It occurred to me a few months ago that she is now old enough to start learning some marketable skills. She just turned 12, but I think she is ready to be stretched and learn about what Dad does for a living. Do I expect her to be a programmer, well maybe if she decides she likes it, but I think the skills I am teaching her translate very well into other areas.
The first thing I did before starting was to show her some salaries on dice.com for Java programmers. This helped her realize that she should take this seriously. I also showed her a search of Lotus Notes Domino programmers and how many fewer jobs there were out there. I did this to help her understand why her Dad is also spending so much time learning new things.
A side benefit, is that it helps me contribute to of her education, something my wife has done entirely up to this point. It also gives me a chance to spend time with her as she is going through the awkward stage of growing into a young woman.
To teach her Java, I am using a combination of resources. I am mixing up book, audio, and video resources. The majority of this is provided by the site: http://howtoprogramwithjava.com/ My daughter seems to like the author Trevor Page. He is younger and has a comfortable speaking style.
These are all the resources we are using:
- Book: http://javapdf.org/ This is a Trevor's book of the same name as his site: How to Program With Java. We bought the kindle version on Amazon.
- Book: Murach's Java - This was my old textbook when I studied Java at a college in Dallas. I really like this book, and I am having my daughter read selected pages on subjects we are covering.
- Book: Head First Java This the book I am reading to stay current. Later, I will use the many exercises in it to teach my daughter. It is geared for readers with prior experience.
- Audio: Trevor has free podcasts on iTunes that match well with chapters from his book.