The Technical Program So Far

Kenya Summer 2011 Blog

Written by: Oshani Seneviratne

June 25, 2011

We are approaching week #3, and this is a brief update on what we have doing at Strathmore University over the past two weeks.

We started the program on June 13th with a programming skills evaluation to calibrate the curriculum. The students were given four programming questions and were asked to code those up in their favorite programming language. We also asked them about their expectations of the program. Most of them said that they want to be good Java developers, and/or that they want to learn how to develop mobile apps in Android and/or J2ME. We explained to them that this year the focus will be on Python, Django and the Mobile Web. We got few questions inquiring about the similarities between these two languages, and I believe we successfully convinced them that Python + Django is a good choice when it comes to doing RAD for mobile devices.

During the rest of the week we focussed on giving the students the basics of programming in Python. We attended Pivot 25 on the 14th and the 15th, so the students had enough time to adjust to Python and do our first homework on installing Python and writing a simple hello world application. In week #2, we delivered intermediate concepts in Python: data structures, functional and object oriented programming, exceptions, etc. Max and I have been checking off the students' answers with the assistance of Yonga Kelvin--a Summer '10 graduate of MIT AITI Kenya program. I am personally very happy to see that most students are getting into Python, and learning the language so fast! Next week, we are going to cover some advanced concepts in Python, and I am pretty sure it will be a piece of cake for our students. 

I am really looking forward to the following weeks!