Category: Philosophy

SP/CD: Social Product/Character Development

At The Swan Factory, we believe that collaborative design is the capstone skill of education in the third millennium.  Learning how to come together and work through differences to bring something new into the world is essential: Professionally, so students can continually reinvent themselves and their careers as the twentieth-century “job” becomes increasingly irrelevant Personally, as the foundation for healthy marriages, parenting,…

From Programs to Platforms

On my personal blog, I recently complete a series of articles analyzing the non-profit initiative Transforming the Bay with Christ: A Platform for Regional Transformation? From Platforms to Governance Trading Control for Authority The Process for Products TBC Postscript: A Missional Creed  This serves as a good illustration of the process we use for understanding both the aspirations and challenges…

Node and The Essence of Programming

In the 1960’s, when Seymour Papert invented Logo, the hot new innovation was Structured Programming, which emphasized three key concepts: Sequence: doing a group of items one after another (statements) Selection: choosing which items to work on next (conditionals) Repetition: doing the same thing more than once (loops) This idea of organization programs into statements, conditionals, and loops — rather than just jumping…

Experience-Driven Learning

The key to teaching programming (or any other complex discipline) is understanding inferential distance.  Everyone comes with their own set of: Experiences Words for those experiences Processes for deciding what to believe It is easy to explain a new idea to someone who has the same background, terminology, and values. To teach a sophisticated concept to young children — or people from a…

"GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689" by Sir Godfrey Kneller - http://www.newton.cam.ac.uk/art/portrait.html. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689.jpg#mediaviewer/File:GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689.jpg

Imagining a Science of Programming

The computer industry is awash in complexity. Windows struggles with it. iOS hides it. Linux revels in it. Users suffer from it. Developers curse it even as we create more of it. Why? Why is software engineering so different from every other engineering discipline? The usual explanation is that each of the many layers of the software stack is made…