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And I always gave examples of a couple of these very narrow languages. One of the examples I used was COGO. After one of my lectures, somebody came up to me and said that COGO was very useful to him because he was a civil engineer, and the notation in COGO was just the type of notation that Civil Engineers use in their written discourse. This was surprising to me, because I had no idea that the notation in COGO was based on Civil Engineer's written discourse or oral discussions, because I had never talked to a Civil Engineer or participated in their discussions.

A l i e n : First of all, they need to understand a variety of these languages. Secondly, I think they need to appreciate how these languages are used. I don't think we understand well enough the environment in which the people who are using them every day exist. And they should become skilled in a couple of very different languages. Dennis: Learn as much as you can about every- thing. Get a broad education. Ferrante: I would say, learn the basics. If they're going to be in the field and going to go off and get a job, they need to be able to understand the concepts and be able to solve problems using programming languages.

It doesn't matter what language a program is written in if the description of its purpose and use is incomprehensible. Tanenbaum: Be sure to spend lots of time pro- gramming. Sartlm~t: I'll deal with both the undergraduate and the graduate at the same time. I think the key language for them is Ada, because it is a very large language, and has a great many features and paradigms of which a few show up in other languages. So my advice to both of them would be that that is where they ought to concentrate their efforts and be sure 44 W 6 g l g l a l ' l : They should learn to write their programs so that they are maintainable and modifiable over time.

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ACM, Programming languages -- Past, Present, and Future - Sixteen Prominent Computer Scientiest Assess Our Field

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