Learning to Program

A colleague recently pointed me at The Immutable Laws of Brainjo, which explains how to master a musical instrument more efficiently based on the neuroscience of learning. As I was working my through it, I realized that while I know a fair bit about how to teach programming, I know far less about how to learn to program. A quick flip through recent conference proceedings confirmed that most research is done from the instructor’s point of view; there’s very little about the equivalent of effective practice strategies. I know about The Learning Scientists (whose book and six-part handouts I highly recommend), but that’s not programming-specific. If anyone knows of research on what learners can do to improve their programming skills more quickly and more reliably, or better yet to programming-specific summaries of such research, I’d be grateful for pointers: you can leave comments on this post or reach me by email.