Principles 2
Ages 13-18

Programming with Functions

Prerequisites: Principles 1

Solving any complex problem usually involves breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts, which can then be separately understood and solved. This process of decomposition is key in computer science, where data, processes or problems are tackled more efficiently in parts.

This sophomore course of our Principles stream focuses Code Campers on using functions as programming tools to implement decomposition in their Python code. They will put these new skills into practice by combining them with the concepts learnt in Principles 1 through building larger programs that include creating art, animations and games.

After this course, students will appreciate functions as tools which allow programmers to enhance the readability and reusability of their code. In the process, they will have developed two key skills critical for programming – decomposition, as well as abstraction, the reduction of unnecessary detail in complex problems in order to extract relevant concepts for understanding and solving them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

“Coding” is synonymous with “programming”. It refers to the art of writing computer code, which are instructions that a computer can follow to solve problems. Practically every facet of technology that we encounter in our daily lives - from online banking systems to video games on our iPhone, from the GPS systems we rely on navigation to the security systems that protect our homes and offices, is created from code.

Communicating with a computer requires the use of a language, just like how communicating with another human being involves the use of a language like English or Korean. The difference is that writing code for a computer in a particular language is a little like speaking to somebody who is absolutely particular about grammar and punctuation - any deviation from a language’s rules results in a computer not being able to accept the programmed instructions. Different computer languages are well-suited to doing different tasks. For example, JavaScript is the undisputed lingua franca of the web, LISP is used extensively by NASA and in Artificial intelligence research while C and FORTRAN finds its adherents in high finance especially in the field of high frequency trading.

Python is one of the world's most popular languages (consistently ranked within the Top 10 in recent years by Tiobe ) that is known for its learner-friendly syntax, versatility and ubiquity in the workplace. It is also a language that most of our instructors have had the pleasure of using in the workplace. In addition, students and parents might be interested to know that Computing will be available as an examinable subject for the Singapore "O" levels beginning in 2017 and Python will be the language taught in the curriculum.