CircuitPython: the “go to” for teaching people how to program #CircuitPython @HackerNews


CircuitPython is my “go to” for teaching people how to program. I have had so many friends that want to learn how to program, and they always want to learn something “useful” like React first, because that’s what people are using at work. But, you have to crawl before you can walk, and the simplicity of a computer without an OS or complicated libraries is a great place to start. Make a light blink. If button is pressed, turn a light on. And before you know it, you can press buttons and have music play, or send a tweet to Twitter, etc.

The success rate of getting something working in the first hour is 100%. Meanwhile, everyone that has ignored my advice and jumped right into learning CSS, Javascript, HTML, and React has given up after a month. It’s just too much all at once. Microcontrollers are simple, but powerful, and CircuitPython makes it even easier.

Adafruit’s tutorials are great. If you know someone who is serious about learning to program, get them all the parts for one of those tutorials. They’ll make something cool, and if they need your help, it’s just executable pseudocode. Even if you don’t know Python, you’ll be able to help them with only a tiny bit of reading.

What would be the minimum viable hardware to give someone?

I like the Circuit Playground (Express) for getting started:…It has a lot you can do without attaching external devices.

Read more in the thread here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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