TITLE: Another Connection to Journalism AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: June 17, 2009 9:48 PM DESC: ----- BODY: a picture of Dave Winer While reading about the fate of newspapers prior to writing my recent entry on whether universities are next, I ran across a blog entry by Dave Winer called If you don't like the news.... Winer had attended a panel discussion at the UC-Berkeley school of journalism. After hearing what he considered the standard "blanket condemnation of the web" by the journalists there, he was thinking about all the blogs he would love to have shown them -- examples of experts and citizens alike writing about economics, politics, and the world; examples of a new sort of journalism, made possible by the web, which give him hope for the future of ideas on the internet. Here is the money quote for me:
I would also say to the assembled educators -- you owe it to the next generations, who you serve, to prepare them for the world they will live in as adults, not the world we grew up in. Teach all of them the basics of journalism, no matter what they came to Cal to study. Everyone is now a journalist. You'll see an explosion in your craft, but it will cease to be a profession.
Replace "journalism" with "computer science", and "journalist" with "programmer", and this statement fits perfectly with the theme of much of this blog for the past couple of years. I would be happy to say this to my fellow computer science educators: Everyone should now be a programmer. We'll see an explosion in our craft. Will programming cease to be a profession? I don't think so, because there is still a kind and level of programming that goes beyond what most people will want to do. Some of us will remain the implementors of certain tools for others to use, but more and more we will empower others to make the tools they need to think, do, and maybe even play. Are academic computer scientists ready to make this shift in mindset? No more so than academic journalists, I suspect. Are practicing programmers? No more so than practicing journalists, I suspect. Purely by happenstance, I ran across another quote from Winer this week, one that expresses something about programming from the heart of a programmer:
i wasn't born a programmer.
i became one because i was impatient.
-- @davewiner
I suspect that a lot of you know just what he means. How do we cultivate the right sort of impatience in our students? -----