It’s programming

I know of no field that is immune to trends and fashions and computing is no exception. Often I find it amusing to see these fashions and fads appear and reappear. One such occasion was when Java was new and many of its proponents were touting its use of the JVM as revolutionary. Well, the p-code machine predated the JVM by over 15 years with a very similar purpose. Yes, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

Most recently, I am amused by the much-hyped “computational thinking”. One definition found on Google’s Exploring Computational Thinking is “Computational thinking (CT) involves a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs that underlay the computer applications you use such as search, email, and maps. Below is a list of specific techniques along with real world examples from our every day lives.” then that page lists decomposition, pattern generalization and abstraction, and algorithm design as skills or techniques.

But wait a minute: what a software engineer does, the above list of skills and techniques… This is programming!!!

And yes, I agree, students should learn programming in school and it will be easier for them if they can practice their programming skills across diverse subjects.

Computational thinking… “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet


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