On 3/17/06, anne001 <anne / wjh.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Interesting, I had not thought of the students resenting having to
> learn a little know language contributing to the decision of whether or
> not to use Ruby.
>
Well it's not a major factor in the decision since we use it anyway...
;) But since they being motivated is an important factor for their
learning it is something to have in mind, yes. Of course this is also
a factor of their impression of what companies request; and to be
honest a large number of job ads explicilty state "knowledge in X"
where X is one of the "trad languages". So students tend to want to
build experience with the languages that companies request.

My view is more that the students we educate today should take part in
transforming the industry and thus needs a broader knowledge base than
just what is currently in fashion. This would indicate using more
"obscure" languages like Ruby, Python, Haskell, IO, Transmuter etc.

One downside we have found in using dynlangs "with batteries" (like
Ruby) in the intro year is that they make so many things trivial that
students might not want to "get down there in the mud" and explicitly
code things in C etc. This way they might not get as deep a knowledge
as if they go from a good understanding of the basics up to
higher-level langs. However, there are many takes on this discussion
so not an easy one.

Best,

Robert