Teaching kids about computers...

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sat Nov 24 17:54:44 CST 2007

> Tools are developed to make a job easier and do it better; in my opinion taking
> advantage of those tools and doing things "the easy way" makes you more
> professional, not less. 

I would agree, but...

1) Being able ot use the tools, however proficiently, does not 
necessarily equate with being able to design/make those tools. I haev 
never used dBase (or any other database for that matter), so I can't 
comment on that, but I will claim that being able to use _some_ 
application programs does not make you a programmer.

2) The initial question was about education. Education is not production. 
When you're prodcuing something, of course you use all the applicable 
tools. When you're leaning about things, you have to do things 'by hand' 
to understand them (and example of this, from another context, is that 
photography couses used to insist that the students used cameras with 
manaul focuessing and exposure cotnrol, so they could learn what said 
adjustments meant, even though if you were being paid to take photographs 
you would _probably_ welcome some automation). I fact I will go further 
and say that the true professionals not only use the right tools, but 
also fully understnad how those tools work and behave, because that way 
they can use them more effectvely. 

> A programming professional's job is to deliver a product that meets the client's
> needs, is well documented and easily maintained, and is delivered on time and
> within budget. Knowing or caring about the arcane details of a disk drive or being
> able to program an OS-less computer in binary may matter if you're working on
> an embedded controller but it's pretty irrelevant if the project is a client accounting 
> system for a large financial institution.

Tuew, but a 'client system for a large finanicail instution' is hardly 
the only type ofr computer application. 


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