TITLE: Technical Problems Are The Easy Ones AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 18, 2014 2:33 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Perhaps amid the daily tribulations of a software project, Steven Baker writes
Oy. A moving goal line, with a skeleton crew, on a shoestring budget. Technical problems are the easy ones.
And here we all sit complaining about monads and Java web frameworks... My big project this semester has not been developing software but teaching beginners to develop software, in our intro course. There is more to Intro than programming, but for many students the tasks of learning a language and trying to write programs comes to dominate most everything else. More on that soon. Yet even with this different sort of project, I feel much as Baker does. Freshmen have a lot of habits to learn and un-learn, habits that go well beyond how they do Python. My course competes with several others for the students' attention, not to mention with their jobs and their lives outside of school. They come to class with a lifetime of experience and knowledge, as well some surprising gaps in what they know. A few are a little scared by college, and many worry that CS won't be a good fit for them. The technical problems really are the easy ones. -----