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7 Tips To Make You A Better Developer and Development Instructor

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post here at DEV on 3 Ways to Make Money While Learning to Code. One of those ways was to Teach for Coding Organizations. But how?

If you google information about teaching coding, you will see tips but a lot of those tips are generic, especially when it came to facilitating classroom projects.

When I did get the opportunity to teach, I went in blindly and made a few mistakes. Thankfully, my chapter leader still saw potential in me to give me tips on how I can be a better instructor and I wanted to share them with you!

Even if you're not an instructor, this can apply in any setting when you're teaching/leading anyone to the promise land of coding lol, whether you're a developer over interns or a developer in a team setting assisting other teammates. These are just tips and of course you can match it with your teaching style. So lets get started!

                            Hypothetically speaking: 
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  • You're teaching a Introduction to HTML Class.
  • You just got done going over HTML basics including the p and strong tags.
  • Now it's time for the mini in class project of creating content on the material you just taught.

1. Talk about what we are going to do.

alt text

  • Show the before and after of what your students will create. Imagery is very important, it helps give people an idea of what they are doing. Next, show your students the differences in each picture and tell them how they are going to apply what they just learned to get the "after" picture.

alt text

2. Tell everyone what you’re going do.

  • Talk about the two tags you will use: strong and p and why you will use them.

3. Now demonstrate what you're doing aka Live Coding:

  • Show them by putting the strong tag around the title and the p tag to designate the paragraphs. alt text alt text alt text alt text

4. Then tell everyone what you just did:

  • I just made the title's bold by adding the strong tags.
  • I also assigned paragraphs by adding the p tags.

Show Example: alt text

5. Give 3 opportunities to ask questions

6. Tell them why you did what you just did:

  • I used the strong tag because I wanted to grab the viewer's attention. To do that you make certain words/phrases stand out from surrounding text.
  • I used the p tag to designate the paragraphs in the content.

alt text

7. Remain Available:

After those 6 steps, give your students the opportunity to accomplish the task. Walk around and offer help because some might be too shy to ask questions while you're teaching. Always remain available!

Now you have given youur students the roadmap on how to accomplish the finished project.

Give your students time to finish there project and always be open for questions. I hope this helps! :)

Do you have any tips that have helped you?

Top comments (3)

revskill10 profile image
Truong Hoang Dung

Don't forget to send your Pull Request to somewhere else ;)
The strength of Pull Request system is ability to collaborate on the code.

donita profile image


goodidea profile image
Joseph Thomas

How do you encourage questions? I teach a remote class (8-12 people) and I've noticed that they will not ask me questions if we're all working in the same "room" in the video chat - but when I break them up into smaller groups, and visit those rooms, they ask questions much more freely. These questions are often ones that would benefit the entire class.

Other things I have learned from teaching -- try to touch on larger goals once or twice during a class. I taught a lesson on unit testing and got a lot more attention from my students when I said that knowing how to write tests is very valuable in the eyes of employers & potential employers. Same goes for a11y, documentation, and other less interesting parts of the work we are learning to do.