Monday, September 22, 2008

In Praise of Scripting: Real Programming Pragmatism

IEE Computer Society's July 2008 edition has published an article - In Praise of Scripting: Real Programming Pragmatism (you need to pay $19 to IEEE to view the original article, alternatively you can click here to view the draft). In the abstract, the author recommends that scripting, not Java, be taught first, asserting that students should learn to love their own possibilities before they learn to loathe other people's restrictions.

Eric Wendelin, a Software Engineer at Sun Microsystems mentioned in his blog: What I wanted to know before I left college: A programmer reflects. As he pointed out:

" ... Summer internship that forced me to use computing languages that I had not touched before: Perl, PHP, and other CL tools in a mostly command-line Linux environment - Going outside your comfort zone ended up being HUGE in my career because I realized how to pick up technologies and try to build something useful with them. ..."

I totally agreed that computer science students should be exposed to various type of programming langauges / operating systems during their undergraduate study. BTW, if a language or an operating system can survive that long (UNIX was first developed in 1969, Bourne shell was released in 1977, AWK was written in 1977, Perl / Python / Tcl were developed in the late 1980s), sure it has its own niche area.

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