Hi, John,

I like what you said.  I think we are coming around
to this kind of conclusion.  Mike Feldman also pointed
out the different kinds of schools.

Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of John P. Woodruff
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 6:19 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What the competition looks like
> I've been reading the correspondence that Rick Conn started, and
> some ideas
> that folks stated provokes my inner curmudgeon.
> I start from Jim Hopper's (sardonic, not sincere) quote:
> >Physics would keep so many more freshmen if we didn't bore them with
> >the fundamentals of silly things like newtons laws of motion, and
> >such.  if we just went right to learning about how to use them to
> >make weapons, and other glitzy fun things we would excite way more of
> >them to stay in the field.
> This makes me think that there probably two collections of freshman out
> there: the ones that Rick knows:
> >> In a very practical sense, if you
> >> try to tell Freshmen how great generics, inheritance,
> >> etc., are, it's likely that those who don't quit after
> >> the first two weeks will have not done so because they
> >> fell asleep and did not wake up in time ;-).
> And the (far less numerous) ones that still live to the ideal
> John Apa tells:
> >   [...]   I don't recall "fun" being a
> >requirement (well, maybe after class!). I certainly didn't have any
> >professors that worried whether we were having fun or not, they
> only cared
> >if we learned the material. Besides, how much fun is it to work
> 60+ hours a
> >week trying to beat a deadline because your requirements changed
> at the last
> >minute? Or that COTS device driver doesn't quite work at all
> with two days
> >to go?
> >I was there to learn my engineering skills so I could go out
> into the real
> >world, get a job, and be productive.
> So my proposition is: there are two consumers of the education in the
> computing field: folks who might follow a career path like mine
> (we can get
> them to major in software engineering, but when I went to university,
> computers weren't science yet ;-)  They earn degrees in physics or EE and
> they build hard-science projects like astrophysics simulations and fusion
> control systems.   And the other folks: they implement the glitz for
> commercial "send-in-your-money.com".
> The VB glitz builders are certainly most numerous at present (Silicon
> Valley is just one traffic jam south of where I live). But I think the
> lasting value of well engineered technology (yes, I mean Ada)
> will continue
> to offer livelihood for the engineers among us even after the current
> market bubble does whatever it is that bubbles do.
> So I suggest folks who can influence computer education select their
> target. Us Ada groupies can be most effective if we feed the intellects of
> those students who will profit from the discipline we are able to teach.
> There are such folks, but they may always be in a minority.
> --
> John Woodruff                                   N I F   \ ^ /
> Lawrence Livermore National Lab               =====---- < o >
> 925 422 4661                                            / v \