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Why Johnny can't program [computing professionals]

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1 Author(s)
Holmes, Neville ; Tasmania Univ., Hobart, Tas., Australia

Innumerate, illiterate, and overwhelmed, today's computing professionals ('Johnny') are torn between system design and program coding. Computing professionals must know vastly more now than they needed to know 40 years ago (1960s), but even then the field often distinguished between programmers and systems analysts. Meanwhile, Johnny must know too much to be at the same time a skilled programmer and a skilled system engineer. That is why he's overwhelmed. But Johnny's problem goes deeper. If he wants to be a professional programmer, he must learn on the job. Programmers have few trade courses to select from, many fewer than those available to carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Further, very few professional courses will assist Johnny if he wants to become a straightforward, generalist, humanist, system engineer. Specialists such as computer system engineers and software engineers appear to dominate the field. No wonder Johnny has a problem. Let's move to give him the proper training to become whichever he wants to be: programmer or system engineer.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 12 )