The Wrong Way to Teach Introduction to Programming

I've been asked to teach introduction to programming twice, once using Microsoft Visual Studio and once using Alice.

It is hard for me to imagine a worse approach to introducing students to programming. These are both massively complex environments, and in order to get anywhere with either, the student is going to spend 95% of his or her time coping with the environment, and 5% learning computer programming. It is as though, in teaching children to use vehicles, instead of starting with a tricycle, we put them behind the control panel of an aircraft carrier, because "it has so many built-in capabilities" that a tricycle lacks.

Put the students in a simple interactive interpreter, and actually teach them to program a step at a time:


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