Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Oct 2012 01:41 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
General Development "Originally published in 1978 and updated in 1988, The C Programming Language is considered a 'must-read' classic by most programmers and is generally known simply as 'K&R'. To mark the publication of an ebook version of the 1988 second edition, we interviewed coauthor Brian Kernighan about the C programming language, the book, and future trends." And an Oxford comma to boot. The way it should be.
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How it should be done
by kwan_e on Wed 3rd Oct 2012 02:22 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

How to write good code that works well and does something useful. In the early assignments in the class, I ask students to modify existing code, perhaps by rewriting it in a different language. Or I might ask them to write a library that implements part of a standard, or that interfaces with a database.


That should be the way to teach programming. The exercises and assignments in programming classes are contrived and boring and not very pedagogical.

Nothing makes you learn better than by implementing standards, etc. I feel like I learnt more about programming by implementing stuff from standards, like a PDF parser, a DEFLATE decompressor and an HTTP/1.1 server than anything I had to write in university.

It also teaches you how to read documentation and figure out the author(s) intentions and implied requirements, and thus how to be better at technical writing and communication in general.*

* Seriously, has anyone tried to implement DEFLATE from the RFC? It is one of the least readable standards I know of.

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