Sat, 3 Feb 2001 08:46:25 -0700
A while back, as part of the long thread stimulated by Ian Sommerville's
desertion to Java, Brit Snodgrass referenced "Bandwagons Considered Harmful" at
The article was written by David G. Kay.
I just read most of that paper, and agree that it is well-written, and
makes many good points r.e. teaching Computer Science.
In one section Dr. Kay makes a pretty good argument that C++ is probably
not a good introductory language, even though he doesn't bother to use at
least a dozen reasons he could have. However, in introducing the subject
he makes the following claim:
"Even apart from its object orientation, C++ provides a standardized
language available on all major platforms, with a well-developed mechanism
for enforcing modularity . . ."
C++ provides "a well-developed" mechanism for enforcing
modularity? Nothing could be further from the truth! It doesn't even
provide a well-conceived method for enforcing modularity!
To even teach young people that C++'s "mechanism for modularity" is
reasonable teaches them exactly the opposite of what they should be learning.
This is one simple example of why I say that almost all of contemporary
computer science curricula is, at best, worthless. And much of it is
damaging - sets students up to not be able to think clearly.
This is why I say, if you want to hire a good Software Engineer, hiring a
Computer Science grad is probably the worst way to get there. (Of course,
there are exceptions.)
S. Ron Oliver, semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer
caress Corporation is proud to be the U.S. representative for Top Graph'X,
developers of high quality software components, using Ada. For more
information, check out www.topgraphx.com.
Tired of sucky software! ? Check out www.caressCorp.com and follow the
links to software sucks and The Oliver Academy.