Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Jun 2012 22:40 UTC
X11, Window Managers John Goerzen, Debian/GNU Linux developer, transitions his kids from bash to xmonad: "I'd been debating how to introduce GUIs for a very long time. It has not escaped my attention that children that used Commodores or TRS-80s or DOS knew a lot more about how their computers worked, on average, than those of the same age that use Windows or MacOS. I didn't want our boys to skip an entire phase of learning how their technology works." I decided long ago that my kids - if I ever have them, I'm undecided and way too young - will learn computing the way I learned it: with a CLI. I never realised an xmonad setup would form a good transition phase into GUIs.
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ansidotsys
Member since:
2008-08-15

It is good to introduce children to multiple computer interfaces at an early age as the exposure itself will prove useful to future interfaces. It is important to keep in mind that using the CLI first brings no further advantage than using a GUI first. While it gets "geek cred" in many circles, it doesn't mean much if proficiency in multiple interfaces is not the end result.

For example, learning C before C++ does not necessarily make one a better programmer in C++ or even a better programmer. However, the end result of learning both (whether C or C++ was first does not matter) will be useful in that exposure to multiple languages is the benefit in itself.

Likewise, learning the GUI first and the CLI later does not make one any less proficient in computers than CLI first learners. I learned first in the CLI and am indeed proud of that fact due to my geekness, but don't get that confused with it being the superior method. Many of the brightest coders today who are 18-21 grew up using GUIs.

Cliff notes: It's good the kids are learning about computers at an early age. That fact alone is far greater than the minor detail that the CLI was the first interface they were exposed to.

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