After introducing my kids to gpg, lerning more about bitcoin and setting up their own seedsigners, they asked to learn to code. We already had some sessions with Scrath, Arduino, HTML&CSS and Hack The Box. But now, they want to do the grown up stuff. First, and this was their idea, they wanted to repeat some tasks in scratch, and then write real code.
I decided to go with python for this and I’ll list some ressources in case you want to do something similar and need some inspiration:
I’ve created accounts on replit.com as this was the fastest way to get them started. Just open the page, start to code and directly see the results. By this I could keep their curiosity up while I figured things out, Installing python, libraries, IDEs, etc is something that I wanted to test and prepare beforehand. Kids get frustrated quite quickly, when problems araise and then it’s hard to motivate them again. It’s not about protecting them from regular app installation issues, but if for some reason you have to do endless updates or resolve dependencies, they’ll get bored.
For the local installation, I went with VSCodium with the python and repl plugin. It resembles what they got used to in the browser and helps ease the transition. Actually, everything was straight forward. Selecting the flatpak version probably helped, but I had to tweak some settings as there are retrictions due to the sandbox.
Developing locally has the benefit, that you learn about files and folders. Topics they are already familiar with, but still cause some struggle. On the web, you don’t have to deal with anything of this.
The reason to develop locally is to learn how things work in detail, keep full control of what you are developing, and enjoy a much better experience. On the web, you have to deal with network and browser issues. And also, kids want to be kids. Whatever they write should stay private.