Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Education and Industry

Developing software is the process of learning how to develop that piece of software. As in any craft, there are similarities among projects, yet each one is different and each one enriches the creator.

If learning is an explicit goal of software development as well as the means to its end, then what is the difference between industry and education?

The best hypothesis I have is that there's a value-oriented ordering of goals. In business, shipping a product has preference over improving the team; in the academy, improving the individual has preference over completing a project.

As we transition higher education toward a more enlightened, learning-centric model, I think that it will become increasingly important for us to address these issues—especially considering decreasing public support and the administrative desire for additional revenue streams. Are my students more or less than my apprentices?

No answers, just more questions.

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