[Edu-sig] [python-advocacy] education as Python killer app

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Sun May 27 07:47:59 CEST 2007

In a message of Sat, 26 May 2007 03:46:25 CDT, Jeff Rush writes:
>  http://wiki.python.org/moin/Advocacy/ProgrammingForNewprogrammers
>I call that group "new programmers" - somehow calling them normal or average
>folk seems mildly insulting to someone, and calling them "non-programmers"
>isn't accurate if our goal is to teach them programming, albeit non-vocational
>style.  "Non-professional programmers"?  "Typical" people?  "Making People

Dorai Thodla suggests 'beginners'.  And perhaps that would work.  But
my initial reaction was negative.  It may simply be that I find the
labelling of people that distasteful.  In my world, labelling is
well-associated with building rigid and discriminatory class
structures,though 'beginner' seems relatively free of this particular

But that may be its own rub.  'Beginner' is a stage which one goes through
on the way to something else, while I think that Jeff is looking for
something that could well be permanent -- what Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
called (calls?) 'for the rest of us'.  She too was stuck on the 'but
what would I do with it' question.

The thing is that this sort of thing seems to be orthagonal to becoming
a professional programmer.  I know some professional programmers who
don't think that programming is fun.  They only do it for work, when
they are paid for it.  (Admittedly, they don't use python).  So they
don't have a box of helpful programs they have written over time to
automate some tedium out of their lives, even though they are well
equipped with the skills to do so.  But most of us have these quick
hacks lying all around.  And they are the sort of thing that could
appeal to professional programmers and non-programmers alike, because
they solve the sort of probelms that everybody has, not the sort
that only professional software developers call 'work'.


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