I have been asked by many of my non-computer science friends to teach them how to program. I have agreed to hold a seminar for them that will last for approximately 1 to 2 hours.
My thoughts are to use Python as the language to teach them basic programming skills. I figured Python is relatively easier to learn from what I have researched. It is also a language I want to learn which will make holding this seminar all the more enjoyable.
The topics I plan to cover are as followed:
- Variables / Arrays
- Logic - If else statements, switch case, nested statements
- Loops - for, while, do-while and nested loops
- Functions - pass by value, pass by reference (is this the correct terms for Python? I am mostly a C/C++ person)
- Object Oriented Programming
Of course, I plan to have code examples for all topics and I will try to have each example flow into each other so that at the end of the seminar everyone will have a complete working program.
I suppose my question is, if you were given 1 to 2 hours to teach a group of college students how to program, what language would you choose and what topics would you cover?
Update: Thank you for the great feedback. I should have mentioned in my earlier post above that a majority of the students attending the seminar have some form of programming experience whether it was with Java or using Matlab. Most of these students are 3rd/4th year Engineering students who want to get a refresher on programming before they graduate.