Nice article. You identify good goals, like helping students learn about programming in the context of an entire project.
A thought. There’s a bunch o’ research on learning, and some on learning to program. How about using that research. Design courses to meet your goals, using practices from learning research.
What do you think? Worth doing? Know of any groups talking about using learning research to teach programming? Or actually doing it? Please let me know; I haven’t found them.
I teach an intro programming course for business students. Studied the literature, designed a course, wrote s/w to support the design. Seems to be working, though it needs review and evaluation.
It’s at https://programming.cybercour.se/. Uses Excel VBA; don’t judge me, it makes sense in context. The principles could work for more in-depth courses. I’d be interested in working on such things with other humans.
BTW: I like your writing style.