Programming With Friends

The importance of study groups and seminars in programming course modules

One of the best things about learning is learning more about other people and yourself.

Sitting in a small group programming can be really fun. Some people may help you gain insight, and others might become your friends.

When I started programming I thought it was very difficult. I found it hard to comprehend even rudimentary concepts.

At this point it felt awkward to ask lecturer or classmates.

Additionally we were in an underfunded programming course that was unable to get seminars — only lectures. The programming module was based in a social science faculty that may not have recognised we needed more follow-up.

Luckily, we set up a study group, and it was awesome.

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The 14th of February 2019.

A few people struggling together, or engaged for the same learning experience.

Although it can seem foolish, and assignments can feel nearly impossible, the vibe changes when this experience is shared.

We managed to argue to the course leader that we needed a seminar leader and they found funds from elsewhere.

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The 8th of February 2019.

When the course was done it felt like we knew more, and got to know more wonderful people.

Even talking to some people outside of the course on the same topic seemed a lot more fun.

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The 10th of June 2019.

The seminar leader we helped to bring in even got a new job, and we met up and talked about how programming skills could be used in practice by social scientists.

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The 20th of November 2019.

Today I was in the 40th birthday of a new friend I met at the course module, and I had a great time!

If you meet people and you support each other, it’s not just about programming anymore — it’s about having fun.

Although, programming was not easy in the beginning, it was the people I met along the way that made me enjoy it.

In saying so I do not propose programming or coding is not inherently fun, it can be, however programming as a shared interest or shared activity is really great for learning.

If you have decided to learn programming for whatever reason I hope you find people that can bring as much joy to this activity as these wonderful people have brought me.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 438. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

If you ever decide to learn more about artificial intelligence, I am sure a community helps.

Written by

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

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