programming in the
twenty-first century

It's not about technology for its own sake. It's about being able to implement your ideas.

Computer Science Courses that Don't Exist, But Should

CSCI 2100: Unlearning Object-Oriented Programming
Discover how to create and use variables that aren't inside of an object hierarchy. Learn about "functions," which are like methods but more generally useful. Prerequisite: Any course that used the term "abstract base class."

CSCI 3300: Classical Software Studies
Discuss and dissect historically significant products, including VisiCalc, AppleWorks, Robot Odyssey, Zork, and MacPaint. Emphases are on user interface and creativity fostered by hardware limitations.

CSCI 4020: Writing Fast Code in Slow Languages
Analyze performance at a high level, writing interpreted Python that matches or beats typical C++ code while being less fragile and more fun to work with.

CSCI 2170: User Experience of Command Line Tools
An introduction to UX principles as applied to command line programs designed as class projects. Core focus is on output relevance, readability, and minimization. UNIX "ls" tool is a case study in excessive command line switches.

PSYC 4410: Obsessions of the Programmer Mind
Identify and understand tangential topics that software developers frequently fixate on: code formatting, taxonomy, type systems, splitting projects into too many files. Includes detailed study of knee-jerk criticism when exposed to unfamiliar systems.

permalink September 10, 2015


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I'm James Hague, a recovering programmer who has been designing video games since the 1980s. Programming Without Being Obsessed With Programming and Organizational Skills Beat Algorithmic Wizardry are good starting points. For the older stuff, try the 2012 Retrospective.

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