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|How to Design Programs|
by Jeremy at 5:24 am EDT, Aug 20, 2002
How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Programming and Computing
This is the on-line version of the third printing by the MIT Press.
|How to Design Programs|
by noteworthy at 7:30 am EDT, Aug 6, 2008
Or, how to cultivate a computational state of mind.
Many professions require some form of computer programming. Accountants program spreadsheets and word processors; photographers program photo editors; musicians program synthesizers; and professional programmers instruct plain computers. Programming has become a required skill.
Yet programming is more than just a vocational skill. Indeed, good programming is a fun activity, a creative outlet, and a way to express abstract ideas in a tangible form. And designing programs teaches a variety of skills that are important in all kinds of professions: critical reading, analytical thinking, creative synthesis, and attention to detail.
We therefore believe that the study of program design deserves the same central role in general education as mathematics and English. Or, put more succinctly,everyone should learn how to design programs.
This book is the first book on programming as the core subject of a liberal arts education. Its main focus is the design process that leads from problem statements to well-organized solutions; it deemphasizes the study of programming language details, algorithmic minutiae, and specific application domains.
From the archive:
Defining craftsmanship far more broadly than “skilled manual labor,” Richard Sennett maintains that the computer programmer, the doctor, the artist, and even the parent and citizen engage in a craftsman’s work. Craftsmanship names the basic human impulse to do a job well for its own sake, says the author, and good craftsmanship involves developing skills and focusing on the work rather than ourselves. In this thought-provoking book, one of our most distinguished public intellectuals explores the work of craftsmen past and present, identifies deep connections between material consciousness and ethical values, and challenges received ideas about what constitutes good work in today’s world.
The Craftsman engages the many dimensions of skill—from the technical demands to the obsessive energy required to do good work. Craftsmanship leads Sennett across time and space, from ancient Roman brickmakers to Renaissance goldsmiths to the printing presses of Enlightenment Paris and the factories of industrial London; in the modern world he explores what experiences of good work are shared by computer programmers, nurses and doctors, musicians, glassblowers, and cooks. Unique in the scope of his thinking, Sennett expands previous notions of crafts and craftsmen and apprises us of the surprising extent to which we can learn about ourselves through the labor of making physical things.