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Programming Education

Learning To Code: Are We Having Fun Yet? 226

theodp writes "Nate West has a nice essay on the importance of whimsy in learning to program. "It wasn't until I was writing Ruby that I found learning to program to be fun," recalls West. "What's funny is it really doesn't take much effort to be more enjoyable than the C++ examples from earlier...just getting to write gets.chomp and puts over cout > made all the difference. Ruby examples kept me engaged just long enough that I could find Why's Poignant Guide to Ruby." So, does the future of introductory computer programming books and MOOCs lie in professional, business-like presentations, or does a less-polished production with some genuine goofy enthusiasm help the programming medicine go down?"
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Learning To Code: Are We Having Fun Yet?

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  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:16AM (#44922823)

    Hello! I see you are trying to create an array which is bigger than the RAM on your computer. Would you like me to order additional RAM on amazon.com for you at the cost of USD$5,452,981,583 or would you rather create a 1 petabyte swap file on your 3 terabyte hard drive? - Clippy

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:19AM (#44922829)

    PHP is a much, much better choice! Everything just fucking works, even when some parameters are wrong and you're mixing variable types all over the place. /duck

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:29AM (#44922883) Journal

    Hello! I see you are trying to create an array which is bigger than the RAM on your computer.

    Is the array called make_prog_look_big [mit.edu]?

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:59AM (#44923055)

    My understanding is that management only hires people who have fun doing their job because management is largely made up of Funpires who need to slowly leech the fun out of their victims, leaving them soulless corpses.

    Seriously, why else would they veto Pants-Free Fridays?

  • by T.E.D. (34228) on Monday September 23, 2013 @10:13AM (#44924119)

    The author wrote an "epic" of his own, all word-wrapped in the column space from 73 to 132 (the width of common teletype paper and long Hollerith punch cards). What a waste of his time, you might think. But it was also a huge impediment to maintenance; you see, people in the lab LIKED his story (for a while), so they had to figure out how to patch the logic without breaking the flow of the story.

    I've been a professional software developer for nearly 25 years now, and did it for fun for about 10 years prior to that. I'm old and jaded, and before this morning I thought I had come across every way in which a well-meaning person can make a computer program difficult to maintain.

    Thank you more than words can express for restoring my sense of wonder in the universe today.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga