EWD on Industrial Software Products

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Edsger W Dijkstra on why he would NOT teach his students to use “industrialâ€
    (i.e. proprietary) products
    <http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD12xx/EWD1283.html>:

    At my former university it was a firm principle of the informatics group
    that we would _not_ teach our students how to use industrial products.
    The main reasons at the time were

    • the quality of industrial products was never up to academic
    standards, and

    • the market being as fickle as it is, the industrial product was of
    volatile significance only.

    Later I learned how much the purposes of the University and those of
    industry can diverge. Universities, believe it or not, are interested in
    education, but I learned of industries that were not interested in
    education at all, neither in an educated work force, nor in an educated
    customer base. On the contrary, they preferred a docile, brainwashed
    work force and undemanding customers hooked on their products.

    Points worth noting any time somebody wails “we must teach our students
    about products from [Company X], because that’s what they’ll be using in the
    real worldâ€.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 17, 2010
    #1
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