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How I'd teach you programming and get fired on my first day

2 mins
Shawn L
Builds stuff minimally
Table of Contents

The first 30 minutes is on basics: syntax, loop, if-else.

Then right way, I’ll give you 100 excel files of student exam results. You’ll need to find the average by gender.

Here’s where the teaching stops.

I’ll not show you the code to solve this.

I want you to know what to ask to work this out. You don’t want to learn how to follow instructions.

And that’s a skill that’ll take you a long way.

You’ll be wondering why you’re paying me if you can find everything online.

So you don’t need a teacher?

Having self-taught languages and programming, you can learn without a teacher.

But if you need to pay to motivate you to learn, do it.

A teacher can shorten your learning phase so you can start conquering the world.

But if you’re not asking the right question, you’ll just be another conveyor belt in a factory.

It’s better if you learn the basics yourself from books or YouTube. The right time to hire a teacher is when you have these 2 things:

  1. A problem to solve because it’s more interesting to you.
  2. Your early take on the problem.

I usually teach in 2 sessions:

  1. We’ll discuss what needs to be done in simplified codes. Coding should be left for you in your own time because we could spend an hour to debug an error only to find out we’re missing a comma.
  2. A code review session. We’ll look at how to improve and understand why you chose a certain way to code it.


Is 100 excel files too many for a beginner?

If you only had 1 file, you’ll feel that doing on Excel is faster.

And your motivation to learn programming ends there.

But if you finish writing the code, you’ll see that it takes less than 1 second to join and compute all 100 excel files.