[plt-scheme] Re: HTDP - evidently not for everyone.

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 10 15:39:51 EST 2010

On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM, wooks <wookiz at hotmail.com> wrote:
> My 100 hours has been with the "great unwashed". People who have not
> been filtered through any academic (be it university or high school)
> admissions system.
> I don't want to go further into chapter and verse, but if you want to
> measure your beliefs about human aptitude for a universal education in
> programming, then my clientele probably provide a less biased sample
> than what you are accustomed to.

Been there, done that! Indeed, the easiest course of action is to
throw our hands up in the air, claim that some students do not have
the "programming gene," and simply give up on these students. This, of
course, goes contrary to the fact that we all have the same basic
general hardware. There should be little doubt that if a person can
read and write they can perform abstraction. If a person can hold a
job, have friends, have a family, drive a car, or play board games and
cards, then they can learn to program. Like it or not, we all perform
programming tasks all our lives. Perhaps, we do not implement them
using a programming language but we do program them. Simply stated,
humans can not function without programming their activities (from
cave dwellers to modern man).

I have dealt with tough grossly under-prepared students in my CS
classes. In fact, I seem to deal with them every semester. Their lack
of experience/training/maturity does not equate to inability. There is
no doubt that there are a tough group to teach. They come with more
crutches than I care to count and it takes lots of experience (and a
good dose of pure will and ingenuity) to learn how to lead them to
success with computer programming. So, wooks send me your
"programming-gene-lacking" students and I will turn those who show
even a hint of interest and willingness to work hard into programmers.
I have not figured out how to make the lazy and those not interested
into computer programmers.




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