Programming Merit Badge
Requirements for the Programming merit badge:
- Safety. Do the following:
- Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
- Discuss first aid and prevention for potential injuries, such as eyestrain and repetitive stress injuries, that could occur during programming activities.
- History. Do the following:
- Give a brief history of programming, including at least three milestones related to the advancement or development of programming.
- Discuss with your counselor the history of programming and the evolution of programming languages.
- General knowledge. Do the following:
- Create a list of 10 popular programming languages in use today and describe which industry or industries they are primarily used in and why.
- Describe three different programmed devices you rely on every day.
- Intellectual property. Do the following:
- Explain the four types of intellectual property used to protect computer programs.
- Describe the difference between licensing and owning software.
- Projects. Do the following:
- With your counselor's approval, choose a sample program. Modify the code or add a function or subroutine to it. Debug and demonstrate the modified program to your counselor.
- With your counselor's approval, choose a second programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirement 5a and in a different industry from 5a. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
- With your counselor's approval, choose a third programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirements 5a and 5b and in a different industry from 5a or 5b. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
- Explain how the programs you wrote for requirements 5a, 5b, and 5c process inputs, how they make decisions based on those inputs, and how they provide outputs based on the decision making.
- Careers. Find out about three career opportunities that require knowledge in programming. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required. Discuss this with your counselor and explain why this career might be of interest to you.
Oct 15, 2013 - Scott Bean
Im a programmer by trade and I think its great that this badge exists. The requirements to achieve this is very impressive. I applaud all those that achieve this merit badge. Ive programmed for 25 + years so its great to see this is being promoted in such a positive manner. Good luck to all.
Apr 27, 2016 - LJ
If you notice the lighter 1s and 0s on the badge itself, in binary the spell out BSA.
Feb 07, 2022 - Eric Wolf
I just taught this in classroom format and think it could be reviewed and made better. Requirements 5a, 5b and 5c could probably stand to be merged into a single language structure and in a format the scout would actually retain. It's a little unrealistic to ask a Scout to attain working knowledge of three programming languages and I fear that a lot of them are punting to Stack Overflow for answers instead of retaining the knowledge. Imagine basically being asked to be conversational in three different spoken languages. That's a drastic example, but not completely out of line. I've been a coder since I was 8; in my 40's now and do it professionally. I know what it takes as a teenager to pick up a programming language and would just like for this to be more successful. As is, it's in the bottom 1/3rd of badges attained. I'm not saying water it down, but make it more meaningful. The rest of the requirements are wonderful.
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