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

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Thu Oct 20 03:18:23 CEST 2005

> I am certainly not saying it is not important.  In fact, in my way, quite
> the opposite.
> Art

I'm sure you're aware of the XP approach:  write a test, just a simple one,
showing what you want your function to do:

assert 4 == add2(2)

OK, *now* write add2 (write a test *first*!).

I plan to explain to students that this is a purposely extreme philosophy,
and it grew up in tandem with increased emphasis on runtime checking, less
compile time checking.

Even if they don't practice it, they should know it's a practice.

Even if you don't insist on lots of tests, make sure they know in advance
that in some coding environments, rigorous tests will be required, no
exceptions.  And that's OK.


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