[plt-scheme] Re: More pedagogic stuff

From: Viera Proulx (vkp at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 13 14:47:11 EDT 2008

> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 1:03 PM, Marco Morazan <morazanm at gmail.com>  
> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 12:38 PM, David Einstein <deinst at gmail.com>  
> wrote:
> > I do not think that programming per se is or needs to be a  
> particularly
> > difficult endeavor.  With a scant few exceptions, we are not  
> engineers or
> > scientists,
> But programming IS a difficult endeavor. It requires careful study and
> a disciplined approach to development. Furthermore, livelihoods and,
> sometimes, lives depend on the correct functioning of software.
> The same is true of the guy that does my brakes.

Now that my students dutifully test every method in Java - because I  
gave them a tool that does not increase the difficulty of program  
design beyond what they already are doing --- I looked to see what the  
others do. Out of 20 popular Java textbooks not one asks for anything  
that resembles tests the way we know them. Maybe some println  
statements. They all include a two page sections where they explain  
that testing is important and people do it in real life.

Our students learn from designing examples and tests. (And it also  
makes them write smaller methods, delegate more - because it is very  
hard to test a monster method that does twenty different things.)

It may not be science, but it is a disciplined practice.

-- Viera

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