The Four Layers of Programming Skills

Hi there! This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time and decided to record it as a video instead. In the video I talk about the four layers of skills that you need to learn when you’re learning how to write code and how to explore each one. These layers are:

  1. Syntax skills – how to read and write a programming language and the core concepts behind how the language works.
  2. Programmatic thinking skills – how to think like a computer and translate a process into a specific set of instructions that a computer can understand.
  3. Creative skills – how to figure out an answer when it’s not obvious what it should be, how to go from a rough draft to a final draft with all the bumps and detours in between.
  4. Interdisciplinary skills – understanding and borrowing from other fields to enrich our own programming practice and the things we make.

Thoughts, questions, comments? Let me know what you think on Twitter or in my inbox!


About Kevin McGillivray

Kevin McGillivray is a teacher and web developer from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea. He is the co-founder of Sandcastle, a tiny studio.

See all posts

Subscribe to my newsletter: