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

From: Alex Peake (alex.peake at comac.com)
Date: Sat Oct 16 11:43:18 EDT 2004

>Message: 7
>Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:01:45 -0700
>From: Richard Cleis <rcleis at mac.com>
>To: "Neil W. Van Dyke" <neil at neilvandyke.org>
>Subject: Re: [plt-scheme] Re: Programming for non-programmers
>Cc: plt-scheme at list.cs.brown.edu
>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.

Education of a programmer, as was suggested earlier in the thread, should include "how to think".
Indeed, how about adding "how to innovate" (it can be taught!). The common theme, also as mentioned
earlier in the thread, is that once out of college most learning stops.

Let us add to that the mindset of the "enterprising" (entrepreneur if you like). To assume that all
progress is made in the work hours and environment is a recipe for, well, the current situation. The
"enterprising" find time to (as Alan Kay suggests) "invent the future". If you wait for the average
corporation, which as we all recognize, are populated by average people, then we get average


Posted on the users mailing list.