Teaching Git Internals Better: Use Your GUI

Programming is unnecessarily unfriendly to newer programmers.  We can make it better through simple optimizations.  This is the Third of a Series of blog posts where I’ll be exploring that!


A lot of people teach Git Internals.  It’s a great thing!  It helps people understand Git and just how it works, and what all those commands do.  However, there’s one frequent problem with their approach: They don’t use their Operating System’s GUI*.

The problem with this is that the command line is implicit.  You have to trust that it’s just doing its thing.  Yes, at some point, every programmer needs to be proficient and comfortable with the command line, but it’s inaccessible and confusing to most newer programmers.  This makes your presentation harder to absorb and learn from.

On the other hand, there’s something we all already know how to do: Double click our folder in our Window System and see what’s actually going on.  There’s another thing we all know how to do: Open up a file with a text editor, and see what’s actually inside! Continue reading “Teaching Git Internals Better: Use Your GUI”

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Making Your Open Source Project More Accessible To New And First-Time Contributors

Programming is unnecessarily unfriendly to newer programmers.  We can make it better through simple optimizations.  This is the Second of a Series of blog posts where I’ll be exploring that!


One of the most challenging and popular topics amongst newer (and especially self-taught programmers) is contributing to open source.  The scope of making your first open source contribution can be extremely overwhelming – especially when so many open-source projects don’t make any significant efforts to be inclusive of new or first-time contributors.

Here’s a list of light-weight suggestions for your Readme.md and Contributing.md files that will make your open-source project accessible to beginners, and build a stronger community around your project*. Continue reading “Making Your Open Source Project More Accessible To New And First-Time Contributors”

How To Make Programming More Accessible: Accessibility in Programming Tutorials, Guides & Documentation

Programming is unnecessarily unfriendly to newer programmers.  We can make it better through simple optimizations.  This is the First of a Series of blog posts where I’ll be exploring that!


I’ve been learning programming very steadily for the last year, and there’s something that bothers me a lot: There is an unnecessarily steep learning curve for beginners – especially people who are self-taught!  A learning curve makes sense – programming is a very technical, complex & intricate craft.  It’s a very big skillset to develop, and it takes a long time.  But we’re making it unnecessarily hard for our new people – and on top of that, it’s an accessibility issue*.

Two common problems that tend to come up for new developers: many tutorials don’t define their terms; and almost everything seems to have lots of unstated dependencies. Continue reading “How To Make Programming More Accessible: Accessibility in Programming Tutorials, Guides & Documentation”