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Re: average programmers (was: succinctness = power)

> Good luck with that.  All my experience seems to suggest that average
> programmers are _incredibly_ slow to pick up on new programming paradigms.
> For most people (not those on this list, of course), learning to think in a
> new way (which is what good programming languages force you to do) is an
> extremely painful experience.  I see this even with extremely bright 18-19
> year olds who are very proficient with C when they try to learn scheme.  I
> don't know; maybe they're just lazy or unmotivated, but it's surprising how
> much resistance you get.  I'm not saying it's impossible (the PLT folks are
> doing a fine job of making scheme more accessible), but it's an uphill
> battle.  That's why I'm sympathetic to Paul G's idea of programming
> languages by and for the Programming Language Cognoscenti(tm).

It all depends on how you teach Scheme. If you teach it with a program
design philosophy in mind, you can convince lots of students. Sooner or
later they understand what this is about. If you teach it for the heck
of teachng SICP material (which is a hell of a good book), then you
won't reach many beginners (even MIT kids don't get it from what I can

-- Matthias