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

From: Richard Cleis (rcleis at mac.com)
Date: Fri Oct 15 18:01:45 EDT 2004

Hmmm.  A five year plan.  Can you create a Gantt chart of this progress with Microsoft Project?

My perspective (as a sort of system engineer that writes much of his own software) is that programmers are almost uncontrollably attracted to extending existing ideas at the expense of trying new ones.  This is driven by the corporate environment, so I am not sure how education can solve that... unless they can be taught to say 'no' much more often.  Elsewhere in this thread it is claimed that other cultures are less likely to say 'no' than the USA.  I find that difficult to imagine, let alone realize.
On Friday, October 15, 2004, at 02:25PM, Neil W. Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:

>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.

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