Note to Self: Teaching and The Programming Historian

While my class for next semester is more or less set as a combination of media studies and digital humanities, I need to decide how much programming and other technical background to teach in the future. To that end, I’ll be evaluating William Turkel and Alan MacEachern’s The Programming Historian as a pseudo-textbook.

As the authors say, it’s probably not suitable as a lone resource; it doesn’t include exercises, for instance, nor is it a programming reference work. But it’s a smart and well-organized walk through some typical usage scenarios, and it includes (some) suggested readings from Lutz’s Learning Python, which might make for a good complement. I’d be curious to know how others have approached this curricular problem. Google is also my friend; future reports as events warrant.

I suppose the other thing that would be worth thinking about would be some sort of class project (as opposed to, or in addition to, individual student projects). Which means, probably, having a text archive in place to begin with. On which, more in a minute …

2 thoughts on “Note to Self: Teaching and The Programming Historian

  1. Dear Matthew, Unfortunately, a few of our exercises are temporarily broken because the darned internet keeps changing :) I am on the treadmill right now, writing lectures, etc., but look forward to working on the Programming Historian again in November or December. At that point I’ll fix the broken stuff and add some new lessons. In the meantime, feedback is always welcome. I also find the 2nd edition of Lutz’s book to be a little less overwhelming for beginners than the 3rd ed., and some of my students really like _Dive into Python_, which I haven’t read. Best, Bill

  2. @Bill – Many thanks! The site is a fantastic resource, and I appreciate the suggestions on Lutz and Python books in general.

    Looking forward to seeing more of The Programming Historian whenever you find the time. Will keep you posted as I work on lining it up with my teaching needs.

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