A1-Getting Started

Table of Contents


  • Help the instructor get to know you and understand your needs
  • Get you set up to succeed in the course
  • Start to understand programming
  • Learn how to prepare a README.txt file
  • Compile your first program
  • Gain experience coding

Note: you must complete this assignment on time to continue in the course. However, do not rely on an instructor to drop you because he or she may not, and you are entirely responsible for failing to drop any course.

Academic Honesty

Read the Scholastic Honesty Policy and Assignment Integrity policies of the syllabus. Here are some clarifications for this particular assignment:

  • Do not communicate with anyone nor look up any information (like with Google) during the quiz.
  • You must complete the Hour of Code by yourself. If you get stuck, email the instructor.
  • You may get help from others installing the compiler, as long as you actually do all the steps yourself.


  1. Make sure you have completed the exercises from lesson 1.
  2. Register for CodeLab and complete the Review Exercises of CodeLab 1.

    Make certain you enroll in the CodeLab for your semester and section or you will not receive credit for the work. If you are not sure then ask. Remember that registration and the first few exercises are FREE.

Project Specifications

Complete the following assignment specifications so we can get acquainted more easily. Specifications are requirements you must meet to get full credit.

Image source: Own Work

Project 1: Make a README file

A README file contains information about other files in an assignment or set of software files. It is a plain text file and is where the instructor starts when grading assignments. You will turn in a single README.txt file for every assignment with programming projects.

  1. Review the instructions for How To Submit Homework Assignments.
  2. Download the example README.txt file.
  3. Update the example README.txt to fill in your own name, email, assignment number and so on. For "Programming Partner:" enter "none" or leave it blank.
  4. Update the list of files to delete all those that are incorrect and to add the lesson exercise files from lesson 1:
    1. questions.txt from lesson 1 exercise 1.2.
    2. compiling.txt from lesson 1 exercise 1.3b.
  5. Update your README.txt file as this assignment progresses to ensure it is correct.
  6. Submit the README.txt with the rest of the assignment as described in Deliverables.

Project 2: Supply Student Information

Complete and submit the following Student Information form.

Your photo

Project 3: Provide a Picture

Select a clear, recent and easily recognizable close up photo of your face to upload to Canvas along with the rest of your assignment files. Image files only and not PDFs please. The file must be viewable by dragging it into a browser. Cropping and changing image sizes is easy to do on your computer or online.

Note that I am NOT asking you to post your image to your account or in a public area of Canvas. Instead, I am asking that the image file be uploaded to the assignment turn-in area. Only the instructor and you can see what you turned in. The purpose of the image is simply to help me learn your name.

Please limit the file size of images to one megabyte or less. Please include only yourself in the image and avoid hats, sunglasses or other face or head coverings. This photo needs to be of your face only -- not your face and shoulders -- for me to be able to see it easily. The image cannot have extra space around the head. If I cannot easily identify your face from the image, you will not get full credit. See the following examples of full and partial credit (if you were Albert Eienstein).

Photos versus Credit
face only face and shoulders Two younger people
Full Credit
Closeup of face only
Partial Credit
No shoulders or body please
Partial Credit
Not solo, recent or face only

Project 4: Research Learning and Intelligence

  1. Read the Salman Kahn article "Why I Will Never Tell My Son He is Smart" referenced in the worksheet.
  2. When finished reading, save the worksheet in plain text format using the file name "learning.txt".

    File ➤ Download as ➤ Plain Text (.txt)
    File name: learning.txt

  3. Fill out and answer the questions in learning.txt without deleting any of the existing text.

    Make sure to include your first and last name as well as a thoughtful answers to all the questions.

  4. Submit the learning.txt file with the rest of the assignment as described in Deliverables.


Project 5: Explore Coding

The purpose of this project is to give you an intuitive grasp of important programming concepts. While completing this assignment, please pay particular attention to how the computer executes the instructions you give it in order!

  1. Start the hour of code here.

    Play the videos if you need help. If you get stuck, please let the instructor know so he can help.

    As you progress, look at the Show Code links to see what kind of text we will code during the course. The code is not exactly the same but will look similar to the commands: for, do, if, and else.

  2. When finished with all the steps you will see the following page. Add your full name (first and last) to personalize the certificate and then press the Submit button.

    Hour of Code Certificate

  3. Click on the certificate and you will see a new webpage with a larger picture of your certificate. Click on the certificate again and you will see an even larger certificate. Here is a link to an example certificate:


  4. Highlight the web address (URL) for your certificate in the browser bar and copy it (Windows: Ctrl+c, Mac: ⌘ Command+c).

    Hour of Code certificate address

    The page for your URL must have only your certificate and not other information on the page. So be sure to click on the certificate image before copying the URL.

  5. Paste the entire URL into your README.txt file to receive credit (Windows: Ctrl+v, Mac: ⌘ Command+v). Do NOT submit the certificate image.


Project 6: Install the Compiler

For this project, you must successfully install the compiler for the course on a computer and describe your experience in the README.txt file. In addition, you must turn in an executable file.

Make sure you follow the instructions exactly and think carefully about each step. Programmers need to be able to follow instructions carefully and exactly.

  1. Install g++: Install Cygwin or the GCC/g++ compiler on a computer system, preferably the system you will use for your homework. Here are some instructions:

    For Linux systems, g++ is usually installed automatically with GCC. If not, use a search engine to look up the instructions. To verify your installation, use the Compiling and Running Programs instructions for the Mac.

    Briefly describe the technical parts of your installation experience in the README.txt file you completed in Project 1. Describe what you installed, the type of computer you installed the compiler on, what steps of the instructions were difficult, any problems you overcame, and how you tested the installation.

  2. Compile a program: Verify your installation by compiling and running the hello.cpp program using one of the following sets of instructions. Turn in the executable program you create to Canvas.

    If you have problems, review the lecture notes or get help from a classmate, tutor or the instructor.

Extra Credit

Completing the following is worth extra credit.

Make sure to list the extra credit you complete in the README.txt file.

Name tag

Project 7: Coding a Name Banner (2 points)

For this project write a C++ program that displays your name in banner-sized letters to the console (video screen). For example, the output of the program for the name Edward Parrish would be:

E    D  D w  w A  A R  R D  D  P  P A  A R  R R  R  II  S    H  H
E    D  D wwww A  A R  R D  D  P    A  A R  R R  R  II     S H  H
EEEE DDD  ww w A  A R  R DDD   P    A  A R  R R  R IIII SSS  H  H
Project Specifications
  1. Write your name with cout statements to the terminal window in banner-sized letters like the above using a 4 character width by 5 character height (4x5) letters, with one space between letter blocks and two spaces between words.
  2. The name of the source code file must be banner.cpp.
  3. Each banner letter must be made from the uppercase letters of the letter being created.
    For example, a banner "A" would be made of uppercase A's as shown above.
  4. Print at least two letters of your first name and two letters of your last name, all in uppercase letters.
  5. Overall, print at least 7 banner-sized letters and no more than 18.
    The example above has 13 banner-sized letters and the image has 9.
  6. Do not try to wrap the text in the terminal window because terminal windows may have different widths. Instead, end each line of text with a "\n" or endl (end-el NOT end-one).
  7. No input is needed or allowed.
  8. Your solution for this project must only use techniques we have covered so far.
  9. Submit the source code file banner.cpp with the rest of the assignment as described in Deliverables.

Students studying
Image source: Cabrillo College

Project 8: Attend an SI Session (2 points)

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a peer-assisted study sessions to help you learn the material, study smart and excel. For extra credit:

  1. Attend one of the sessions before this assignment is due
  2. Sign the roll sheet
  3. Type in your README.txt, "Attended SI" followed by the date(s) attended.

Tutorial Lab

In preparation for next weeks lessons, complete the following:

  1. Read the assigned reading in the textbook as listed on the schedule page.
  2. Complete the Tutorial Exercises for CodeLab 1.

    You can look at solutions if you miss your first attempt by clicking the "Solution" tab.

    Again, make certain you enrolled in the CodeLab for the correct semester and section or you will not receive credit for the work.

Grading Criteria

The instructor will assess your assignment using the following criteria. Thus you should check your assignment against these criteria to maximize your score.

Each criteria represents a specific achievement of your assignment and has a scoring guide. The scoring guide explains the possible scores you can receive. Some scoring guides have a list of indicators. These indicators are a sign of meeting, or a symptom of not meeting, the specific criterion. A single indicator may not always be reliable or suitable in a given context. However, as a group, the indicators show whether or not the work meets the criterion.

For information on grading policies, including interpretation of scores, see the syllabus.

Lesson Exercises (from Class)

  • 1: All lesson exercises attempted and turned in
  • 0: No lesson exercises turned in or wrong folder name

Learning and Intelligence Worksheet

  • 4: Student completed and submitted the learning worksheet with masterful writing
  • 3: Student completed and submitted the learning worksheet with modest effort; has minor writing errors.
  • 2: Student completed and submitted the learning worksheet with minimal effort; has many writing errors
  • 1: Student submitted the learning worksheet
  • 0: No learning worksheet submitted

Student Information Form

  • 4: Student completed and submitted the CS-11 Student Information form with substantial effort
  • 2: Student completed and submitted the CS-11 Student Information form with minimal effort
  • 0: No Student Information form submitted

Recognizable Image

  • 2: Instructor could easily identify the student from supplied image.
  • 1: Instructor could NOT easily identify the student from the supplied image.
  • 0: Specified image was not turned in or was inappropriate for an academic or professional setting.

README.txt File

  • 2: README.txt file completed following instructions and then submitted
  • 1: README.txt file submitted but some information was missing
  • 0: no README.txt file submitted

Exploring Code

  • 2: Completed the Hour of Code and included the link to your certificate in your README.txt file.
  • 1: Completed the Hour of Code and included the link to your certificate in your README.txt file, but the certificate does not include your full name.
  • 0: Not completed or no certificate link turned in.
  • -2: Turned in the Hour of Code with a link in your README.txt file, but the link has someone else's name on it.

Installation Lab

  • 1 point for describing your Cygwin or g++ installation in your README.txt
  • 1 point for submitting the hello executable file that you compiled after installation

CodeLab Exercises

Number completed correctly / number exercises * 8 and rounded up to the nearest integer.

Total possible: 25, plus extra credit


Students submit some homework as they work on it like CodeLab, the Google form, and Hwk 1 Quiz. However, students must submit other homework in Canvas following the link to A1-Getting Started. For detailed instructions see: How To Submit Homework Assignments. Include the following items when submitting to Canvas:

  1. All the exercise files from Lesson 1 including:
  2. README.txt file from Project 1 prepared by following the instructions for submitting homework.

    Be sure to include the link to your Hour of Code certificate in the README.txt as well as your name and other required information.

  3. Your image file from Project 3 above.
  4. Your learning.txt file from Project 4 above.
  5. Your executable (Application) file you created in the Project 6 (hello.exe on Windows, hello on Linux or Mac).

    You may need to zip your executable to submit to Canvas.

  6. Optionally, banner.cpp from the extra credit above.
  7. In addition, verify you have completed the:

Submit all the files needed to complete your assignment at one time. Your assignment must work as submitted. Remember to test and double check your files before submitting them. If you make a mistake, you can resubmit up to the deadline. If you resubmit, you must include all your assignment files in the last submission as Canvas hides prior submissions.

Last Updated: February 12 2020 @15:41:16