[plt-scheme] Scheme for first year CS classes, good or bad?

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 22 10:15:40 EDT 2009

It is one common misunderstanding of people in so-called 'hard'  
discipline to think of their problems as 'difficult' and to think of  
things in 'soft' disciplines as 'easy.' Nothing can be further from  
the truth of course. For example, human communication about technical  
matters is one of the most difficult problems I have encountered; it  
resists a solution much more than the so-called Full Abstraction  
problem, which I solved (in some way) after it was open for 30 years.  
In this light, I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues who think  
that every communication should be (type and proof) checked but I  
suspect that it is grossly misguided.

To sell the curriculum at NEU, I started using the slogan

  Programming is a People Discipline

some four or five years ago, and it worked wonders. It really is what  
HtDP is all about and even 'industrialists' understand it and support  
it. Well, anyone with a modicum of experience in industry and the  
desired to deliver more than s'f.

-- Matthias

On Oct 22, 2009, at 10:01 AM, Prabhakar Ragde wrote:

> Robby Findler wrote:
>> Well, that and his "take it like a man" seems woefully misplaced. :)
> This is telling, too, as it is symptomatic of a certain kind of  
> programmer macho which views any attempt at communication with human  
> beings (conventions, documentation, readable keywords and function  
> names) as "soft" or "unmasculine" (cf. "Real men don't use Macs").  
> To his credit, the original reddit poster seems to be listening to  
> and learning from the responses to his post (though he's still being  
> stubborn about if versus cond). --PR
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