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 The Perils of Java Schools
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wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:37 am   Post subject: The Perils of Java Schools

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html
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Martin




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:12 am   Post subject: (No subject)

TFA wrote:
All the kids who did great in high school writing pong games in BASIC for their Apple II would get to college, take CompSci 101, a data structures course, and when they hit the pointers business their brains would just totally explode, and the next thing you knew, they were majoring in Political Science because law school seemed like a better idea. I've seen all kinds of figures for drop-out rates in CS and they're usually between 40% and 70%. The universities tend to see this as a waste; I think it's just a necessary culling of the people who aren't going to be happy or successful in programming careers.


Yeah, that's me. Shit.

And see? I'm completely justified in enjoying C++.
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:29 am   Post subject: (No subject)

You don't need to use C++ to deal with pointers. Smile
Martin




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:02 am   Post subject: (No subject)

What language would you recommend? Ruby, perhaps?
codemage




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:20 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

I did
1st year = Java / Pascal
2nd year = C / C++
3rd & 4th years = language independent / misc
(which meant C++ for independent work, and usually java for group projects).
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:15 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Martin wrote:
What language would you recommend? Ruby, perhaps?


If the goal is to teach pointers, and not a broader introduction to programming, then C is perhaps a better match than C++. While it lacks generics which are exceptionally useful for data structures, it's also a far simpler language semantically.

Pascal can also deal with pointers, and is perhaps even more straightforward for use in an educational environment.

codemage wrote:
I did
1st year = Java / Pascal
2nd year = C / C++
3rd & 4th years = language independent / misc
(which meant C++ for independent work, and usually java for group projects).


Have you worked with functional programming languages?
Andy




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:40 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

it pisses me off to see newb programmers play around with pointers randomly and finish their projects using tne.. when i started pointers we did it in c++, and if u sucked, you get the BSOD and you have to reboot ur system.. java is spoonfeeding way too much
rizzix




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:45 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Nah not C, Cyclone and D
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:49 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

rizzix wrote:
Nah not C, Cyclone and D


Well, yes... but given the choice between C and C++ alone, C is the simpler language to teach and does just as much to explain how pointers work.

For it's safety, Cyclone is actually likely a bit more complex than C.
rizzix




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:57 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

well you don't have to teach them how to use @ and ? (avoid, non-nulls and pointer arithmetic, until more advanced courses)

the * pointer in Cyclone is pretty safe, since it does not allow pointer arithmetic.


edit: actually, maybe just stick to ?... since you have to use them for arrays.. so yea pointer arithmetic.. but at least it has runtime bounds checking... acutally u know what.. nvm.. teach everything.. it's all there for a reason.
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:02 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Either way, I trust we can agree that understanding pointers is important. Smile

Maybe they're not something you should use much in production code when safer options exist, but just because you shouldn't do something, doesn't mean you shouldn't know how to do it. Wink
rizzix




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:06 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

well you definitely need to know how to do it, if you should not be doing it. Wink
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:08 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Exactly!
Martin




PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:24 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Yeah, at my last internship myself and the other student gave each other nicknames. I was Martin "Memory Leak" Kess and he was Eric "Seg Fault" Lai. Good times.
Hikaru79




PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:27 am   Post subject: (No subject)

What's really cool is that article links to a page full of downloadable video lectures: http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/classes/6.001/abelson-sussman-lectures/

Look at that first one, wtd Smile A lecture on Lisp! (it even comes with a free copy of the complementary textbook)
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