CPIF Frequently Asked Questions

What age group is this book for?

This book is written for youth ages 12 through 16. Learning how to type would be very good preparation, but advanced computer or mathematics skills are not required.

Why did you choose the Python programming language for your book?

I knew I needed a simple programming language that had an interactive mode like BASIC, but was more modern. I wanted something that is useful both for learning as well as advanced professional work, unlike Logo. Finally a friend introduced me to Python. Python is a rapid-application-development computer programming language that combines ease-of-learning with power. It is used by engineers at Industrial Light & Magic, Google, NASA, and many other places. I use Python for my own programming projects both at work and at home. When I discovered how easy it was to learn and use Python, I knew that is what I wanted to teach my children.

What are the requirements for the software that comes with the book?

The software on the CD that comes with the book will work on Windows 98, Windows XP, or Linux. It requires at least 64MB of RAM and 29MB of disk space. About 40MB of free disk space is required during installation.

Why did you write this book?

I couldn't find a computer programming book that was truly entry-level, that I thought would work for my children. Most available teaching materials alienate beginners because they require too much math or computer experience, are too long, or do not include examples that have sound and graphics. Thus I undertook to fill my need myself by writing a beginning book based on Python, titled Computer Programming is Fun!

Why teach computer programming to children or non-IT professionals?

For the same reason that millions of good parents all over the world teach their children music. Consider the computer an instrument for the mind. Writing a computer game is educational, playing a computer game is not. I learned computer programming at age twelve. I feel that learning computer programming early was a boost to my schooling and my career. And I find computer programming, like music, to be very enjoyable.

What does CPIF stand for?

Computer Programming is Fun!