IP352W14A Programming Basics – Session Three Notes

Consider this picture.
Learning Cycle

Can you see how this applies to what you are doing before our sessions and while we are together?

Please reply with a comment about our third session.

Highlights / Metacognition

  • What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?
  • What did you learn from that?
  • What will you do with that knowledge?


  • Now that we’ve had our third session, what do you want to know?
  • What could we have done better?

If you spot a question from someone else and you can answer it – please do.

Reminder – If you did not do this for last week – go back to the course web site to remind yourself what we did in session two. Then return to the Session Two Notes and leave a comment.


19 thoughts on “IP352W14A Programming Basics – Session Three Notes

  1. Courtnae says:

    What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?

    Making a mistake in jsbins and trying to figure out what went wrong, which turned out to have been a typo in the HTML (I have no idea how that happened!?!?) – Thanks Jim & Marnie

    What did you learn from that?

    If something goes wrong you need to check in the most unlikely places.

    What will you do with that knowledge?

    I will endeavour to keep an open mind, and remember to think
    outside the box.

  2. Carmen says:

    Most valuable thing that happened: learning more technical terms [e.g. strong & weak typing, early & late binding], and getting a better picture for why scripting can be less precise than programming.

    What I learned: strong typing is when you need to declare a data type [that can’t change once declared] for the variable that you’re creating, weak typing is when it doesn’t matter when or if you declare the data type.

    Early binding is when you assign values to a variable before you can use that variable in an expression. Late binding is when variable assignment occurs while a programming is running.

    Scripting can be less precise because it is an interpreted lanauge. Given the nature of scripting languages [late binding & weakly typed], the interpreter has to analyze the variables and the context they’re placed in and then try to come up with a solution. The script might run even if you’ve made a few mistakes, but the solution that’s presented may not be the one you’re looking for.

    What I will do with the knowledge: In terms of actual coding–not sure yet, but I’m getting a better understanding for what a script does versus what a program does!

  3. Vanessa Legazpi says:

    What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?

    – Gaining a better understanding of what variables, arrays, sequences, selections/conditional branching and iterations are
    – How to use proper syntax when coding
    – Working with Javascript in our JSBin assignment

    What did you learn from that?

    I learned the basics of coding and got a feel of what programming script looks like.

    What will you do with that knowledge?

    Keep it in mind and use it as a foundation for future encounters I have with programming.

  4. Liz Gosselin says:

    What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?

    All the work we’ve done in the past two weeks, especially the writing down, in plain English, of the steps of a process, finally gelled into those first couple of short scripts we created on jsbins. Two things/ideas/concepts in particular will stay with me: 1) Programming is about solving a problem; 2) The importance of defining in plain language the process that solution will follow.

    What did I learn from that? What will I do with that knowledge?

    I will take the time to define the problem and the solution in plain language before attempting any coding.

    What do I want to know at this point?

    I hope we get to incorporate small javascript scripts into an html page, complete with and actual user interface.

  5. Most Valuable?

    I really appreciated the application of the knowledge we’ve gained so far. Not just SEEING variables in action, but USING them and seeing how the cause and effect. Made me feel like a 1337 haX0r 😉

    (not really)

    What did I learn from that?

    Really, that coding isn’t some inaccessible thing that I shouldn’t touch. While we just had a taste through JSBin, I really enjoyed getting my hands on some code (even if it was just in a little sandbox).

    What do I want to know?


    Really, JavaScript doesn’t seem too out of reach. I’d like to get comfortable playing around with several languages.

  6. Jonathon Sanson says:

    Most valuable thing
    In session 3 we bridge the gap from concept to working model.

    What I learned
    I have a better understanding of what we have done so far – sketching out the order of operations. Also, code or script is closer to a natural language than I thought. Square dancing is way harder than I thought.

    What I will do with that knowledge
    I will utilize operational thumbnail sketches – doing some work up front pays. I found a site that lets you build and share a virtual flash card deck (http://quizlet.com) and I am thinking that this would be a good way to pick up the vocabulary of code/script.

  7. Alpha Lam says:

    What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?
    Learning that scripting languages can interpret loosely typed variables in a number of ways via the white and red die example.

    What did you learn from that?
    I got a deeper understanding of how important our exercises in pseudocoding really are because we have been building the foundation for how we will later communicate with a computer in programming languages. This also confirms my metacognitive reflections from session one that relating new information with real world examples expedites my information processing and absorption.

    What will you do with that knowledge?
    I will try to conscientiously connect what I am learning with what I already know and ask for more feedback to make sure I am on the right track.

    Now that we’ve had our third session, what do you want to know?
    In the read and respond sections of the assignments, I’ve noticed that most responses are direct and straightforward and that my responses are thematic, likely due to of years studying literary analysis and writing academic papers. This approach is likely also why the game theory question was off the mark, even with a lot of thought and effort. Do you think it would be beneficial do the read and response exercises differently?

    • Alpha Lam says:

      I also wanted to ask how I could find all the recent changes made on the Wiki, but after a bit of navigation, I discovered where it’s located and thought I should share!

      myWatchlist > recent changes (left sidebar)

  8. What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?

    (1a) Scripting is great for beginners and that if you do some mistakes and/or don’t declare some variables, you don’t have to worry because it’s an interpreted language. (1b) Jsbin – a great online Javascript development tool that lets you test and debug your code. (1c) Taking the pseudocode and transforming it into actual Javascript code.

    What did you learn from that?

    That I want to declare all variables because I want my expected results to be the true results. Your code might not return any errors and so you might think that the results are correct when they are not.

    What will you do with that knowledge?

    I will plan thoroughly before I start coding. I enjoy the thinking process of solving a problem on paper before even beginning to code. The coding, hopefully will then be easier and you will save time.

  9. Tony Koo says:

    I enjoyed getting my feet wet and doing some simple programming examples in JavaScript. It’s very cool when you see a response from what you’ve typed.

    I also learned how programming languages are similar and dissimilar at the same time (i.e. the Parsing example). I also learned how javascript tries to help you along but that can dig you a hole at the same time by producing unexpected results.

    I’ll be sure to use the “pseudocode” language before coding to ensure I understand what I’m trying to accomplish beforehand rather than trying to figure out if I’m doing the right thing or if I just messed some syntax up.

  10. Elvina Balcyte says:

    What did you think was the most valuable thing that happened for you tonight?
    It kind of sum up what we did in first two lectures. I was not to sure what we were doing with all instructions. Actually it really helped understand how programming works. I enjoyed the hands on part of the class with jsbin.
    What did you learn from that?
    I finally understand difference between scripting and programming.
    What will you do with that knowledge?
    I hope i will understand programmers jokes better.

  11. demiandemian says:

    I’m thinking, the distinction between scripting and programming might correspond perfectly to a theatrical analogy. Theater scripts are like the content of a play but they can be loose, modified and presented differently from staging to staging. A program at a theatrical event encompoases the same scope of activities, but from a different perspective and focusing on tangible specifics like which actor is playing what role and what time they go on.

  12. John says:

    The most valuable thing I learned was the relationship between JavaScript and HTML, and found the ‘coding’ of JavaScript very interesting. From this I also learned the similarity in logic to Excel, which is something I use on a regular basis. This has already significantly helped me understanding how these languages interact to augment what I see on the webpage. I don’t think I’ve previously understood how the interactivity occurs vs. what the HTML source indicates.

  13. Heather Mitchell says:

    Most valuable
    – writing code in JSbin and particularly having the 30 seconds to come up with the code that displays how many more friends you’d need to get the discount

    What did you learn from that?
    – I learned that I was actually getting it

    What will you do with that knowledge?
    – practice, practice, practice

    What do I want to know
    – I’d like to go through more coding examples and try modifications. Is there an online ‘exercise book’ of sorts to practice with?

    What could we have done better?
    – n/a

  14. Jennifer says:

    Week 3 thoughts:
    The most valuable thing from the Jan 29th class was looking through the JSBin tool and playing around. I also liked the reading with indent styles to complement. Specifically with the JSBin, I liked building the program by thinking through what it was we wanted to do, then writing that down, then filling in variables around that (there was a word to describe this, but it’s escaped me at the moment).
    I’m very new to programming, but I hope to take the problem solving spirit of the class into further examinations of code and also getting more of an understanding of the main programming philosophies.

  15. Liz Gosselin says:

    I came across this article this morning.

    Should everyone learn to code: http://bit.ly/1cJRvkl

    It makes a good case for learning computational thinking. Which reminded me of our first two weeks in class. There’s also a call for teaching kids at an early age. Which brought to mind this Kickstarter campaign I came across a little while back:

    Hello Ruby by Linda Liukas http://kck.st/1hNiJag

    A lot of people seem to think that was a great idea. The project has over 7,000 backers.

  16. I really liked the introduction to JSBin. It is a great troubleshooting tool and also reflects the collaborative nature of programming. I will definitely use it in the future.

  17. demiandemian says:

    I find this time tracking tool useful:


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