Is bash a programming language?
Is bash a prgramming language suitable for use in education, or does it just make kids lazy?
"...Bash is fantastically powerful but I would never introduce it to my students,
unless of course they already have programming experience and they have a need for it.
Even then I would choose C over bash scripting... "
Bash - Programming | Educational applications | Forum | Raspberry Pi
Yes, but it does not help education
I started with Unix at the end of the 70's (from Bell Labs tapes) and have been using *nix ever since, so Bourne shell is as familiar to me as breathing. :D But ...
As a university lecturer in the UK for several years, I taught engineering students practical programming in their earlier years and software engineering in their final one, and one thing became clear: damage done in early years is difficult to undo later.
"Damage" comes in various forms, but for the purpose of this thread it's the sloppy thinking and lack of deep understanding that is inherent when your "learning" is on a very high level system that is totally divorced from the underlying machinery. Shell scripting falls into this category. You're not really learning much at all with shell. It's more a form of vocational training (how to get something useful done quickly) than education (discovering principles, understanding what is good or bad, and why).
This doesn't apply only to shell scripting, unfortunately. It applies to all high level programming systems, and therein lies a quandary. The best vehicle for learning is not the best vehicle for being productive. It's really quite a problem, because both are required. It's useless being a very productive high level programmer who is mystified why her code drops the server to its knees because she has no idea about memory allocation or process switching.
For as long as our systems are resource-constrained (and that's not disappearing any time soon), education must focus on low-level details alongside practical high level tools. If it doesn't do that, all it's turning out are monkeys for the programming shop floor, able to follow directions from the design authority but lacking in deep understanding of what they're really doing.
And the bridges of the software world will continue to collapse. :(