Computer programming as a practice and computational thinking as a skill are being widely promoted in Europe and the US as critical competencies for work and life in the 21st Century. As part of my dissertation within the SNSF-funded research project Machine Love? Creativity Cultures in Underground Electronic Music and Software Engineering I investigate – among other aspects – how this assemblage of public discourses, educational programs and related programming environments such as Scratch, Sonic Pi or Eve molds specific formattings of thinking and epistemic practices. In this presentation I will discuss key positions within the discourse on so-called computational thinking, relate them to current approaches of transforming the practice of programming (e.g. at the Y-Combinator Research Group HARC), and thereby provide a preliminary framing of programming as a cultural technology.

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