“A school’s top student in IT will probably be the one who knows how to work a spreadsheet and u

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Here’s a company trying to get the kids interested in real-world software
    development. Are the schools really that out of touch?

    <http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/schools-in-for-open-source-advocates>
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 10, 2011
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    John Little Guest

    Re: “A school’s top student in IT will probably be the one who knows how to work a spreadsheet and use PhotoShop.”

    On Jan 10, 3:29 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > Here’s a company trying to get the kids interested in real-world software
    > development. Are the schools really that out of touch?


    Yes, I think so. I base my opinion on the experience of my son, just
    finished school last year. I did more programming at school 30-odd
    years ago than he needed to complete the curriculum. There was some
    good emphasis on a development life cycle, and the documentation
    thereof; he's learned earlier than I did what a chore it can be.
    "work a spreadsheet and use Photoshop" is understating things
    substantially, throw in some HTML, Word, SQL (only one table at a
    time, though) and a few others I imagine.

    (Some minimal help and attitude from me a few years ago and he was
    away, to the detriment of his classmates' education; they just got him
    to do their coding.)

    In principle it's not the schools' faults, rather the curriculum,
    whoever sets that.

    Regards, John
     
    John Little, Jan 10, 2011
    #2
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  3. In message
    <>, John
    Little wrote:

    > There was some good emphasis on a development life cycle, and the
    > documentation thereof; he's learned earlier than I did what a chore it can
    > be.


    Did he do any rapid prototyping/incremental development? Use of version
    control?

    I don’t find documentation to be a “choreâ€.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 10, 2011
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    John Little Guest

    Re: “A school’s top student in IT will probably be the one who knows how to work a spreadsheet and use PhotoShop.”

    On Jan 11, 11:24 am, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:

    > Did he do any rapid prototyping/incremental development? Use of version
    > control?


    I'll have to ask him.

    > I don’t find documentation to be a “chore”.


    Well, what can I say? Fulfilling the expectations of other people
    (f.ex. PHBs, accountants, incompetents, ...) in documentation is never
    a chore?

    Regards, John
     
    John Little, Jan 11, 2011
    #4
  5. In message
    <>, John
    Little wrote:

    > On Jan 11, 11:24 am, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    >
    >> I don’t find documentation to be a “choreâ€.

    >
    > Well, what can I say? Fulfilling the expectations of other people
    > (f.ex. PHBs, accountants, incompetents, ...) in documentation is never
    > a chore?


    It’s all part of making a finished product. Do you find debugging a “chore�
    I find there can be a lot of satisfaction in tracking down and squashing
    bugs. And in writing good documentation.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 11, 2011
    #5
  6. In message <>, Allistar wrote:

    > If someone built something from scratch that would need to be maintained
    > by someone else in the future, then the sensible thing to do is to get the
    > original builder to document how the thing works.


    Tricky. Good coders aren’t always good at expressing themselves in human
    language.

    I’ve contributed to one or two open-source projects by a) figuring out what
    the code is doing, and b) documenting it, in comments or elsewhere.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 13, 2011
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    John Little Guest

    Re: “A school’s top student in IT will probably be the one who knows how to work a spreadsheet and use PhotoShop.”

    On Jan 11, 11:24 am, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:

    > Did he do any rapid prototyping/incremental development?


    Yes, some tasks were approached this way.

    > Use of version
    > control?


    No.

    Regards, John
     
    John Little, Jan 13, 2011
    #7
  8. In message
    <>, John
    Little wrote:

    > On Jan 11, 11:24 am, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    >
    >> Use of version control?

    >
    > No.


    I highly recommend he look at it. Even for a single person working alone, it
    helps maintain a complete development history, let you pursue alternative
    ideas, etc. This gives you the confidence to try new things and dump old
    ones, secure in the knowledge that you can always go back if you have to.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 13, 2011
    #8
  9. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    John Little Guest

    Re: “A school’s top student in IT will probably be the one who knows how to work a spreadsheet and use PhotoShop.”

    On Jan 14, 12:15 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > In message
    > <>, John


    > I highly recommend he look at it. Even for a single person working alone, it
    > helps maintain a complete development history, let you pursue alternative
    > ideas, etc. This gives you the confidence to try new things and dump old
    > ones, secure in the knowledge that you can always go back if you have to.


    Yeah, one of those lessons one doesn't have to learn the hard way.

    Regards, John
     
    John Little, Jan 14, 2011
    #9
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