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Friday, April 24, 2015

My life as a tech teacher, part 8: A clash of logic

Freelance technology journalist Alex Cruickshank continues from here. "Sometimes programmers write code that should work, but doesn't. Actually this happens all the time. At some point or other we've all written logical, well-structured code that somehow doesn't do what it logically should."


I have a friend whose husband is a programmer. Occasionally she'll look over his shoulder when he's particularly frustrated about a non-functioning block of code, before casually announcing, "I think you've missed a semi-colon." She knows nothing else about programming, but often she's correct – much to his annoyance.

But sometimes the issue is more fundamental. It's a clash of logic between the programmer and the language being used. All programming languages were written by someone. Most of them were designed to be logical and clear to understand. However, one person's logic isn't necessarily the same as another's.

We discovered this with Scratch. This week I asked the children to create a game of sorts. It had to involve a human-controlled sprite that would interact with another sprite, or perhaps the background, and react in some way. For example, perhaps a dog would chase a cat and shout 'woof!' when it caught it. Or maybe a witch would fly towards the sun and shout 'Ouch!' when she reached it.

Source: IDG Connect