Created by Ubi de Feo, “from 0 to C” is a series of workshops that aim to teach programming using a tangible approach. Learning how to program requires pragmatic thinking and “advanced problem solving” and through the use of tangible, hand-made objects, the team behind the project try to establish a clear understanding of how a computer works and what a programming language actually is.
With the increase of interest in coding, trying to sometimes teach programming to designers can indeed be a challenging task. There are many tools available already that CAN readers are very familiar with. Aimed primarily at designers, Design by Numbers, Processing, openFrameworks and most recently Cinder are all frameworks designed to create a bridge between complicated layers of code into easier to understand and apply scenarios. To those learning these tools, it is often that difficulties arise even before the creative process begins. This could partially be blamed on the lack of understanding underlying principles of how computer works and the logic of programming languages.
The concept of “from 0 to C” is simple: take a bunch of common tangible objects and organic materials such like M&Ms, Ping-Pong balls and wood, mix them with a group of non-experts willing to learn how to program but not to spend 3+2 years in a computer science university, forget about computer screens and keyboards and bake it for 1, 2 or 5 days (depending on the type of workshop).
From 0 to C’s goal is to create a thorough understanding of what a programming language actually is in terms of the mathematical and logic structure at its core. Making something that initially feels very abstract becoming clearer and more logical.
During the workshop the participants are asked to physically perform tasks involving a subject, an object and an action, and afterwards to rationalise the logic of these sequences in order to translate them in code.
Ubi hopes to take this approach into schools and universities teaching the core basis of programming. I indeed hope so as it seems like a fantastic way to introduce programming. I hope we can get Ubi to Resonate.io next year.