Hello World Sucks
Published on 7/2/19, 9:07 AM
When you're starting to learn to program, the first thing you write is a basic function that outputs "Hello World". This is boring and is way too easy, even for newbies. If we tuned up the difficulty of the "Hello World" practice, just a touch, we could feel far more was accomplished by the task, and waste less time of everyone in the process.
For example, we could figure out how to actually print two sentences on two different lines, and leave that as the initial difficulty. This has similar effect to learning how to print text, write a function, and also learn how to do something with actual challenge. This doesn't increase the difficulty to the point where the initial task is intimidating, which is one of the core values in the "Hello World" task (having it not be intimidating).
Let's not kid ourselves, programming is nowhere near as simple as "Hello World" once you get going. Setting that as the initial tone is misrepresenting the power of programming. I do agree it should be welcoming, and those learning should get all the help they need, but we shouldn't set the bar so low that there's no real accomplishment in the first task.
This is my first post for this site, and I also bore of the "Hello World" initial posts everyone does for whatever website they're contributing to. It's always a post that nobody cares about, nobody reads, and will be lost to the sands of time. I'm hoping to increment the value of this post by just a tick, so that maybe someone will read it some day.
Bunk to "Hello World", it sucks. We need to expect more of ourselves, even if it's just a slight bit more than what we expect now.
The obligatory "Hello World" when you start something is boring and sets the bar too low. We should expect more of ourselves.