|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [LIU Comp Sci] Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Future of Computer Education
|From owner-learn-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Sun Jan 4 08:59:46 2015
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Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2015 08:59:45 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-nylxs.com, learn-at-nylxs.com
Subject: [LIU Comp Sci] Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Future of Computer Education
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On Sun, Jan 04, 2015 at 12:33:19AM -0500, Ruben Safir wrote:
> It is unfortunate that you conclude that the opportunities to learn
> computer literacy and sciences hasincreased over the last few years.
> The opportunity has been available broadly and freely for decades
> now. In fact, the programs that you underline here, which are
> company produced and purchased platforms, are not helping anyone
> to better understand coding or Comp Sci principles. They are likely
> doing the opposite and obfuscating programming principles and
> narrowing coding options.
> The real opening for young people to learn to program began with
> and continues to be the GNU Free Software program. GNU and Linux
> is the largest repository of freely available IT knowledge and
> education ever prodcued by man. It is the backbone of computer
> education and has opened the door for individuals to learn since
> its inception. From its early adoption and on until today, it has
> not only empowered the genral population through Information Access,
> it has spured communities, and has even raised the standards of
> living for 3rd world nations by giving them a leg up in the high
> tech field through sharing.
> Today, however, there are fewer locally organized groups to support
> learning and hacking, and things are getting worse.
> The first thing people need to do in order to get better educated
> is put down your smart phone.
> Construction of an "app" in three days does not constitute any
> measure of technological knowledge. It actually means someone has
> been duped and is now a proudly dependent on very limited commercial
> toolkit. Real IT education requires much more work. It is the Real
> Deal. Real Math. Real Science.
> The Linux kernel, which was launched by a 21 year old programmer
> from Europe, contains as of 2013, with the 3.10 release 15,803,499
> lines of code.
> Yeah that didn't happen in 3 days or ever a week. It didn't happen
> with the help of Apple or Microsoft or Sun or Unisys. In fact, it
> was the reverse. These companies, maybe all companies, now rely on
> the infrastructute of GNU and Free Software, in order to churn out
> profits, often just repackaging old ideas to a new clientel on a
> new platform.
> While one can learn to be a productive coder with TUTELAGE, in a
> few years of hard work and study. You can't dispense with the
> tutelage, and you can't dispense with the practice and the work.
> This is where your local user groups step in and provide support.
> They also provide you with a measuring stick to judge your own
> capabilities. This can not happen surrounding yourself with peers
> and working with companies that want to exploit youthful enthusiasm.
> Unfortunately, user groups are all but dieing as their membership
> grow older with and gain private responsibilities. It doesn't help
> that you can't get the kids to dig their heads out of their smart
> For one example, a recent presentation at a local University for
> a computer group included "programming" flappy bird through object
> C. in one hour or less. They showed how to add some basic function
> code to an existing code base, and to press a button and compile
> it, and then flappy bird flaps. That was it, they learned Object
> C? That's what they were told and they were awash in a glow of
> They didn't learn a damn thing but they got an excellent pitch to
> join a private coding school with "ties to start up entrepreneurial
> The real documentation to learn ObjectC, however, IS available for
> free on line and has a diverse community of developers and users,
> supported by the GNU project. There is that word again, COMMUNITY
> and GNU.
> This is the real Object C. In order to learn it, one starts with
> Here is the core manual with 148 pages, i think, or documentation
> of the objectC and gnustep core.
> This is the base API
> With the development of "apps", there is a lot of renewed interest
> in ObjectC and GNUstep. But there is no shortcuts to deep knowledge.
> Trust me, this current gold rush for IT coders is not going to last
> long. There will be a crash, just like there was after the dotcom
> boom. If you expect to remain working in IT for 40 years, you are
> actually going to have to learn something. You are going to need
> a good background in C, C++, program design, Operating systems,
> systems security, assembler, architecture, and essential related
> math skills. A background in LISP, Lamda Calculus, and relational
> theory can't hurt either.
> The threat to your education is the very companies that want to
> exploit young people today. They are trying to close off the access
> to tools and documentation, ONCE AGAIN. Before the GNU project and
> Linux took root, you have no idea how hard it was to get tools and
> education for comp sci education.
> ObjectC, for example,is threatened to be partially closed by future
> apple development by skirting GNU copyright protections for privatized
> development using the CLANG compiler, instead of GCC. Likewise,
> Oracle has moved the JAVA RTE to it's private sphere. These "people"
> want to ensnare everyone.
> Will this generation coming be smart enough to identify the threat
> to their own growth, empowerment and education. Do you have a
> Richard Stallman among you. I don't think so. Get your head out of
> the clouds, get your behind to a computer club and be prepared to
> work. To me it looks bleak.
> Ruben Safir NYLXS