[Edu-sig] Python as a first language for computer sciencist

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Thu Oct 20 02:19:07 CEST 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: edu-sig-bounces+ajsiegel=optonline.net at python.org [mailto:edu-sig-
> bounces+ajsiegel=optonline.net at python.org] On Behalf Of Kirby Urner
> Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 7:14 PM
> To: 'Mark Engelberg'; edu-sig at python.org
> Subject: Re: [Edu-sig] Python as a first language for computer sciencist
> With the rise of dynamic or agile languages (not just Python), new
> developer
> practices have gained in importance, with the eXtreme Programming (XP)
> philosophy being a chief exponent of same.  Per XP, your above function
> would have had a test written for it, perhaps embedded directly in its
> documentation (Python supports this).  A runtime assertion should have
> failed, and flagged the problem.

Love disagreeing with Kirby.

When do we get to play, to hack around.

I think emphasizing unit testing, too early, is really no better than
emphasizing access modification, too early.  And the advantage of working,
early, with a language like Python begins to loose its luster.

Let's not make learning to program all make-believe, all the time.  

When students have something substantial enough, and intricate enough, where
unit testing is a real solution to a real problem - yes.

But that's probably a few years in.


More information about the Edu-sig mailing list