Teaching beginners: lessons learned from teaching at Starter School

Starter School is an awesome program, currently in its first year, teaching programming and entrepreneurship out of 1871 in Chicago. I had the joy and privilege of co-teaching 5 3-hour classes with Brian Eng this semester on provisioning and deploying Rails, TDD, and Stripe integration. I have done a fair amount of mentoring of junior developers, but I haven’t taught development to a classroom of students before. I found it to be really different. Here are my big takeaways from the experience:

Don’t underestimate the preparation.

Planning out code samples and running through demos to make sure everything works takes a huge amount of time. This was my biggest surprise. Most everything went off OK, but reserving more time to make sure demos were solid would have improved one...

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