What killed Smalltalk could kill Python

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 02:45:32 CET 2015

On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 12:38 PM, Paul Rubin <no.email at nospam.invalid> wrote:
> Mario Figueiredo <marfig at gmail.com> writes:
>> "I want to become a programmer so I can make games" is, on the vast
>> majority of cases, the quote of someone who will never become a
>> programmer. Why should teachers reward that kind of thought?
> I don't see what the problem is.  Kids are interested in games and they
> are into playing them, so of course they also want to program them.

It's not a terrible justification for getting into programming. But
writing games is (almost always) a terrible way to start programming.
Either you pick up a super-restrictive "hey look, you can build a game
with just point and click" system, which isn't teaching programming at
all, or you end up getting bogged down in the massive details of what
it takes to write code.

If someone's unfazed by the "it'll take you years before you can
actually write a saleable game" consideration, then getting into
programming via toys (writing Fizz Buzz or a factorial calculator)
will put him/her on a much better footing for actual coding work.


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