On 3/17/06, anne001 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I was wondering if anybody taught the traditional computer courses in
Not traditional in the sense of being basic courses in the starting
univ years but in later years yes; see below.
With a google search, I found Dr Cripps at mtsu using Rails (not clear
if he is using something else as well) to teach programming theory, Dr
Lewis at Duke using ruby and rails to teach web application
development, Tinkham and Kaner at Olin university using ruby in a
course on software testing. A few using ruby as a 4th or 5th language
Does anyone know of any college course?
I use Ruby in several of my courses:
- Software Engineering (Practical tasks from “Personal Software
Process” done in Ruby)
- Software Development through Modeling (UML and other modeling
formalisms, Ruby as example for OO design and design patterns,
students encouraged to use Ruby for their projects)
- Verification and Validation (executable testing with examples and
tasks in Ruby)
Apart from the latter course Ruby has not been a requirement; students
can still use C# or Java or some other OO language for their projects.
However, during lectures and discussions I tend to use Ruby for
examples. The brevity makes it easier for me to focus on the essential
idea/technique without the language being “in the way”.
My students are 4th year students who have in their previous 3 years
been exposed to mainly C, C++, Java and (maybe) C#. They tend to find
Ruby a bit “odd”/different when starting out. After a few weeks/tasks
a majority tends to like it though although I must admit there is
still a percentage who tends to dislike that we go outside of the
“languages strong in industry”. I find this a bit sad but such is
The most impressive thing in the courses tend to be when I
code/refactor tests “live” using Watir or something similar to
automate the testing of a web site. This tends to be a major “selling
If this sample is representative of the thousands of universities
offering their syllabus on line, does that mean that ruby has not
penetrated the fortress of universities/colleges? Is it a matter of
time, or are universities conservative, and they can only teach the
language most used, ie C++ and Java for a while yet.
It is a matter of time and what happens to the industry at large. I
would say that many univs are farily conservative and that funding
agencies tends to encourage the use of the main “industrial” languages
(which they often equal with C, C++, Java, C#). This makes especially
senior faculty a bit reluctant to use new languages.
However, there are also quite a large number of univs who do research
on some language / paradigm they prefer and their choice tends to be
to use that language / paradigm in their education.
My 2 cents,
Dr. Robert F.