Designing Grace: Can an Introductory Programming Language Support the Teaching of Software Engineering?

Abstract

Many programming language constructs that support software engineering in the large — explicit variable declarations, explicit external dependencies, static types, information hiding, invariants — provide little benefit to the small programs written by novice programmers, where every extra syntactic token has to be explained and understood before novices can succeed in running even the simplest program. We are designing Grace, a new educational object-oriented language that we hope will prove useful for teaching both programming and software engineering. This paper describes some of the tradeoffs between teaching programming and teaching software engineering that we faced while designing Grace, and our attempts to address those tradeoffs.

Authors

James Noble, Michael Homer, Kim B. Bruce, Andrew P. Black

Published in

IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T), 2013
Michael Homer — 2018