[plt-scheme] Re: Programming for non-programmers

From: Neil W. Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Fri Oct 15 17:25:01 EDT 2004

I doubt that the technological revolution you seek can come from the
main power-that-is, Microsoft.  The status quo grants them an enviable
position, where they have the lockin, resources, and continual "upgrade"
revenue stream to persist and thrive in an IT mess.  Even were MS
incentived to disrupt that, I'm going to speculate that the vast bulk of
their organization and their corporate culture(s) present huge barriers.

Startups with innovations can work, although they have to have an MS
plan, and MS often buys out and incorporates the promising upstarts into
the behemoth.  (And witness how the GNU/Linux desktop project, Gnome,
was essentially hijacked to throw support behind Microsoft .NET at a
rare and crucial PR juncture on the latest platform/mindshare grab by
MS.)  Cashing out to MS is often the dominant strategy from a startup's
perspective, although I don't think perpetuating the monopoly is optimal
for technology, business, or society.

That's what I see as a big part of the business side of the problem.

Another side of the problem is CS education, which has a lot of room for
improvement in turning out competent professionals and innovator

This education problem is in many ways more pleasant than the business
problem, especially since pretty much everyone would like to see more
and better developers.  So, now that everyone's goals are aligned, we
can see more industry and government 5-year investment in CS education,
yes? :)

Richard Cleis <rcleis at mac.com> writes at 13:31 15-Oct-2004 -0700:
> Is it the 'workers' that need educated or The Industry that needs
> educated?  The laments in this thread include errors (made by
> 'workers', of course) involving memory allocation, among other
> low-level issues.  In other words, after a four decade computer
> evolution where operating systems have surpassed a gigabyte, these
> environments are still so dumb that it is possible for 'workers' to
> make the same fundamental errors today as we did when I was a kid.
> I feel cheated; I was told that programs would be writing themselves
> by now! ;)
> On Friday, October 15, 2004, at 12:31PM, Neil W. Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
> >  For list-related administrative tasks:
> >  http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
> >
> >
> >> Finally, even with all the outsourcing and the post-bubble blues the 
> >> prediction of the industry association is that until 2012 there will 
> >> not be enough software/information professionals produced in the US.
> >
> >I understand that the industry association would like to see an
> >oversupply of workers.
> >
> >But perhaps the industry association is lamenting an undersupply of
> >workers who are more highly skilled than all the currently underemployed
> >and unemployed ones.
> >
> >In that case, it'd behoove industry associations to more aggressively
> >fund innovative CS education approaches and initiatives.
> >
> >HtDP and TeachScheme are two such beasts that come to mind.

Posted on the users mailing list.