The panelists spend a lot of time discussing reliability, and issues of programming in the large. No doubt, these are important topics. However, is this the only issue to explore when trying to think about the future of CS?|
So let me mention two more possibilities.
First, CS is not the same as SE. Computer Science should help us understand things better. There's still a lot of basic research to be done. This isn't a core issue for LtU, but it's rather telling that no fundamental CS research problem was mentioned during the discussion.
Of slightly more interest to the LtU community may be the fact that the participants focus on programming professionals, and don't mention hobbyists and whether programming should become part of a liberal eductaion. The recent decades can perhaps be labelled the programming decades. And I am not just talking about traditional porgramming, I want to include activities like programming a VCR, configuring your cellphone and using Excel.
In my opinion one of the duties we owe society is to provide better tools and techniques for non-programmers to interact with the more and more programmable environment. This inclucdes work on HCI, languages (visual and otherwise) and more.
To improve and exercise the cognitive skills required in order to excel in this environment, we should provide children, high schoolers and college students with programming experience, hopefully using high level semantically rich languages. Some people are working on these issues (think TeachScheme and PC4E), but I think there a lot more work that needs to be done.
I agree with many of the comments made during the panel, but they showed engineering bais. There's a great need for a more humanistic approach to CS and programming.