Teaching and Learning Perl - what I got from "Perl Entrance"

Gotanda.pm

20 minutes

Beginner

English 

In this talk, I'd like to tell you some details about a studying Perl seminar for beginners, named "Perl Entrance", which we have held in Japan a few times.
Also I want to share new findings that I have learned from the experience.

I have participated in Perl communities in Japan because I really liked to get to know Perl Mongers.
Because of my deep interest in Perl, I was successfully able to learn how to write Perl by the Perl Mongers.
But at the same time, I realized that there were few chances for programming beginners to learn Perl even though many people who did not have programming experience so far wanted to try to learn how to write a code with the programming language.
So I decided to hold a studying Perl seminar for programming beginners, named "Perl Entrance" to give them an opportunity to know about the language, while working together with some of the Perl Mongers who I had got to know in Perl communities in Japan.

We held the first seminar in Osaka in 2012 and I participated in it as a teacher.
Since we received a favorable reputation from the first seminar, we decided to hold the same kind of seminars in large cities throughout Japan, and we have kept holding them many times.

But we faced many difficulties by making a plan on these seminars and participating as a teacher. For example,

- In the first place, programming beginners had more trouble with setting up a computer rather than learning how to write a code with the programming language itself.
- Japanese students were so shy that they did not ask a teacher anything that wasn't clear, so they could not solve what they could not understand in the lectures.
- Because we weren’t able to hold a studying seminar on a weekly basis, we had a difficulty to let most of the beginners keep learning Perl.
- Perl beginners had few opportunities to exchange views about programming Perl without any sense of hesitation.

We dealt with the problems one by one to provide more great lessons for students.
As a result, our studying seminar had about 50 programming beginners by a year to become successful Perl Mongers.

Through holding studying Perl seminars, we were able to get to know many new Perl Mongers and some of them were graduates from our project.
Moreover what I want to tell you the most here is that this great experience gave me a chance to learn Perl again more deeply by the way of teaching Perl for beginners.

This may be a bit specific case. But I hope that our experience will be useful for people who hold studying Perl meetings throughout the world.