Academics slam Java

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at
Fri Jan 11 16:00:59 MST 2008

On Jan 11, 2008 7:27 AM, Charles Curley <charlescurley at> wrote:
> Academics slam Java
> By Phil Manchester
> Learn a real language
> The choice of Java as a first programming language in computer science
> courses is undermining good programming practice, according to two
> leading academics.

Java happens to be the king in the private sector and academia, so
it's the standard that most measure against.  I get it.  But virtually
all high-level languages share the same attributes that supposedly
make Java a bad language to teach students with.

It's hard for me to not notice the agenda these Ada moguls obviously
have.  They have a huge stake in the Ada game and they're just doing a
little self-promotion.

> In a withering attack on those responsible for setting the curriculum
> for computer science courses, doctors Robert Dewar and Edmond
> Schonberg of New York University (and principals of Ada language
> specialist Adacore) have said the lack of mathematical rigor and
> formal techniques is producing "replaceable professionals" more suited
> to the outsourcing industry than software development.

If this argument were true then the number of job postings in the USA
for Java developers would be near zero.  Why would you pay top dollar
for expensive American Java (or C#, Python, Perl, Ruby, etc) talent if
persons using said language were merely replaceable robot developers?
The fact is that the problems that a developer solves with software
are usually hard.  Automating solutions to hard problems with software
(regardless of language) is valuable.  If I can solve a problem for a
company with C# and its many pre-existing components, then I am many
times more valuable than a person who can't solve the company's
problem with C or Ada.

At any rate, their main argument about Java developers being
replaceable by virtually anyone with a keyboard is patently false.
The high demand for Java skills in the US job market wholely disproves
that point.  Other points made about the need to expose students to
low-level languages is true.

Just my thoughts.


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