Teaching programming vs. teaching a language

Jonathan Bennett jonathan.bennett at uk.builder.com
Mon Aug 7 16:25:07 BST 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: london.pm-bounces at london.pm.org
[mailto:london.pm-bounces at london.pm.org] On Behalf Of Uri Guttman

> was pascal ever used in large real world shops? i barely learned it
> hated it with a passion!) for a college thing 30 years ago. on the
> hand, c/c++ which supplanted pascal in school are used quite a bit as
> know. pascal was so crippled as to be unproductive in the real world
> IMNSHO. too bad java isn't recognized to have the same flaws.

Yes, Pascal was used in the real world, in the shape of Turbo Pascal and

But maybe that's not the point. Would you teach someone to drive in a
7.5 ton truck, or a single-seater racing car? No, you'd use a Ford
Fiesta or something equally noddy, fitted with dual controls.

So when you're teaching programming, you should use a language that's a
good tool for teaching, not necessarily one that's good for actual use
in the real world.

I worry that people are being taught the idiosyncrasies of particular
languages (learning "Java") rather than general programming principles,
and that's how we end up with language bigots. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Jonathan Bennett
Editor, Builder UK


Builder UK is a CNET Networks Inc. property

More information about the london.pm mailing list