“Don’t teach coding!”

(“… until you read this book)”

One of a spate of really good Racket books:

https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Don%27t+Teach+Coding%3A+Until+You+Read+This+Book-p-9781119602637

Clear, straightforward chapters discuss a broad range of questions using principles of computer science, such as why we should teach students to code and is coding a science, engineering, technology, mathematics, or language?

On different paths with similar outcomes

I had the following experience recently (hiding names and details because reasons):

  • I came across a repository implementing something that I found interesting, from a decade ago
  • The person had long abandoned this were now working at $BigCo at something completely unrelated
  • I made assumptions about who they were, what they must’ve been doing earlier
  • Turns out I couldn’t’ve been more wrong!
  • This person started off with a film and language background
  • This person worked for many years in various sorts of tech repair and maintenance
  • This person worked in IT support roles at small businesses
  • This person eventually joined some Bay Area company, and then joined $BigCo
  • The innovative exploratory repository that I had come across was something they did in their early period
  • This person found the time and motivation and interest to do this essentially on their own
  • I was impressed AF
  • I was embarrassed, firstly, to remember how frequently I’ve abandoned various lines of thinking or experimentation or making, with the excuse that “this is something that can happen after I do xyz“, or that “I need to learn xyz first, before trying this
  • I was embarrassed, secondly, to realize how frequently I had made unconscious assumptions about “the paths that people take“, and what should or shouldn’t be possible at a certain point in time.

All in all, a good learning experience 🙂

From a usenet posting little less than a decade ago1, something that explains a common pattern in “high-level flame wars” on the internet …

I think the term you’re looking for is “willfully ignorant” or perhaps “stubbornly ignorant”. They’re actually too fundamentally intelligent to be truly stupid, but the intelligence is being perverted in the service of an active ignorance that seeks reinforcement of its own preconceptions, rather than being open to the subtle panic that inevitably arises when learning something truly new & different.


  1. … came across it in Zach’s “Rob Warnock archive”