This talk was part of This happened Amsterdam #6
Ubi de Feo has developed a series of workshops that aim at teaching programming using a “tangible approach” involving bowls, boxes, M&Ms and ping pong balls.The initiative, called “From 0 to C”, was born out of Ubi’s work preparing students for Arduino hardware workshops in the shortest time possible. The aim is to help people understand how a computer works and what programming actually is without having any prior knowledge of either.
The course is designed to help creative people visualise what’s going on inside a computer by touching and physically moving items around. This helps to demystify computing and lets people realise that “everything a computer does is either very dumb or a very smart implementation of what, as humans, we are able to do”.
Participants are told to put away their computers.
The workshops feature no hands-on code sessions, editor or screens until the last day. Instead, budding programmers are given pens, paper, tape, candy, ping-pong balls, wooden boxes, cups and other common objects.