Re: SOC: Social Contract Education (Was: More Green Party)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 07:06:39 MDT

On Mon, 03 Jul 2000, you wrote:
> When I consulted for a Florida University Computer Science
> department, I recommended that they teach typing to their computer
> science majors. I found PhD students in Computer Science hunting and
> pecking their code into the computer. I documented that their
> lines-per-code was limited by their input speed, not their coding
> speed. I was told that typing was not academic enough to qualify as
> a course for this particular university.

Many high schools have replaced typing classes with "word processing"
classes, where the word processing classes tend to teach point-n-click
usage of the software package du jour. This has been largely the result
of pressure to teach skills useful for the "computer age".

At the insistence of my parents, I took a semester of typing in high
school, which was a couple years before the broad transistion away from
typing classes. While the class was exceedingly boring, I have reaped
*enormous* benefits in the years that followed from the productivity boost
I get from being able to type well. I actually sucked at typing in high
school (15-20 wpm at best), but compared to most programmers I have worked
with, the 50-60 wpm that I type at now has saved me many hours of time to
do equivalent work. Typing was the most valuable class I took in high

Of course, I once worked with a UNIX sysadmin that could type as fast as
most typists with only his index fingers. It was amazing to see him work;
his hands would fly in frantic scramble all over the keyboard. Not very
efficient though.

-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:33:54 MDT