Back in university, I had compulsory classes in coding. The lecturer was enthusiastically flooding us with terms I had no idea with. I sat in the classroom feeling (A) he is an alien (B) I am stupid. That prompted me into a stereotype (but wrong) conclusion – coding is for guys but not for me.
Year later I was recommended to take Mehran Sahami‘s programming methodology course and became instantly interested. He did a lot of things right. Every assignment poses a problem which requires problem solving skills rather than skills to memorise alien languages. Every time he introduced a new concept, new term, new mechanism he associated such newness with oldness: ie. things we were familiar with (such as toast machine). Such connection between knowledge existed and knowledge to acquire makes learning comprehensible. Plus he is funny, watching him teach feels like watching a standup comedy.
Thanks to this course, I picked up confidence in computer science – I am not a dumb in this world. I can reason well and solve problem creatively and efficiently, so if I set my mind to it, I have the potential to be good at it.
This morning I reading the news about Kaikeba, China’s new MOOC platform specialising in software development education. What is truly awesome is that the certificates that students receive upon completion of a course can be exchanged for credits at these universities, a major step towards MOOC accreditation. I registered for a free course in Database structure and began to brown the content. Buuuuuuttttt, I was not able to understand anything and the same feeling about stupidity came back to haunt me. The confidence built evaporated and I was looking for un-enrol button already.
Please stop making me feel stupid! (That is not what I sign up an online course for)