I got into programming not because I wanted to make lots of money or because someone told me to. I got into it because I just got totally absorbed by it. You just could not stop me. --Anders Hejlsberg
Anders: I've certainly always been in the more practical camp. I'm an engineer more than I'm a scientist, if you will. It's my belief that if you teach people something, teach them something they can use later for something practical.
Like always, the answer is not at the extreme. It's somewhere in between. Continually in the programming language practice, in the implementation of programming languages for the industry, we borrow from academia. Right now, we're seeing a great harvesting of ideas from functional programming which has been going on in academia for God knows how long. I think the magic here is you've got to do both.