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Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

That's odd, because my sons go to a public school (in Alabama of all states, one of the states considered in the bottom half of the 50 US States) and he is only in 2nd grade now. He has already had some basic science instruction and he's not even completely adept at reading yet. I question the authenticity of your statement.

Comment Re: What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

This will hurt a lot of nerd ego, but programming is not hard at all. It requires average intelligence and mediocre learning skills. Geeks like to make it appear complicated and hard in order to appear smarter but people in the know cannot help but smile.

Despite the snark, I sort of agree with you. Programming is not as hard as some people suspect. Which is why I think schools should have more CS-related courses. That being said, while the fundamental basics of programming are not that difficult, the challenges lie in areas like developing or modifying algorithms, thinking of new ways to solve problems with software, working within the constraints of embedded systems with limited processing and memory constraints, etc. Anyone can write a hello world program. And that's precisely why we should be pushing programming to be more mainstream. In my opinion, in 50-100 years being able to write code will be a mandatory skill. It won't be a specialized career field. It will be a skill required by most career fields.

Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

Algebra and geometry is MUCH better at teaching problem solving skills. Basic word problems that the student solves teaches analysis (what is the problem), logic (how do I structure up a solution), and attention to detail (did I solve the problem correctly). Programming should come AFTER a solid foundation in logic, algebra and geometry (geometry because of the emphasis on equivalents and equalities/comparisons when looking at angles, polygons, etc).

Algebra and geometry are much better... so basically you didn't pay as much attention to your English classes as you did your Algebra and Geometry courses.

Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

I love how you make the logical leap from buggy software to programming being essential a worthless endeavor in schools. Basic science is already covered in school through Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc. Most of the anti-vaxxers are morons who probably spent too much time worrying about their cliches or about having fun and not spending their time actually learning in school. No amount of extra programs will make the lazy, unlazy.

Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

Not everyone is sufficiently adept at math or intelligent enough to be a computer scientist. Why didn't the President just say, "Neurosurgery for All?" Then everyone could be a neurosurgeon.

I have never bought the bullshit response that some people just aren't capable of being adept at Math. Yes, it is true that some people are just naturally more gifted at Math and thinking in terms of logic and algorithm analysis. That being said, anyone can learn to be extremely good at Math. It takes hard work, practice, and perseverance. It would be more accurate to say that many people are too lazy and impatient to put in the work to be sufficiently adept at math and intelligent enough to be a computer scientist.

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

Not everyone is a chef.

You don't have to be a chef to know how to prepare a meal that's edible and nutritious any more than you have to be a programmer to use a computer. Guess which one most people will find more useful in their lives.

Ask that question 100 years from now and the answer will be likely reversed.

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

I agree. I feel like the first language someone should get exposed to in programming is C. Then teach them the object oriented concepts in a few different OO languages including Python and C#/Java, but build the foundations in C. When you do network programming in Python or C#, you basically just create prebuilt objects and call prebuilt functions that do all of the work. In C, when you do network programming, you have to take into consideration things like lost packets, late acks and how you will handle them, etc. Programming in C gives you a lot more appreciation for the aspects of programming in higher level languages that are made easy through various libraries and APIs.

Then you can make them learn assembly when they start grumbling about having to program in C ;)

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

Most kids are already familiar with using computers...

I don't think they are focusing on teaching kids how to post on Facebook or Instagram. I would hope that an intro to languages like Python, Javascript, and Java/C# as well as beginners algorithm analysis and software engineering concepts would be more along the lines of the curriculum.

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

No, the stents were implanted in the students. BASIC can be quite stressful.

kids these days. QBASIC was my very first language. Taught myself from a book in the 4th or 5th grade and my love of computers sprouted from there (well, there and from playing the shit out of Kings Quest and F-19 Stealth Fighter)

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

It's probably more the insurance cost and the threat of lawsuits that is keeping out the classes rather than the cost of setup and materials. God forbid if little Johnny or Mary gets burnt.

You are likely correct, and this makes it all the more sad. There is very little common sense left in the US. Lawyers have outlawed it in favor of settlements and jury awards.

Comment Re: Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 1) 246

So much this. A lot of the money that has been "promised" to go to education is either just replacing other money coming out of the education budgets for many schools or simply not going to education at all. I do believe there are a couple of states that are actually allocating lottery money as was promised, but the fact is most are not, or are doing it only as replacement for funding being taken away from schools.

Comment Windows VMs (Score 2, Insightful) 233

Why exactly would running Windows VMs be so difficult? In actuality it would be quite a bit easier, if all of the workstations are running the same configuration. You setup the Windows VM as needed and then deploy it out to each machine. Or heck, you get the students to do the work for you. I've found knowing how to find your way around Virtual Box to be a very useful skill as a developer and this is something the students should really learn about. It's so easy to do work on a variety of different projects with vastly different system requirements by using VMs. I do work on VMs ranging from Windows 7 to Windows Server 2012 and almost everything between at work with very little difficulty in setting up the VMs (both with VirtualBox and RDC in Windows to a cloud based VM). A lot of it boils down to knowing how to manage and deploy your VMs, or hiring a company to help if this is not your expertise.

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