[erlang-questions] "Erlang as a First Language" -- crazy? or just stupid?

Vasilij Savin vasilij.savin@REDACTED
Mon Dec 21 20:12:25 CET 2009


I do not think that teaching people C first is a good idea. C requires quite
a mental leap towards understanding computer internals. Students have to
grapple with a lot of C specifics, compared to learning how to program. I
have heard opinions that Python could be a good language to be taught as
first one, it is simple and friendly enough for newcomers.

In Uppsala University, students are taught ML as the first programming
language that is simple enough to learn in its entirety within one semester.

I am quite convinced that functional programming is important to teach in
the beginning of the career. It allows to write efficient and compact code.
Recursion is usually just mentioned when learning C-like languages because
it is practically impossible to use it in real applications.

Recursion, tail-recursion, pattern matching are really powerful concepts
that students should be taught as soon as possible.

Just some insights from still a student.

Vasilij Savin

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