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How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down on the UNIX Farm?

theodp (442580) writes | about 4 months ago

2

theodp (442580) writes "In 1919, Nora Bayes sang, "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?" In 2013, discussing User Culture Versus Programmer Culture, CS Prof Philip Guo poses a similar question, "How ya gonna get 'em down on UNIX after they've seen Spotify?" Convincing students from user culture to toss aside decades of advances in graphical user interfaces for a UNIX command line is a tough sell, Guo notes, and one that's made even more difficult when the instructors feel the advantages are self-evident. "Just waving their arms and shouting 'because, because UNIX!!!' isn't going to cut it," he advises. Guo's tips for success? "You need to gently introduce students to why these tools will eventually make them more productive in the long run," Guo suggests, "even though there is a steep learning curve at the outset. Start slow, be supportive along the way, and don't disparage the GUI-based tools that they are accustomed to using, no matter how limited you think those tools are. Bridge the two cultures.""

2 comments

Is this the best you can do? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 4 months ago | (#45789771)

There are lots of programmers who work completely within proprietary IDEs (e.g., Matlab, Xcode, MS Visual Studio) with specialized workflows for version control, rich searching, and task automation. However, the high-quality, widely-available free software that is most likely to get beginners hooked on programming --- to turn users into programmers --- are almost always written in a UNIX style.

Tell me again why someone raised outside the UNIX environment and who never be a full-time programmer wouldn't be more comfortable, engaged and productive while working within Visual Studio and other modern IDEs.

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