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jim hopper <[log in to unmask]>
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jim hopper <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 10:18:02 -0500
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Richard,  your post was interesting, but very scary.  if all the kids
in university are learning is how to use visual basic to do visually
stunning, but irrelevant programs (mind candy) than we are indeed in
big trouble.  how does a person make the jump from a dependence on
precanned libraries using such tools to the real world??  are we
going to graduate an entire generation of university students who
think programming should be that easy?   visual basic and other such
tools it seems to me should be forbidden to cs students until they
learn the fundamentals and how to do it the correct way.  how many
bridges and buildings have fallen down around the world (and other
catastrophes) because some engineer was just taught the formulas and
not the basics of how the equations are derived, and where they are
valid and where they are not.

I already dispair over the younger people i work with today because
they don't have any idea of what their code really does because they
seldom are taught much of anything about assembly language and the
guts of processors.  Now you are suggesting that and even more
ignorant group are on their way, who think that writing a program is
just a matter of sticking the proper libraries together!  Sounds a
lot like the engineers who think that building a bigger bridge is
just a matter of sticking the same old equations and designs together!

At a recent computer software engineering course in the US, the participants
were given an awkward question to answer.  "If you had just boarded an
airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible
for the flight control software, how many of you would disembark
                     unknown author