Invariably, any programming course, book, or guide starts with an exercise. The student is asked to write and run a simple program. This exercise takes the student through the basic process of creating a script or application, and then running it.
Invariably, this program is called “Hello, World”. Generally, it is a simple program that does only one thing: displays some text.
And invariably, that text reads (you might have guessed), “Hello, World!”.
I think this tradition has lived on in computer programming pedagogy because it’s simple, convenient and cute to make such a program. But also, I think the choice of words, “Hello, World!”, expresses two things: now able to speak the computer’s programming language for the first time, the student is saying “Hello, World” to the computer, but also, when the computer program is run, it’s a bit like the computer itself is “awakening” and greeting the human world on the far side of the monitor. It’s almost as if two entities were shaking hands, getting to know each other.
So, as this is the first post in my blog, and you’re reading it now, I’d like to extend to you the same courtesy: