.

This morning I decided to change that. It only took 5 minutes, and she did her first "hello world" in perl. Her eyes lit up, and she about jumped up and down she thought it was so cool to have written her own program. After the new year we'll have a few more sessions. I hope she has more fun, and the excitement sticks around!

There was an XKCD comic that really hits the nail on the head.

I think I'd rather be excited showing someone something for the first time than to "write them off" (if you're reading this, I didn't write you off).  I guess it hadn't occurred to me to just sit down and write hello world with you, it was easier just to say go read this book, or listen to this lecture, then to say "Lets do this right now", I'd like to change that in the future.

If I know something you want to learn, ask me to sit down and show you, right now. I will, if I can't we'll schedule a time. This is important to me and you.