[Haifux] The 10th tip?

Oron Peled oron at actcom.co.il
Sat Feb 7 23:12:00 MSK 2009

On Saturday, 7 בFebruary 2009, Yossi Gil wrote:
> Moreover, in their second semester "Introduction to Systems Programming"
> they learn about makefiles, shell programming and other "UNIX" stuff.
> We just do not do enough to make this learning effective...

I'd like to mention that this is probably one of the worst software
courses in the Technion (unless its curriculum was totally changed).
The primary mistakes are:

 * Trying to cover 3 disjoint subjects in one course fails miserably.

 * The only people that know C++ after this course are those who
   knew it before or took OOP later.

 * Trying teaching them about the importance of modularization and
   encapsulation when they only experienced "Mavo Letichnut" is
   simply pathetic -- they technically "understand" it, but they
   don't "get it".
   This should be given in a semester when they already had few
   sleepless nights debugging theirs (or other people) code.

 * The Unix part is tragic story in itself. Let's start with the simple
   fact it uses csh/tcsh (Nee, nee, nee, nee....)
   It's only a third of a semester (actually less, as the more "important"
   subjects always rob some of the time). As a result, nothing useful can
   be taught.

If this poorly thought out course would be put to rest, it's hours
could be used to enforce some existing courses.
The best thing IMO would be not to use them for theory lecture hours,
but rather as extra labs or practice hours for the relevant courses.

Oron Peled                                 Voice: +972-4-8228492
oron at actcom.co.il                  http://www.actcom.co.il/~oron
Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least
you only have to climb it once

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