Loosen your requirements for style sometimes to keep students motivated to write programs, this is especially relevant when students come from an engineering background.

  • Big idea: Sometimes it is important to let student just get some working code, and ignore issues of style and scalability.
    • Validate students’ goal of just trying to get something done.
  • These students might be less focused on scalability, readability, and reuse.
    • Sometimes software engineers write non-scalable code when experimenting with a new technology. However, scalability is a big concern for computer science and long term use.
    • A main difference between engineers perspectives to programming problems and computer scientists perspectives when writing programs on immediate results versus long term viability and scalability.
      • Computer scientists are often more concerned with scalability, which is increasingly important with Big Data.
      • You can further motivate students after the fact by suggesting they consider how their program would stand up to long-term use.
  • Tell students that having messy code is like having a messy closet - it makes what you need to get done (getting dressed) harder to do.

More about this tip

External Source

Interview with Jacqueline Fairley