What is the difference between ' and "?

. 1 min read

Soon after printing 'Hello World', curious students often ask, "What is the difference between using single and double quotes when printing?"

How would you answer the question without using any technical words?

My strategy

My strategy is to not answer the question.

What? I am the mentor! Isn't it my job to answer the questions?!?

If the student has successfully printed "Hello World", they can answer this question by themselves.

Don't tell the student the answer, instead help them along. Invite the student to experiment with an exercise (like this one). Invite the student to play and deliberately trigger syntax errors. Ask the student "What do you expect to happen?" before they run the script.

Let the student have their moment

In a coding workshop, there is no greater thrill than the feeling of teaching yourself something new. Outstanding coaches know when to explain a concept, and when to keep their mouths shut.

During every workshop, I want the student to have a moment when they realise "I am fucking awesome!" and "I got this!"

Let the student show you how brilliant they are.

Let the student have their moment.

Photo by oldskool photography on Unsplash.