Five Ways We Can Help Students

I keep talking to lots of students and have some ideas on how we (at educational institutions and community) can help them. Here are some thoughts.

  1. Encourage curiosity. Curious kids learn a lot more.
  2. Help them explore. Give them broad exposure and have them explore on their own. Exploration helps satisfy their curiosity.
  3. Help them become  self-learners.Teaching them how to learn is more challenging since you need to customize it for different learning styles.
  4. Encourage them to be creative. When they come up with ideas, help them work through ideas .
  5. Help them increase their confidence. I have seen lots of students very capable, but do not venture into trying out new things because they do not have the confidence.

There may be lots of ways we can help. I just picked a few.  Let me know your thoughts.

Edit 1st Aug 2014

Will start collecting articles on the “Purpose of Education” and list them here.

What Is The Purpose Of Education?



Using Twitter Data to Compare the Popularity of 3 Programming Languages

Twitter is a rich source of useful information. It is a great tool for:

  • Researching Needs (for early customer development),
  • Tracking Trends (in your industry),
  • Watching Competition,
  • Finding  Influencers in your industry segment

We have been dabbling in some tools for mining Tweets and I am always on the look out for more.

There are a few kindred spirits who seem to be interested in similar topics. Here is one Scooped by Jose C Gonzalez. An Introduction to Text Mining using Twitter Streaming API and Python  by Adil Moujahid

Twitter data constitutes a rich source that can be used for capturing information about any topic imaginable. This data can be used in different use cases such as finding trends related to a specific keyword, measuring brand sentiment, and gathering feedback about new products and services.

In this tutorial, I will use Twitter data to compare the popularity of 3 programming languages: Python, Javascript and Ruby, and to retrieve links to programming tutorials.

This tutorial teaches you:an approach to mining tweets, analyzing them and visualizing them using simple open source tools. You will learn:

  • How to use a  Twitter Library for Python to find tweets on specific topics (in this case Python, Ruby, Javascript)
  • How to decode JSON, returned by the Twitter searches
  • How to use a Python library called Pandas to analyze Twitter Streams
  • How to use another Python library (matplotlib) to plot the results of analysis












It is How Things Work

I liked this essay and I think it is a must read for every software professional. Here is a small snippet from Matt’s What Have You Tried?

it’s just how things work: you begin with a lack of understanding about a topic, and a need to solve a problem in that topic area. The honest, sustainable means of doing so is to improve your understanding. This is achieved by:

  1. Formulating a question which, when correctly answered, will improve your understanding in some way; then:
  2. Attempting to answer it.

Being active in a few forums, I can relate to the problem Matt is talking about.

Good essays/posts are a pleasure to read. When I find some, there is a strong desire to share. I just realized that I don’t have to always write an entire blog post to provide something of value.


Matt Gemmell – All This Stuff Scares the Hell Out of Me

All of this stuff scares the hell out of me:

  • Software patents, and their use as a financial weapon.
  • The walled garden of the various App Stores, with mysterious and ever-changing rules governing admittance, and the constant threat of capricious rejection.
  • The consequent relative invisibility of non-App Store software.
  • The incredibly crowded market, with imitations and duplicates of popular titles springing up overnight.

I don’t want to sound too negative. But a tweet from Tim O’Reilly got me reading a chain of posts.

Tim Bray · Discouraged Developer

Ed Finkler – “I find myself more and more concerned about my future as a developer. ”