Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

Grant Edwards invalid at invalid.invalid
Tue Dec 17 20:38:27 CET 2013


On 2013-12-17, Mark Lawrence <breamoreboy at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> On 17/12/2013 16:59, Grant Edwards wrote:
>>
>> I've always thought C was a great language for low-level, bare-metal,
>> embedded stuff -- but teaching it to first or second year computer
>> science students is just insane.  C has a certain minimalist
>> orthogonality that I have always found pleasing.  [People who smile
>> wistfully when they think about the PDP-11 instruction word layouts
>> probably know what I mean.]
>
> I agree with you here, but wasn't there a tie-in between C and the rise 
> of Unix via universities, or am I barking in the wrong forest?

Yes, I think the popularity of Unix on university campuses is what
caused the migration from Pascal to C for freshman programming
classes.  IIRC, there were decent Pascal compilers for Unix back then,
so I still think it was a big mistake.  Later on when studying low
level OS stuff would have been a fine time to introduce C if required
for logistical reasons.

-- 
Grant Edwards               grant.b.edwards        Yow! Vote for ME -- I'm
                                  at               well-tapered, half-cocked,
                              gmail.com            ill-conceived and
                                                   TAX-DEFERRED!



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