As an academic in 2002 I was given
the job of coordinating a course for teaching hundreds of
university students how to code. Before I started, the course
coverage and pass rate were abysmally low.
It soon became clear that the students were getting stuck on
little errors and weren't getting nearly enough
help from the two hours per week they had with their
The following semester, I started writing little snippets
of code the students could run to analyse their work and point
out any minor errors they'd made. Within a week teachers were
impressed by the intelligent questions the students were asking.
By the fourth week most of the students had completed the semester's
work - and I had to beef-up the course so the students wouldn't
be bored with nothing to learn for the rest of the semester!
After several years of research and development of this teaching
methodology in the context of academia, I decided
to transform it into online learning of real-world coding skills.