14 September 2006

Why Johnny Can't Code

Why Johnny Can't Code A Salon Article written by David Brin.

This is a great article talking about the sad reality that these days, many operating systems don't have a neat, easy built in command line programming language. Like BASIC, which was in all the OS's from the micro, mini, and home computer revolution in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's.

Great reading, and certainly gives some insight into why a generation of computer geeks (like myself) have it built into our system (crikey - I've been programming since 1977, when the father of a friend of mine taught his son and me how to program in basic on a TRS-80 Model 1). These days, kids learn it all in school. Many get into it because it will be a "good career". Well, you can certainly see the difference between someone who is self taught and has it in their soul, compared to someone who learns it as career development. The difference is between a practitioner (the latter) and a geek (the former). Geeks breathe the stuff, practitioners merely do it.



Anonymous Jon Schwartz said...

Hi Chuck, David Brin replied to my blog about his article with some clarification about "Why Johnny Can't Code". His response pretty much shows that he wishes more people had read it like you did, instead of getting stuck on BASIC. The problem is really that there is no easily accessible way that a beginner can just start programming on any computer they happen to sit down in front of. It doesn't have to be BASIC. I also happen to work on something called Kid's Programming Language, and it's followon, Phrogram, which are more than a little relevant to the topic. :) I've linked the blog exchange at my name's URL. Seperately, from David's web page: "What I didn't expect was the flurry of intensely passionate replies!" :)

27 September, 2006 11:43  

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