So I just took a few placement tests for my worthless Computer Science major



  • Math (60 questions), English (140 questions), and Chemistry (40 questions, but the test booklet was branded as being from another state's college system and was held together by tape)

    IntriguedExtremely confused by this strange third test, I looked at my university's major list more carefully.

    Most prominent thing on the front page: a stock photo of XML and a guy with a phone that apparently supports TWITTER TECHNOLOGY standing in front of a penguin getting raped and smiling:

    Eventually I found the list of majors, hidden under a menu. Great job website designer.

    I scrolled down past (here's a few, look it up if you want more)

    • Art B.A., B.F.A.
    • Art Education B.F.A.
    • Dance B.A., B.F.A.
    • Human Resources Management B.B.A.
    • Information Technology Management B.B.A.
    • Marketing B.B.A.
    • Educational Studies (Non-Certified) B.S.
    • Civil Engineering B.S.E.
    • Computer Engineering B.S.E

    And finally got to Computer Science B.S. It asked me which one I meant:

    • Computer Science Major
    • Computer Engineering Major (jointly offered with Electrical Engineering)
    • Computer Science Minor
    • Applied Math and Computer Science Major (jointly offered with Mathematics)
    • MS Program in Computer Science
    • Ph.D. Program in Computer Science
    • Doctoral Program in Medical Informatics

    I clicked on the major that I had already clicked on just a few seconds earlier. Here is the ENTIRE content of the page:

    No class list. No information about the courses. Just a buzzword-filled marketing blurb, a link, and a slightly obfuscated email address. By the way, the email address had a fully unobfuscated mailto link surrounding it.

    I clicked on the link. It's a pdf that looks like it was made in the 90s.

    So I have to take computer science courses in a computer science major. Makes sense. Scrolling down:

    8 credits of math. Hmm. That seems... normal.

    Wait. What the fuck? I'm here for computer science, not eighth grade science! Whose idea was it to require more chemistry than math in a COMPUTER SCIENCE requirement?

    Okay, let's keep scrolling.



  • @Ben L. said:

    ...a guy with a phone that apparently supports TWITTER TECHNOLOGY standing in front of a penguin getting raped and smiling

    Dammit, you just gave away the keynote to this year's AnDevCon. I wonder if there's still time to get a refund?

    @Ben L. said:

    Wait. What the fuck? I'm here for computer science, not eighth grade science! Whose idea was it to require more chemistry than math in a COMPUTER SCIENCE requirement?

    Chemistry will come in handy once you've graduated and discovered the true value of a CS degree and your only source of income is cooking soda bottle meth.



  • So it's not just my state!

    It seems that state universities tend to have some really poor CS programs. It's like they feel they have to have one, but have no idea what they're doing.

    Oh, and the image is doctored. There wasn't a twitter logo in the original image. The penguins, though? That's real...



  • @StephenCleary said:

    Oh, and the image is doctored. There wasn't a twitter logo in the original image. The penguins, though? That's real...

    I like to think that they printed out the twitter logo and taped it to a phone because they couldn't figure out how to use technology.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Wait. What the fuck? I'm here for computer science, not eighth grade science! Whose idea was it to require more chemistry than math in a COMPUTER SCIENCE requirement?

    If you actually read what they say there they are saying that of the 12 science credits you need to get a BS (instead of a BA which some schools offer in CS) you have to include one of the sets.  One set from the list of options is more than the number of math credits you need.  An important detail you seem to be over looking is that you are going for a BS (which has more to do with where some of these requirements come from than which major you are does).



  • More curious to me was the title associated with the page:

    So I Googled this name(?) and lo and behold, it's everywhere! Apparently, all these sites have been stricken with an MS Word 97 virus? http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/ethan.shtml

    That is the real WTF.



  • @Ben L. said:



    I clicked on the link. It's a pdf that looks like it was made in the 90s.

     

    Wouldn't be surprised if it was. My alma mater was a similar $BigstateU->$city place that seemed to be fairly tech savvy. Back in the 90s, most of the departmental web pages were pulled together with work-study student labor. I happened to be browsing their site a while back, and found my picture in the residence life section. Wasn't just the picture, but the entire section that was 10+ years old.

     



  • @RichP said:

    Back in the 90s, most of the departmental web pages were pulled together with work-study student labor. I happened to be browsing their site a while back, and found my picture in the residence life section. Wasn't just the picture, but the entire section that was 10+ years old.

    How coincidental, that's exactly the reason I show up on my state's sex offender website! I helped build the site several years ago and I added myself just as test data. I mean, obviously the alias "Professor Feelypants" was just something I made up on a lark..



  • 1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.  I don't think 12/120 credits of science is really asking a lot.

    2. Every college degree of any kind requires meeting the general educational requirements of that university.  Again, it's just 12 credits (I won't count professional communication because that's a vitally important course).

     

    So you still have 80% of the credits left to take computer sciences electives and pursue your own personal interests.  If you wanted something purely focused on just programming you should go to a trade school - what you have there is pretty much the way any 4 year degree is going to be.



  • @Cat said:

    1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.
     

    Bullcrunk. If that was the case, then they'd offer a full range of science. Requiring Chemistry or Biology is a bit insane, given that to take university level of those require some serious high school pre-requisites in those areas. 

    Why aren't they offering Physics? Someone on a CS path would be much more likely to have taken the math prerequisites for Physics (Calculus, for example)



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @Cat said:

    1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.
     

    Bullcrunk. If that was the case, then they'd offer a full range of science. Requiring Chemistry or Biology is a bit insane, given that to take university level of those require some serious high school pre-requisites in those areas. 

    Why aren't they offering Physics? Someone on a CS path would be much more likely to have taken the math prerequisites for Physics (Calculus, for example)

    The bottom is cut off. If you check out the actual PDF you'll see that Physics is listed at the bottom, along with something called "Advanced Dildo Mechanics"...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    "Advanced Dildo Mechanics"

    No, that's in the engineering course list.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    "Advanced Dildo Mechanics"

    No, that's in the engineering course list.

    Apostasy! Back when I matriculated Dildo Studies were considered to have the dignity and prestige of a hard science! It wasn't some mere proletarian endeavor, overrun with coal-shoveling, moonshine-swilling, cousin-humping engineers!!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    engineers!!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    "Advanced Dildo Mechanics"

    No, that's in the engineering course list.

    Apostasy! Back when I matriculated Dildo Studies were considered to have the dignity and prestige of a hard science! It wasn't some mere proletarian endeavor, overrun with coal-shoveling, moonshine-swilling, cousin-humping engineers!!

     

    You're thinking of Dildo Science. These days they offer Dildo [b]Studies[/b]. It's like the difference between Environmental Science (where you learn what makes the world work) and Environmental Studies (where you bake a cake to demonstrate the different layers of the Earth).

    Dildo Science teaches you the mechanics, physics and theory of the machine. Dildo Studies is just a bunch of 3-year English majors with a rod of hard plastic stuffed up their asses. (In other words, all of them).



  • I don't see the WTF here. That looks like a pretty standard list of general education requirements for any computer science degree. Maybe it's a little light on the math, but a lot of my "math" classes were cross-listed with the computer science designation. (Discrete Math, Linear Algebra, Statistics, Numerical Methods, etc.). Maybe there are some math classes listed in the part that you omitted.

    Did you think you would only be taking CS classes for an undergraduate degree?




  • Also, stuff like Chemistry will have a lab session, so they count for more credits. So it's probably the same number of classes as the math, but more time spent in class, so more credits.

    This sounds like the general education philosophy invading the major. In my day, you had to take some sort of science for any degree, but the stuff for your major actually had to do with your major. It seems like Computer Science courses should be sufficient for accreditation of the BS degree.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ben L. said:

    a stock photo of XML and a guy with a phone that apparently supports TWITTER TECHNOLOGY standing in front of a penguin getting raped and smiling
    I'm fairly certain that the penguin isn't smiling...



  • Good luck with the computer science major! Maybe you'll get lucky and be able to graduate with a degree in worthless knowledge instead of changing your major in frustration when a clueless professor in some "introduction to programming" class gives you a nicely formatted power bill and asks you to completely replicate the power company's customer data and billing system in three weeks by yourself, without any sort of database (you're supposed to use a text file. a text file.), graphical components (come see me after class if you want me to teach you how to print images to cout), or even data structures (only hold one record at a time in memory, stored of course in 30-some global variables).

    (Yes this really happened to me. No, it never occurred to me to learn his secret technique for printing images to standard output before I dropped the class and the major. The highlight of the class was either him claiming that Windows progress bars were updated by writing to cout one character at a time or when he couldn't figure out one of the book's examples when I was sitting there correcting him for thirty minutes using only information from the very chapter of the book he claimed to be teaching. I hate schools.)



  •  LOL,when I took Computer Programmer / Analyst at the local college (like a technical institute) a solid 1/4 of the classes were for Accounting and another good amount were for Economics Statistics.  We chatted with the "real" CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) and they said we'd only need about 1 year of courses and we'd be able to get certified as a real accountant.

     That course also taught us COBOL and RPG (the language, not game).  And no, it wasn't in 1970.  It was just 1 decade ago.  Just one of the many reasons why I rarely consider education the main contributor to success on the job--rather, I like to know what skills you have.



  • @shepd said:

    Certified Professional Public Accountant

    FTFY. No, seriously, I corrected your error.

    @shepd said:

    Just one of the many reasons why I rarely consider education the main contributor to success on the job--rather, I like to know what skills you have.

    After hiring (and firing) dozens and dozens of employees, I have found no correlation between having a CS degree and being able to program. I've seen good programmers with CS degrees and abysmal jokes I wouldn't let program the clock on my microwave. I've seen good programmers with degrees in English, Music, Art or with no degree at all.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I've seen good programmers with degrees in English, Music, Art or with no degree at all.
     

    I knew of one place where having a CS degree informally disqualified you for developer interviews.  The teams (and interview panel) experienced many prima donna CS grads that presumed their degree bestowed complete knowledge upon them and stubbornly refused to budge from their outdated ways.

    Graduates in chemistry, maths, physics seemed to provide the best talent pool: pretty good analytic skills, no preconceptions about how stuff should be done so were accepting of being shown the corporate way, and were familiar with computer usage but still regarded them simply as a tool to achieve a goal.

    Some years ago I "interviewed" my team-leader's mate - for a position that didn't exist. He had a presentation that was incompatible with our systems so couldn't be shown[1], had a business card burned onto a CD which refused to play[2], and couldn't show me his website he'd designed and built himself because the code shat out by FrontPage rendered differently on netscape[3]. Despite his enthusiasm for things technical, he was clearly shaken when finding out his untested stuff would only display in specific circumstances.

    [1] he'd designed it for a 1024x768 layout; our projectors only went up to 800x600

    [2] more likely a fault with our crap CD-ROMs; they were quite picky about some burned CDs. Nonetheless, he didn't think to carry around any dead tree editions.

    [3] he used VBscript to handle page navigation with no graceful degrade. And FP had also presented a full range of different typefaces to him that weren't available on stock installations so everything was Times Roman.



  • @Cassidy said:

    ...had a business card burned onto a CD which refused to play[2]...

    What kind of sick son-of-a-bitch were you dealing with? Who the hell would burn a business card onto a CD? That's like saying "Here, this is like a business card, but far, far less convenient. In fact, let me just throw it in the garbage for you now because that's all you're going to do with it."



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I've seen good programmers with degrees in English, Music, Art or with no degree at all.
     

    I knew of one place where having a CS degree informally disqualified you for developer interviews.  The teams (and interview panel) experienced many prima donna CS grads that presumed their degree bestowed complete knowledge upon them and stubbornly refused to budge from their outdated ways.

    When I was in school back in the mid-80's, the careers advice guy specifically warned me not to go for a CS degree at university if I actually wanted to work in computers, for just that reason.  Plus ça change, apparently... 




  • There are two kinds of programmers: those who loudly proclaim that a CS degree is worthless, and those who actually have a CS degree.



  • @bridget99 said:

    There are two kinds of programmers: those who loudly proclaim that a CS degree is worthless, and those who actually have a CS degree.

    That's actually four kinds of programmers once you realize that the options aren't mutually exclusive.



  • There's two types of tradesman, one who loudly decries a union, and a union member.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @bridget99 said:
    There are two kinds of programmers: those who loudly proclaim that a CS degree is worthless, and those who actually have a CS degree.

    That's actually four kinds of programmers once you realize that the options aren't mutually exclusive.

    So bridget has a CS degree? Damn, that explains quite a lot.



  • Well in the first two years taking my degree in "computer engineering" I
    learned about low-level processor design, assembly, basic C, C++, and
    SQL, operating system design, and network protocols. Is it that bad?
    It's not programming-centered but it does provide a nice base to expand around.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Well in the first two years taking my degree in "computer engineering" I
    learned about low-level processor design, assembly, basic C, C++, and
    SQL, operating system design, and network protocols. Is it that bad?
    It's not programming-centered but it does provide a nice base to expand around.

    Computer science is awkard math. The computer engineering class I took was awkard electrical engineering.



  •  @Cassidy said:

    Some years ago I "interviewed" my team-leader's mate

    I don't think that's fair. A wonderful CS degree bestowed on a wonderful person will not magically give you knowledge of the pitfalls of website front-end development.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    What kind of sick son-of-a-bitch were you dealing with?
     

    I think you'd call them "yung, dumb, n full of cum". The burning onto a CD was public willy-waving because CD burners had just come out at the time and he wanted to impress with an interactive business card. Unfortunately his efforts fell flat.

    @dhromed said:

     @Cassidy said:

    Some years ago I "interviewed" my team-leader's mate

    I
    don't think that's fair. A wonderful CS degree bestowed on a wonderful
    person will not magically give you knowledge of the pitfalls of website
    front-end development.

     

    Truth be told, I don't know if he had a CS degree - but you don't go hawking your web work at a potential employer without taking a critical view upon it.

    In terms of degrees... I have a degree in Maths & Computer Science and I'll be the first to admit it taught me butter fuckall about common and business use of computers - if anything, I learned a load of interesting history, something on algorithm design and how to program in different types of languages, such was the insular nature of the course content.  Probably the most valuable thing at the time was getting exposed to a new system called "Unix".

     



  •  I initially studied Biology and in the first semester we had a class in C++. We also had a ton of Math and Physics

    Especially in CS I don't think its a bad idea to know other fields then lets be honest, you will be creating solutions for them and if you don't get the basic problem and why it needs to be solved, it will get like 1000 times more annyoing to communicate with such a developer.

    Besides that there are the fields of Bioinfomatics and Cheminformatics.

    So no, this is not a WTF. Having a wide scientific background is a good thing and most of the math stuff you learn you will never actually use in real-life application development. 

     

     



  • @Cat said:

    1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.  I don't think 12/120 credits of science is really asking a lot.

    Math and Computer Science are both sciences, so you should be able to get Bachelor of Science degree in just them, no?



  • I actually have a "Bachelor of IT". Confusingly I could have went through the science or the business faculty and they have the same name but quite different content. I, of course, went through science, which was more theory and Unix than the business one. Though one of my friends started his business IT course in 1999 and learnt Cobol! The following year they switched to VB. I started doing actual engineering and our intro to programming course was in qbasic.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Dance B.A.



  • I don't have any degree at all. I did however attend university a couple of years. Although I dropped out because I thought the professors were mostly idiots, I did learn a lot of interesting stuff that's still with me to this day -- and even though my grades were somewhat at the middle, I easily outperform any of my peers who now have a masters degree. Because I care deeply about what I do, and I don't teach myself something only to forget it when the exams are over.

    Here's my 2 cents trying to balance the discussion: Going to university/trade school whatever is just one way of learning. For some it's the best way, others are more suited for self-education or learning by doing. What's best for you might not be best for someone else (not to mention that the quality of teaching seems to differ enormously between institutions). It isn't about what team you're on, it's about YOU and your attitude towards what you're doing. The usual, simple stuff.


  • There are a lot of people who jump into programming as enthusiastic newcomers and just seem to set the world on fire. Why would I ever hire some stodgy, probably money-driven CS grad instead? Well, because if you're willing to spend four years writing boring programs designed by someone else in languages you didn't choose, you might actually succeed at the work I have for you. After all, my superiors and I will be expecting what your professors did: measurable production using OUR languages and OUR specs. These will not be the languages people on the Web think are cool, nor will the applications be similar to those neat little demonstrations you see on the Web.



  • @Bulb said:

    @Cat said:
    1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.  I don't think 12/120 credits of science is really asking a lot.

    Math and Computer Science are both sciences, so you should be able to get Bachelor of Science degree in just them, no?

    Hell no!  If you are getting a BS in chemistry you are also required to take a few biology and physics courses.  Many specificly say that science courses outside of your major have to be what you use on the general education science requirements.



  • @locallunatic said:

    @Bulb said:

    @Cat said:
    1. It's a Bachelor of Science degree.  Every such degree must include science courses.  I don't think 12/120 credits of science is really asking a lot.

    Math and Computer Science are both sciences, so you should be able to get Bachelor of Science degree in just them, no?

    Hell no!  If you are getting a BS in chemistry you are also required to take a few biology and physics courses.  Many specificly say that science courses outside of your major have to be what you use on the general education science requirements.

    The ABET standard for CS is basically a year of coursework in natural science. The courses have to be the ones that are intended for science majors. The CS coursework itself amounts to 1.5 years. The math requirements are pretty stiff as well. I had to take Calculus 1-4, Statistics with Calculus, and Discrete Math. So, the CS degree template in ABET's estimation ought to basically be that of a degree in natural science. ABET also mandates that a certain proportion of CS professors have doctorates in CS... this is difficult for some schools, and if you're learning from ".NETJunkies.com" (or Khan Academy, or whatever), then you'll probably never get any input from people with really deep CS knowledge.



  • @bridget99 said:

    There are a lot of people who jump into programming as enthusiastic newcomers and just seem to set the world on fire. Why would I ever hire some stodgy, probably money-driven CS grad instead? Well, because if you're willing to spend four years writing boring programs designed by someone else in languages you didn't choose, you might actually succeed at the work I have for you. After all, my superiors and I will be expecting what your professors did: measurable production using OUR languages and OUR specs. These will not be the languages people on the Web think are cool, nor will the applications be similar to those neat little demonstrations you see on the Web.

    While your hypothesis might sound rational, it's wrong. Most CS graduates write about as much code as the people majoring in "Marxist Basket Weaving". They've never been introduced to version control. They know they're supposed to document, but they don't know how, so they just write five lines of documentation for every line of code, like so:

    /**

    • This adds the value of the "subtotal" variable to the "total" variable. Both are
    • ints, but I added the casts just to be safe. What this actually does is copy the
    • value of total to a temporary variable, add the value of subtotal to it, then copy
    • that back to the value of total. I think this makes it thread-safe because it uses
    • a temporary variable.

      */

      total = (int)total + (int)subtotal;


    Ask them what a "unit test" is and they think it's a video game. They can't write a Makefile or a build.xml without setting their workstation on fire, etc..

    Look, I know you probably got your CS degree back when it required you to do a hands-on semester helping to crack Enigma codes, but the days of universities turning out skilled CS grads are behind us. That's not to say that skilled people don't graduate from CS programs; they do, but their skill has to do with their own personal interest in the subject and not the schooling.

    My evidence? I used to work at a place where we'd interview a lot of MIT grads. This is supposed to be one of the top CS programs in the world, right? Holy shit, it was embarrassing. The handful of not-fuckwits were immediately gobbled up by military/intelligence; the not-entirely-retarded ones went to work for Facebook, Google or M$; and the rest got hired by start-ups.



  • Oh, but they can explain Big O notation. This usually comes up during code reviews when I'm asking why they have 7 levels of nested for() loops.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    but the days of universities turning out skilled CS grads are behind us. That's not to say that skilled people don't graduate from CS programs; they do
    There is a theory that the number of good/excellent/whathaveyou CS graduates is more or less constant every year, but enrollemnet and graduation rates have gone up, leading to a lower percentage of CS graduates that know their shit. When i was in college i was shocked by the number of my peers that seemed utterly incompetent. I assumed they wouldn't graduate, i assumed wrong; the only appreciable effect is that before the data structures culling there were only ~2-3% good students, and after the culling there was ~10-15% good students (in any given class).

    @morbiuswilters said:
    My evidence? I used to work at a place where we'd interview a lot of MIT grads. This is supposed to be one of the top CS programs in the world, right? Holy shit, it was embarrassing. The handful of not-fuckwits were immediately gobbled up by military/intelligence; the not-entirely-retarded ones went to work for Facebook, Google or M$; and the rest got hired by start-ups.
    Overall the better a programmer is the less exposure they have to the job market, because they tend to spend less time looking and more time sequestered away working for someone who will pay for quality!



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    Good luck with the computer science major! Maybe you'll get lucky and be able to graduate with a degree in worthless knowledge
    Just tell everyone that you have a CS degree from some small universoty that nobody has ever heard of.. It worked for the CEO of Yahoo.

    Oh, wait, never mind . . . . 



  • @esoterik said:

    Overall the better a programmer is the less exposure they have to the job market, because they tend to spend less time looking and more time sequestered away working for someone who will pay for quality!
    This is true in almost any field.  When I was growing up I remember my father complaining that his company always had great difficulty hiring machinists because anyone who was actually any good was already employed and not looking for a job.



  • @DaveK said:

    @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I've seen good programmers with degrees in English, Music, Art or with no degree at all.
     

    I knew of one place where having a CS degree informally disqualified you for developer interviews.  The teams (and interview panel) experienced many prima donna CS grads that presumed their degree bestowed complete knowledge upon them and stubbornly refused to budge from their outdated ways.

    When I was in school back in the mid-80's, the careers advice guy specifically warned me not to go for a CS degree at university if I actually wanted to work in computers, for just that reason.  Plus ça change, apparently... 



    That is because Computer Science is not the study of programming; any more than Astronomy is the study of Telescopes.



  • @havokk said:

    That is because Computer Science is not the study of programming; any more than Astronomy is the study of Telescopes.

    Nor is medicine the study of mutilating human bodies.



  • @havokk said:

    That is because Computer Science is not the study of programming; any more than Astronomy is the study of Telescopes.

    True, but a good astronomer should know and be able to use his tools. I'm in my fourth year of CS and utterly amazed at how some people still have trouble with basic programming after a few years.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    There are a lot of people who jump into programming as enthusiastic newcomers and just seem to set the world on fire. Why would I ever hire some stodgy, probably money-driven CS grad instead? Well, because if you're willing to spend four years writing boring programs designed by someone else in languages you didn't choose, you might actually succeed at the work I have for you. After all, my superiors and I will be expecting what your professors did: measurable production using OUR languages and OUR specs. These will not be the languages people on the Web think are cool, nor will the applications be similar to those neat little demonstrations you see on the Web.

    While your hypothesis might sound rational, it's wrong. Most CS graduates write about as much code as the people majoring in "Marxist Basket Weaving". They've never been introduced to version control. They know they're supposed to document, but they don't know how, so they just write five lines of documentation for every line of code, like so:

    /**

    • This adds the value of the "subtotal" variable to the "total" variable. Both are
    • ints, but I added the casts just to be safe. What this actually does is copy the
    • value of total to a temporary variable, add the value of subtotal to it, then copy
    • that back to the value of total. I think this makes it thread-safe because it uses
    • a temporary variable.

      */

      total = (int)total + (int)subtotal;


    Ask them what a "unit test" is and they think it's a video game. They can't write a Makefile or a build.xml without setting their workstation on fire, etc..

    Look, I know you probably got your CS degree back when it required you to do a hands-on semester helping to crack Enigma codes, but the days of universities turning out skilled CS grads are behind us. That's not to say that skilled people don't graduate from CS programs; they do, but their skill has to do with their own personal interest in the subject and not the schooling.

    My evidence? I used to work at a place where we'd interview a lot of MIT grads. This is supposed to be one of the top CS programs in the world, right? Holy shit, it was embarrassing. The handful of not-fuckwits were immediately gobbled up by military/intelligence; the not-entirely-retarded ones went to work for Facebook, Google or M$; and the rest got hired by start-ups.


    I don't interview MIT grads, but I hear what you're saying. The last time we tried to hire a programmer, the best candidate we got had some kind of 2-year certificate from a trade school and also just liked to program. He still wasn't good enough to hire, but I have a feeling that, had he gotten a real degree, he would have been very employable.



    We did have applicants with degrees from State U., and they were amazingly bad. I don't mean that they didn't know how to use the tools, I mean that they couldn't explain things like why one doesn't use a floating point type for money, or the difference between an upcast and a downcast. Of course, we had overseas applicants with supposed degrees from supposed colleges, and they were similarly bad.



    I think what's needed is someone who's both enthusiastic and well-educated... like the trade school dude, but with more education.



    A lot of schools have gone to Java as the language-of-instruction (including State U. where I live), and I really, really think that hurts. It shouldn't be called "Computer Science" if the core courses are in Java. The reasons why should be patently obvious, but if you need support I think Joel Spolsky wrote an entire blog post / rant on the subject ("On the Perils of Java Schools.")



  • So obviously they should introduce programmers with something like Scheme or x86 assembler. Then they'd be better at real-world programming!


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