Taking Part-Time Programmers Seriously

Jesse A. Tov and Elizabeth Tov

Presented at Off the Beaten Track, January 2012

Programming is now a necessary activity for people working in many disciplines, from biology to sociology. However, the languages and tools used by many “part-time programmers” have not benefited from programming languages research, which presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Given the large number of new programmers who lack bad habits and prejudices, we have a fresh chance to encourage adop- tion of robust techniques and good technology. To make this happen, programming languages experts must develop languages and tools that provide demonstrable advantages to new part-time programmers, and we need to invest in a pedagogy that ensures their success in acquiring relevant programming skills.


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