[thelist] Carrer Help

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Mon Apr 2 08:50:56 CDT 2007

On 4/2/07, Jason Handby <jason.handby at corestar.co.uk> wrote:
> 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!

Exactly. The CS degree is not so you can leave and be a Java expert.
If that were the case, they'd be some pretty expensive Java classes.
The intent is to leave with the foundation needed to pick up the
details on your own. That way, 100 graduates diversify their knowledge
based on interest and can fill 100 different positions.

As someone who graduated last May, I can say that the comments against
the CS degree are a bit puzzling. I think if you've actually gone
through the process, you'd have a more positive perspective.

Matt Warden
Cleveland, OH, USA

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