[plt-scheme] Last year students...

From: Evan Farrer (farrer at cs.utah.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 21 09:25:22 EDT 2006

I'm not terribly surprised.  I'm a student working on my Masters, and I work as a Software Engineer, for many of my classmates, and my coworkers, Software Development is a job, that they use to pay this bills, although they enjoy it they're not passionate about it.  In there defense I don't know many electricians that go an rewire they're house on the weekends just for fun either ;).  I do think that there are more graduate students then undergrads that are passionate about software development (if you just want a job why go to grad school?), and I've finally been able to find a job where many of my co-workers are passionate about software development too (It just took about 10 years), but overall many are satisfied to find a job programming in any language, and hang out in the break-room talking about other things.

As far as programming in Scheme, I took a Programming Languages class from Matthew Flatt as an undergrad, but I wasn't smart enough to figure out the beauty of Scheme, it took me several years of banging my head against the C/C++/Java/Perl wall, and a second class from Matthew to be able to figure out Scheme's simple elegance.

So maybe your students just need more time and another introduction, or maybe they just want a good paying job so they can spend their free time doing what they're really passionate about.


On Fri, Apr 21, 2006 at 01:00:49PM +0100, Paulo J. Matos wrote:
> Hi all,
> This semester I'm teaching Data Mining and Data Warehousing techniques
> to last year students in Software and Computer Engineering (which has
> nothing to do with Scheme). So I asked in all my classes the exact
> same thing:
> "Who has programmed in Scheme since it's first year subject
> Programming Fundamentals?"
> Nobody!
> "Well, ok, so in what do you usually program in your free-time? Maybe
> Java, C++?"
> Nothing...
> "Nothing? I asked astonished? So you're have never been interested in
> participating in an open source project or develop some personal
> project on your own apart from college software projects?"
> Nope... Their answer was No!
> Well, I was a bit shocked... not really due to the fact that they have
> not programmed in Scheme except as a first programming language but
> that software engineering students were not involved in
> extra-curricular projects outside college and they were not even
> interested to get involved.
> I'm quite curious to know some information from other colleges, are
> the majority of your students like this? If not, why do you think this
> is so? Has your  college enforced any rule to make them participate in
> extra-curricular software development? I think any commentary is
> welcome...
> Above all, it seems to be that Flatt's, Shriram's, Findler's, etc...
> have some post graduate student working with them in PLT Scheme... How
> come you found those? Are those a minority willing to work with
> Scheme? Before they started to work with you, did they use Scheme at
> all?
> Cheers,
> --
> Paulo Jorge Matos - pocm at sat inesc-id pt
> Web: http://sat.inesc-id.pt/~pocm
> Computer and Software Engineering
> INESC-ID - SAT Group
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