programmingMS 2012
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Today was the first day of the Programming Concepts Workshop. Kyle Garner lead the workshop under the supervision of advisor Doug Ivers. The majority of the students were new to the world of programming, so Doug and Kyle started with the basics beginning with JavaScript. Doug taught the students basic programming methods such as the different rules of variables and the types of operators commonly used in JS programming. Using metaphors and examples to explain the rules of JavaScript, the class was able to tackle a few different problems beginning with explaining the rules needed to create a functioning calendar. An example of one of the problems faced includes the layout of a calendar, which has 7 columns for days and up to 6 rows for weeks. Then, Doug told the students about a few tools that programmers use such as w3schools, a website that has many different programming tutorials. Once everyone had a chance to master the basics Kyle and Doug discussed the idea of Pair Programming, or programming with another person. While pair programming, the students tackled another challenge: figuring out what ++ meant, (incrementing), and what - - meant (decrementing). Using a chart, the class began to understand these vital JavaScript operators. They then took a short quiz on Math in JavaScript to further cement their knowledge of operators. Once the class aced the quiz, Doug mentioned concatination and how it adds strings of numbers or letter together.

After a short break, Kyle lead a class discussion covering the importance of variables and how to explain JavaScript. Using functions, forms, script tags, and semicolons, all of which are very important within JavaScript, the students worked to change preset code that displayed years into code which would display the same increment of time in seconds. The class worked in pairs initially before reconvening to share what they had accomplished with the rest of the students. Kyle then covered the idea of loops, which are used to execute multiple lines of code, simultaneously, multiple times. Going deeper into the subject, the students discovered how loop parts such as the condition and the code to be executed can be manipulated in different ways. After finishing the discussion of loops, and going through a short tutorial on how javascript relates to other programming languages, Kyle taught the class about arrays and how they can be used to manipulate large segments of code. Then, Kyle ended the day with a challenge to the students: use an array and four loops to change one value into another. After the challenge, Kyle left the class one extra bit of information concerning Math.round, Math.floor, and Math.ceil which can each round decimals uniquely in a similar manner to the challenge they had completed before.