Computer science degrees



  •  This has been bothering me since I first enrolled in school a few years ago. 

     

    Why is "teaching yourself" something by reading a book different than learning things from a book that someone tells you to learn in little peices, and what can you say in a lecture that you can't write down.

     

    People are spending thousands of dollars and years of their life year after year and it's adding to the national debt and it doesn't make any sense at all to me.

     

    What can you pay a person to do that could possibly be worth this much ?



  • Wow, you must have had some shitty professors.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Wow, you must have had some shitty professors.
     

     

    I can't imagine what they can do whatever their skill is.

    What is it exactly that they are supposed to be doing that makes the difference?



  • @Chame1eon said:

    @Ben L. said:

    Wow, you must have had some shitty professors.
     

    I can't imagine what they can do whatever their skill is.

    What is it exactly that they are supposed to be doing that makes the difference?

    Cashing those sweet, sweet checks!

    Seriously, though, I'd say it's mostly a waste of time. I interview a lot of people. Some have degrees. Some do not. There is absolutely no correlation between skill as an engineer and having a degree. It's sad that that is the state of higher education, but it's true. Some of the best engineers I've seen were self-taught, and I've seen people with dual Ph.D.s in Math and Comp Sci who wouldn't write a bubble sort if it bit them on the ass.

    And it's not that they have some hidden talents that just aren't being utilized by the job--I've looked. These people apparently spent 10 years sleeping through classes and fell out the ass end of the university system with a BS, MS and two Ph.D.s, and $200k poorer.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Wow, you must have had some underpaid, overworked TAs and shitty nearly-absent professors.

    UTFY.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ben L. said:
    Wow, you must have had some underpaid, overworked TAs and shitty nearly-absent professors.

    UTFY.

    I had a shitty TA but a great professor for both of the courses I've taken so far.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ben L. said:
    Wow, you must have had some underpaid, overworked TAs and shitty nearly-absent professors.

    UTFY.

    I had a shitty TA but a great professor for both of the courses I've taken so far.

    Yeah, but they haven't got your money yet, right? Just wait until that first check clears the Bursar's office..



  • Those who can program, do. Those who can't, teach.

    I'll never get over the intern-candidate I interviewed a couple years ago. Part of our interview process involved a programming test. I gave him his choice of programming language and IDE and all he had to do was parse a small CSV file and do a little bit of manipulation to it. My C# version was about 30 lines and that included whitespace and comments. This guy I interviewed had a B.S. in Computer Science and was working towards a master's in Applied Computer Science, was a Java TA for two years, and had a 4.0 GPA. I had to kick him out after an hour (the ones who can program usually finished this task in 10 - 15 minutes) and when I reviewed his work all he had was about 20 different Java projects in his NetBeans workspace, none of which would even compile. Each one had a few different typo'd lines of code and none of it even approached the task at hand. And Java/NetBeans was his first choice because that was what he supposedly taught as a TA!



  • @mott555 said:

    Those who can program, do are probably just a myth. Those who can't teach, teach can't.

    You're not new here, so this is pretty inexcusable.



  • I have no degree and I am a brilliant genius you should emulate.



  •  The graduates that can't write simple algorithms baffle me.  At first I thought they must be getting disqulified for some minor syntactical error like using << instead of <<< since you might never use it after you see it once, but apparently that is not it. I can see why you won't forget the NetBeans guy. I keep trying to figure out what all the different projects were for.



  • @Chame1eon said:

    The graduates that can't write simple algorithms baffle me.

    Not everyone learns to program at the same time as earning a CS major, they are related bodies of knowledge but very much not the same thing.  If you are actually trying to get an education rather than just a degree then you will pick both up at the same time, but many people go to school for degrees and not for an education these days.



  • Very relevant article from Jeff Atwood.

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/02/why-cant-programmers-program.html

    I've noticed this as an interviewer and many of the CS professors I've talked to noticed the same thing. Regardless of degree, GPA, or work experience, 90%+ of programmers can't actually program.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    More broken implementations of FizzBuzz in 5...4...3....2...



  • @mott555 said:

    Very relevant article from Jeff Atwood.

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/02/why-cant-programmers-program.html

    I've noticed this as an interviewer and many of the CS professors I've talked to noticed the same thing. Regardless of degree, GPA, or work experience, 90%+ of programmers can't actually program.

    But what that article REALLY demonstrates is that most developers are aspie morons who ignore the point of the article so they could write some idiotic sample code in 37 different languages. (Most of the posts being buggy or misunderstanding the requirements.)

    Really, reading the comments to that article makes me want to take a flamethrower to the entire industry.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But what that article REALLY demonstrates is that most developers are aspie morons who ignore the point of the article so they could write some idiotic sample code in 37 different languages.

    I thought the point of the article was to drive ad impressions. Getting "aspie morons" to hit refresh a lot to see if someone beat their code seems like it played right into Atwood's wallet.



  • Well... i guess it depends on the institution.



    I went to one which had at least, per week, 10 hours of lectures, 5 hours of practical work, 5 hours of 2-on-1 tutorials, and around 5 hours of classes of up to 10. Probably more on a busy week.

    You were expected to do a lot of reading in between, or you wouldn't be able to keep up.



    I know people who had 2 hours of lectures, no tutorials, a handful of classes with 60 people in, and practical work just sort of done in your own time.



    I basically went to fuck all lectures (they were not useful to me) and read shed loads of books... but the tutorials and classes were genuinely useful - talking to professors in person is invaluable; listening to them from a distance, not so much.





    Consequently I and the people on my course could explain, in quite some detail, how every level of computer technology works in relation to the layers beneath it... from transistor logic at the bottom, via pipelined processors, machine code, language and compiler design, OS design, etc...

    The people on the other courses could just about knock together a java application, which might not crash. They usually know what to do, but rarely why they do it.



  • @mott555 said:

    Those who can program, do. Those who can't, teach.

    I'll never get over the intern-candidate I interviewed a couple years ago. Part of our interview process involved a programming test. I gave him his choice of programming language and IDE and all he had to do was parse a small CSV file and do a little bit of manipulation to it. My C# version was about 30 lines and that included whitespace and comments. This guy I interviewed had a B.S. in Computer Science and was working towards a master's in Applied Computer Science, was a Java TA for two years, and had a 4.0 GPA. I had to kick him out after an hour (the ones who can program usually finished this task in 10 - 15 minutes) and when I reviewed his work all he had was about 20 different Java projects in his NetBeans workspace, none of which would even compile. Each one had a few different typo'd lines of code and none of it even approached the task at hand. And Java/NetBeans was his first choice because that was what he supposedly taught as a TA!

    These kind of tests are being done in indian companies also. We all pass them with flying colours.



  • @Nagesh said:

    We all pass them with flying colours.

    I've met Indian programmers, and you're right. Assuming "pass" is an artful euphemism for taking a shit.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Nagesh said:
    We all pass them with flying colours.

    I've met Indian programmers, and you're right. Assuming "pass" is an artful euphemism for taking a shit.

    You're pulling my leg. You must have met all bad ones.



  • @Nagesh said:

    You must have met all bad ones.

    Yes, as I said, I met Indian programmers.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Nagesh said:
    You must have met all bad ones.

    Yes, as I said, I met Indian programmers.

    If that is serious statement, you need to cure your prejudice. If it is funny, I am not seeing a joke.



  • @Nagesh said:

    If that is serious statement, you need to cure your prejudice.

    Don't get your Ganges in a wad. I never said every programmer in India is incompetent, just every one I've met. Which is several.



  • I do like that paper he (indirectly) linked to.

    "So we're confronting a group of 1st year students with an ambiguous piece of code that describes a concept that's known to be hard to understand if no one ever explained to you. It's also known about half of the students already have multiple years of coding experience under their belt (due to hobby projects) while the other half has exactly zero. Then, after a three week programming crash course, we repeat the test an find no improvement. So, do we conclude that the course was shit? Or that people can't gain several years worth of experience in three weeks? Nah, obviously some people must have been born as programmers while others were not!"


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