[thelist] Carrer Help

Jason Handby jason.handby at corestar.co.uk
Mon Apr 2 06:01:03 CDT 2007

Hi Matt,

> Unfortunately this holds true not only with trivial classes 
> like HTML at my school but programming courses as well. 
> Professors aren't up to date and there's little point to 
> getting a degree in CS since it's instantly about 10 years old.

If I went on a specific course on how to program in C#, for example, and
found they were teaching 5 year old material, I'd definitely be cheesed
off. The purpose of a C# course is to teach you C#, and the more up to
date it is the better.

But I don't think that's what a CS degree is for. There's a lot you
learn on a CS degree that isn't about specific details of languages.
Even if you come out of it not knowing any C#, Ruby or whatever, you've
learned how to take a problem and think it through in terms of
algorithms, in terms of objects and their relationships... Not to
mention the things you learn about operating systems, compilers,
algorithmic complexity, parallel processing and so on. All of this is
really useful stuff; and a degree course gives you an environment where
you can take half a step back from client requirements and actually take
in that broader picture. And that broader perspective and understanding
of what you're doing will stay with you, even if you end up revising it
as you go along.

I have a degree in Computing and AI from Sussex University. I didn't
learn any details of any of the languages I use now -- in fact I
remember teaching myself C because I was too impatient to wait for the C
course to get going -- but I learned a lot of useful principles and
ideas, and it helped me a lot in the way I think about programming now.
I'm incredibly glad I did it!


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