Free Episode

Note to programmers: please review this episode and send comments to with the subject line P101_E1

Welcome to Programming 101. This is a video series for those of you who are wondering whether you want to learn how to program computers. This series will teach you that skill.

But this series will do something else. This series will convince you, early on, whether or not programming computers is something you want to do. By the time you are done with this first episode, you will know.

In this episode we cover a lot of ground. We introduce the structure of computers, touch on the basics of logic, add a smidgen of binary math, and just a skosh of the Java programming language. But more importantly, we use that knowledge to solve a typical programming problem. A normal, everyday, common problem: turning on the lights. That's right, we solve the problem of light switches.

You won't believe just how difficult this problem is to solve, how complicated it is, how many human factors are involved, and how much insight it will give you to the world of programming.

Make no mistake: when you are done with this episode, you'll know almost nothing about programming compared to everything you still have to learn. But, you will have learned one extremely important thing: programming computers is hard.

Not just hard, but challenging, complicated, subtle, and that you have a lot more to learn.

Some of you will have learned one other very important thing: programming is fun. You'll like it, and you'll want to keep doing it. You can't wait for episode 2.

We want your feedback! Please send your comments about this episode to with the subject line "P101-E1". I'd love to hear what you have to say!