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(Yet Another Look at the Choice of Programming Language for Teaching Computer Science)

John E. Howland
Department of Computer Science
Trinity University
715 Stadium Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200
Voice: (210) 736-7480
Fax: (210) 736-7477

March, 1997


The choice of which programming language to use in introductory computer science courses is guaranteed to spark debate in the computer science community. Programming languages used in computer science instruction have followed various trends or fads within the computing industry. The language choice has often been between languages which are currently in wide use by industry for software production. While it is true that computer science education has a responsibility to achieve a balance between providing training in current practices within the field and core concepts and theory, it is felt that computer science education should not be overly influenced by popular trends when choosing a programming language to use in the teaching of introductory computer science. This paper offers other criteria for the choice of language together with examples.1

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