He's a sophomore in high school and is taking a Java class. I'm primarily a C# guy, but I write a lot of Groovy, so helping with Java is no big deal. What shocked me is that I don't believe that his teacher knows much about Java. He was having some problems and she told him that she didn't know why it didn't work, but he needed to fix it. So, when he came over it wouldn't compile. His first problem was that his filename was not the same as his class name. When she sent it back to him with comments she renamed it. He did not know about this, so we fixed that up and we're able to get useful information out of the compiler about the rest of his errors. He had 10 errors, all spelling, or missing semicolons. Fix those up and it will build. His new methods don't work though. He added them outside of the class declaration. No big deal, move one curly brace and we are working. I nudged him along and it took about 15 minutes of leading him to be able to find the answer for himself. After we were all set, we got to the real meat of his work, which was cropping images.
I'm frustrated about what we did in the first 15 minutes, for a teacher to just say, I don't know what's wrong, you need to fix it, is unacceptable to me. Especially for such rudimentary problems. It would have only taken me a couple of minutes if I just did it for him.
Then he shows me his online curriculum. Neat, it has instructional videos. This is for all classes, not just his Java class. Thing is that the videos are all on YouTube, which is blocked at their school, so they are useless during the day.
In the end, it was a great evening. We spent a lot of time formatting his code. I taught him some of my patterns and practices and gave him some pointers on how to find his answers for his class on Google. (Like the file name thing). However, I did not write any code for him. He's a trooper and I am very proud of him to be taking a programming class at his age, even if it is Java. I just wish his teacher had more knowledge about it.