Saturday, July 29, 2006


Why Java may not be better than Ruby..

It was once said that kids have a difficult time in life. Having to resist peer pressure, drugs, violence and teenage pregnancy and now James McGovern comes along and teaches them Java; what's the world coming to? Yesterday, I finished my last class in teaching area high school students Java and they will be competing against other high school students in LA next week. I hope I did a good enough job...

I was thinking that while we all know that Ruby isn't enterprise ready and that Fortune enterprises as of late haven't taken much initiative to increase the productivity of any individual developer within their walls and instead prefer to take the outsourcing path where any individual developer is even less productive but in terms of cost a lot cheaper which makes up for the difference, maybe in this situation, productivity does matter.

I have been noodling whether inner-city kids should learn Ruby next year instead of Java. Yakov Fain, an editor at JDJ graciously donated copies of his book. I wonder if anyone in the Ruby community would step up to donate books for the same noble cause?

Maybe the real test of productivity is to teach folks who have never programmed before in any language and see how well they adapt. My general observation is that these kids were pretty sharp and had lots of professional developers beat by miles. I guess not having to unlearn technology can prove to be a competitive advantage.

Anyway, it would be interesting if there is any vendor in the blogosphere that is charitable and wanted to donate a dozen T-shirts to the students for their hard work? For that matter, if analyst firms such as Gartner or Forrester also wanted to be charitable, it would be equally accepted. They will be staying at the Los Angeles Hilton by the Airport where they will be competing against other high school children who have learned ASP.NET.

I will post an update in this regard on Friday to let you know how they made out...

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