the recent thread is about which language to choose for an
introductory programming course. I have another question which is
closer to the original intention of this mailing list: what skills
from high school are needed to be able to pass such an introductory
One is obviously mathematics, especially since lecturers do like
mathematical examples for programming.
But such a class usually involves writing a homework program of
reasonable size. I have a vague feeling that composition skills, yes,
from your English/insert-your-mother-tongue-here/history class are as
much important. A program is just a text, isn't it? When your teacher
checks your writing she looks for logical errors, flow of thought and
yes, elegance, which are important for programs as well. If you have a
good teacher she values your creativity, an important personality
trait for programming. Last but not least to write a program one has
to consult several texts - again a philologist's skill.
I guess this line of thought is not new, is there any writing/study on it?