I so long to be a teacher. and when the time finally arrives. Hell I’m going to be one hell of a teacher.  hope I do become one and I’m going to be using this as a criterion.  Do I change the people that I teach?

Successful designs shape those for whom they are designed. In designing structures for people, we design them, their possibilities.

I wonder how often we who make software think this sobering thought. How often do we simply string characters together without considering that our product might — should?! — change the lives of its users? My experience with software written by small, independent developers for the Mac leads me to think that at least a few programmers believe they are doing something more than “just” cutting code to make a buck.

I have had similar feelings about tools built for the agile world. Even if Ward and Kent were only scratching their own itches when they built their first unit-testing framework in Smalltalk, something tells me they knew they were doing more than “making a tool”; they were changing how they could write Smalltalk. And I believe that Kent and Erich knew that JUnit would redefine the world of the developers who adopted it.

What about educators? I wonder how often we who “design curriculum” think this sobering thought. Our students should become new people after taking even one of our courses. If they don’t, then the course wasn’t part of their education; it’s just a line on their transcripts. How sad. After four years in a degree programs, our students should see and want possibilities that were beyond their ken at the start.

Knowing and Doing: September 2008 Archives.