[plt-scheme] Perplexed Programmers

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Mon Aug 27 17:22:38 EDT 2007

On Aug 27, 2007, at 4:37 PM, Anton van Straaten wrote:

> Is anyone familiar with studies of the proportion of working  
> programmers with a formal education in programming?  I see plenty  
> of e.g. arts majors in programming.  The part of the education  
> system that teaches computing can't be blamed (very much) for the  
> behavior of those it didn't have the opportunity to teach.

That's correct indeed. I wasn't even thinking of the many programmers  
who learned it from a 24-minutes-for-assembly book. For those, we can  
blame the irresponsible authors and publishers who make everyone  
think that programming is easily within reach for everyone with just  
a bit of keyboarding knowledge.

>> So I reject the idea of blaming an anonymous 'system' instead of  
>> the  participants.
> Isn't "the system" just a way to talk about all those factors you  
> haven't yet isolated?  E.g. managers are often not rewarded, and  
> may even be punished, for thinking long-term.  To address that, we  
> have to drag shareholders, board directors, fiscal policy authors,  
> politicians, and voters into the equation, at least.

Systems probably has two meanings: the one you mention and (what I  
assume when I hear it) the mechanism for shifting blame away from  
people to something else. And yes, good development should widen the  
circle of stakeholders and bring them in.

In general, too few people understand depreciation and that's what  
it's about.

-- Matthias

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