Update: Life has a way of getting between us and our best intentions. The person who I was working with is recently overwhelmed by obligations at work and home. Unfortunately, we are unable to proceed with our learning project at present. Maybe in the future we will try again. I’ll leave this post up because I still think it has some good information in it.
Someone I know recently got the programming itch. It began with a foray into an Excel spreadsheet application using Visual Basic for Applications. The urge to build other things soon took grasp, and this person is now interested in diving deeper.
I don’t think I’m in any position to teach someone programming as I have too many of my own questions on the subject. It’s been said, however, that teaching something is a good way to solidify what you know and change your perspective of your own knowledge. Teaching forces you to simplify what you know. Having a simple mental model of something complex is a perspective that is difficult to attain once you’re past childhood. Teaching others is an opportunity to devise a simple model for someone else, and if we retain that simplified model ourselves, it enriches what we know about the complex nature of… whatever complex thing we’re talking about.