[plt-scheme] Perplexed Programmers

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Aug 30 08:52:01 EDT 2007

On Aug 29, 2007, at 10:46 PM, Richard Cleis wrote:

> I argue that the first role of computer scientists in these cases  
> is to convince leaders that established, rigorous strategies exist  
> for developing data processing systems... and that these strategies  
> are wasted if they are applied to disorganized activities.  Much of  
> the discussion here has covered another role of computer  
> scientists: developing programming practices for ensuring that the  
> strategies are successful.  Please save me further embarrassment if  
> I am wrong about these points.

The conversation has touched on both issues:

-- stemming the tide of 'idiot' books/leaders/claims i.e. the whole  
idea that anyone can program with just a book on 'programming for  
idiots' under his belt. It is an exaggeration that these are the only  
'bad' guys who go for low-ball software, but it is the most visible  

-- plus developing improved ways on teaching good design and  
spreading it. I don't think that we really know enough, though I  
agree with SK here that we have improved tremendously in the last 40  
years on this front. From nothing to a D-, at least. 

So no, you're right. -- Matthias

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