Like most CS educators I'm a regular reader of Alfred Thompson's blog. Alfred's latest post is spot on but there was a line in it and a particular Twitter response that reminded me that we so often forget a big reason why people learn to code.
Alfred mentions, as did that Tweet about coding to solve problems. What problem are you trying to solve. This is the mainstream push - programming helps you solve problems.
With summer right around the corner I'm hoping to spend at least a little time on some personal coding projects. There are a few work related tools I'd love to develop and just some random areas of CS I'd like to explore. If I finish them, the work projects will be web based.
I was thinking about using this as an opportunity to do a deeper dive into Clojure having used it for some experiments and competitions like Advent of Code but at the end of the day I decided not to.
What can I do to discourage my students from using the "break" statement?
That was more or less the gist of the comment and it elicited some good responses. This time the conversation was on Facebook but I've seen this one and participated in it many times before. I never liked the question when presented as a "how can I stop them" one. I equally dislike when the offered advice is basically "never use break no matter what" or something similar.
Never use global variables
Never break out of a loop
These are two "best practices" that are frequently touted in early CS classes both at the high school and college level.
They came up a couple of times yesterday. Once in the Facebook APCS-A teachers group and once on Alfred Thompson's blog.
Alfred post was topically on global variables. Actually it was deeper than just global variables.