why learn computer programming

i read this article in 2006. im reblogging because theres no place for comments (on a science blog, theres no place for comments? how un-science-friendly.)

my answer: https://codeinfig.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/learning-how-to-code-is-not-always-easy/

and a solution: https://codeinfig.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/variables-in-fig/

note that microsoft did create a sort of “basic” dialect years after this article was written, called small basic. fig, by comparison, is arguably closer to the sort of language that basic was in the 70s and 80s.

KaiserScience

Why Johnny can’t code

BASIC used to be on every computer a child touched — but today there’s no easy way for kids to get hooked on programming.
Sept. 14, 2006

Author: David Brin, Salon magazine

For three years — ever since my son Ben was in fifth grade — he and I have engaged in a quixotic but determined quest: We’ve searched for a simple and straightforward way to get the introductory programming language BASIC to run on either my Mac or my PC.

Why on Earth would we want to do that, in an era of glossy animation-rendering engines, game-design ogres and sophisticated avatar worlds? Because if you want to give young students a grounding in how computers actually work, there’s still nothing better than a little experience at line-by-line programming.

Only, quietly and without fanfare, or even any comment or notice by software pundits, we have drifted…

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