065: Teaching Programming to Kids

March 3rd, 2021 · 27 mins 16 secs

About this Episode

Parent Driven Development

Episode 065: Teaching Programming to Kids with Felienne

Welcome, Felienne!

Felienne is the creator of the Hedy programming language, and was one of the founders of the Joy of Coding conference. Since 2016, she has been a host at SE radio, one of the most popular software engineering podcasts on the web. Felienne is the author of “The Programmer’s Brain” a book that helps programmers understand how their brains work and how to use it more effectively. In 2021, Felienne was awarded the Dutch Prize for ICT research.

0:50 How does Felienne become interested in programming education?

  • Research field towards programming education
  • Love of kids

3:33 Methods and strategies to help kids understand

  • Relevant for professionals
  • Full concentration disables full memory, so she lowers the cognitive load
  • After time, memory starts to build and functioning increases

6:02 Maximizing different learning styles in kids

  • Learn their preferences
  • Challenges their default learning style

9:57 Felienne’s new book

  • How people learn programming
  • The more information you know about your brain can help you understand how you learn

11:40 Interesting findings

  • Cognitive load

14:00 Top tips related to programming

  • Refactoring for personal comprehension
  • Let go of one golden standard that code is suppose to look like

17:29 Specific differences between professionals and kids

  • Motivation
  • Concrete vs open ended expression

20:50 - 1 take away

  • Take the kids hands, and guide them


  • Allison and her husband score a few days each solo as they transition back into their home #genius
  • Felienne’s students fuss over the different symbols of division in coding #fail

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