I hate Matlab: How an IDE, a language, and a mentality harm
This blog post is inspired by a few Matlab-related tweets of mine, which turned into days-long discussions with fellow science and non-science tweeps. Those tweets of mine in turn are motivated by two main things: my desire for programming in psychology, neuroscience, and science in general to be taught and taught well, and my desire for students to learn transferable skills more generally. This blog post is premised on a number of themes which came up on Twitter. The great need for scientists to be able to code. The fact that Matlab is akin to bad training wheels on a bicycle, which never aid with learning to ride, but are used over again because they are better than walking. And the idea that while there is a best tool for every job, not every tool is best for any job. The discussion on Twitter was motivating and so I promised everybody I would write up what I think. So this blog post is about how I think teaching Matlab, the whole ecosystem not just the language, within psychology harms students more than it helps them in many cases in my experience.