Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.


Your ideas needed: Coding is to computer science as X is to Y

February 28th, 2013 / in Uncategorized / by Ed Lazowska

camera man operatorYesterday we posted a link to a terrific new video by code.org extolling the virtues of learning to program.

Despite the “learn to code” rhetoric, code.org is really about “computer science is cool” and “let’s make AP computer science universally available.”  “Coding” is used as a proxy for this.  And indeed, “coding” is a critical component of computer science / computational thinking, and it’s also the “hands-on inquiry-based vehicle” for teaching computer science / computational thinking.  But it’s not the entire story:  computer science / computational thinking is much more than coding.

What’s your best analogy?  For example:

Coding is to computer science as cinematography is to filmmaking.

Probably not perfect, but it captures some important aspects:

  • Like coding, cinematography is intellectually substantive – definitely non-trivial.
  • Like coding relative to computer science, cinematography is a critical component of filmmaking.
  • Like coding relative to computer science, it’s something at which just about every filmmaker is skilled.
  • But, like computer science relative to coding, filmmaking is much more than cinematography alone.
  • Finally, this analogy is easy for the non-specialist to grasp – a policymaker, for example, will say “Oh, I get it.”

What are your best analogies?  Here are a few others to get your juices flowing – please add more as “comments” to this post!

Coding is to computer science as writing is to literature.

Coding is to computer science as drafting is to architecture.

Coding is to computer science as building telescopes is to astronomy.

Coding is to computer science as passing is to football.

Coding is to computer science as sewing is to clothing.

Coding is to computer science as planting is to landscaping.

Coding is to computer science as masonry is to home construction.

Let us hear from you!

Your ideas needed: Coding is to computer science as X is to Y
  • Coding is to computer science as acting is to filmmaking.

  • Coding is to computer science as calculus is to engineering.

  • Jeff Erickson

    Coding is to computer science as writing is to law.

  • Guest

    Coding is to computer science as skating is to hockey.

  • Dorian

    Coding is to computer science as tax preparation is to mathematics.

  • Ann D

    Coding is to computer science as cooking is to owning a restaurant

  • Coding is to computer science as scales are to piano playing

  • Harry Zisopoulos

    Coding is to computer science as construction work is to architecture.

  • Jose Vidal

    Computer science is to a coder as Biology is to a doctor, as Physics is to an Engineer.

    It works better for me if you flip ’em around like this.

  • Pingback: Women in Computer Science at University of Ljubljana – ideas | Andraz Tori Blog()