CS201: Industry Practice Lessons

Becoming a great software developer requires more than just learning how to write code. The new Industry Practice lessons in our CS201 course each focus on introducing or reinforcing an essential skill on students' journeys to becoming professional-caliber programmers.

Industry Practices

There are five Industry Practices presented throughout the CS201 course:

  • Planning a Program
  • Comments and Style
  • Debugging
  • Scoping and Presenting Work
  • Kanban

Later high school courses will include additional topics, from code reviews and unit testing to agile project management and testing prototypes with real users. The Unit Projects at the end of each unit provide students with the opportunity to apply all of the industry practices they've covered thus far.


Each Industry Practice lesson consists of two activities, designed to be completed within one day. The first activity is a fairly typical Instruction activity, presenting the new ideas students will need to master the target skill or skills. This Instruction activity includes new vocabulary terms, practical applications of the topic with specific examples, and numerous opportunities for students to share background knowledge and developing ideas.



The second activity is a direct application of the new skills students just learned. In Unit 1, for instance, the Planning a Program Instruction is followed by the first fully open-ended coding assignment (a "Code Your Own"). This requires students to implement and solidify the planning strategies discussed only moments earlier. Some application activities will require students to write code on the TechSmart platform, and some will be more centered around offline activities - the activities are determined by what best suits the topic.

Teaching an Industry Practice lesson is much like teaching any other TechSmart lesson! Even if you're still developing your own coding style or if the word "kanban" sounds like gibberish to you, rest assured that all of the information you need to confidently lead these lessons is available in the same familiar TechSmart tools, including Slide Notes and Code Instructions.

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