Simon Willison’s Weblog

Python Advocacy from Bruce Eckel

Bruce Eckel is turning in to the world’s number one Python advocate. He explains his views on Python on his Weblog in Python Answers, elaborates further on the Python productivity boost in the fourth part of his conversation, and discusses Python (amongst other topics) in an interview on the Borland Developer Network. In the latter, he has this to say about Python in education:

For me, I find it’s more powerful to understand concepts than particular languages. Of course, you do have to understand languages in order to have implementations, but if I were designing a computer curriculum, I would teach Python first so that people could easily acquire depth in concepts, and then much later introduce languages like Java, C++ and C#, after they had reached the point of not getting confused by details. I think students could acquire the important skills much more quickly that way, and it would make a better use of their time. I’m not alone in this idea; there are more than a few college professors who feel the same way.

I’d love to see Python taught at Bath, where I am convinced that the hassle involved in writing and executing simple Java programs is putting many students off developing their programming skills.

The Ideal Programmer on Bruce’s weblog is also worth a read; it touches upon the idea that 5% of programmers are 20 times productive than the rest, and asks how disinterested programmers can be encouraged to write better code.

This is Python Advocacy from Bruce Eckel by Simon Willison, posted on 22nd July 2003.

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