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mattst88



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Carolina
mattst88
What are your experiences with Computer Science in College/University? What was your experience level going in? Did you feel that you were significantly better off having taken formal classes?

I ask, because I'm six months away from graduating and I think only one Computer Science class I took was even remotely worth it. I'm planning to go to grad school in Computer {Engineering,Science} and am starting to realize that I'm going to have to retake courses like Language Design and Operating Systems to be at the level I need to be.

I think my school is probably an outlier, but that doesn't make me feel any better.

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Post 02 Dec 2009, 22:53
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
Although i do not have any direct experience, I have read lots of information by professors left on their websites (look up anything programming wise, and you'll inevitably end up on a .edu) and have heard lots of students talking. Anyway...

I think alot of professors have a bad case of academentia. When they say that assembly should absolutely never be used, when unconditional jumping is heresy (lest it be making functions that'll only ever be called once), and when compilers will optimize away bad algorithms; perhaps they're full of it.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 01:09
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
My experience: gives great wide overview, you get idea about everything, generalized theoretical understanding you would normally never know about, etc., but it doesn't leave you time to learn anything properly. You know something about every topic, but you can do only very little real stuff.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 01:09
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
vid wrote:
My experience: gives great wide overview, you get idea about everything, generalized theoretical understanding you would normally never know about, etc., but it doesn't leave you time to learn anything properly. You know something about every topic, but you can do only very little real stuff.


Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but isn't that the point of computer science courses over more specialized paths like "game development" or something like that?
Post 03 Dec 2009, 01:12
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
Remember that computing-related educations aren't just about the courses and topics covered (which naturally can't be super-indepth about everything, or you could spend the rest of your life studying), but also very much about formalizing/standardizing skills and vocabulary, development processes, and interacting with others... skills that are more important for a job situation than knowing how to micro-optimize in assembly.

kohlrak wrote:
and when compilers will optimize away bad algorithms;
I've never heard anybody making that claim - au contraire, the saying is that the algorithm chosen is generally a lot more important than the language you implement it in.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 10:00
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MHajduk



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 6034
Location: Poland
MHajduk
vid wrote:
My experience: gives great wide overview, you get idea about everything, generalized theoretical understanding you would normally never know about, etc., but it doesn't leave you time to learn anything properly. You know something about every topic, but you can do only very little real stuff.
I agree with vid in this matter. Studying IT at the university gives you mainly ability to understand the language of mathematics (i.e. language used to formulate human thoughts in the most precise way). Unfortunately, from my own experience I can say that students aren't usually taught independence in thinking, they are enforced to "reproduce" their professors' lectures. Sad but true.

Of course, if you really have to study (you have to be professional licensed IT engineer) then go to the university, but don't expect too much. This is not the 18th or 19th century when such universities as University of Göttingen reached the highest level of the scientific research.

Everything important I know I learnt in practice after the graduation.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 11:39
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
Quote:
Remember that computing-related educations aren't just about the courses and topics covered (which naturally can't be super-indepth about everything, or you could spend the rest of your life studying), but also very much about formalizing/standardizing skills and vocabulary, development processes, and interacting with others... skills that are more important for a job situation than knowing how to micro-optimize in assembly.


True, but my comment is more about making false claims about assembly and certain practices (all done to sacrifice common sense in favor of what they consider to be formal) and endorsing other things, for no apparently reason aside from a unresonable accusation of bribe or lack of actual knowlege (in which case, it wouldn't be unreasonable to say one's professor doesn't know what he's talking about [which was actually the case of a highschool teacher of mine]). I don't care if a professor doesn't teach assembly; I'm just bothered when he says that no one should learn it.

f0dder wrote:
kohlrak wrote:
and when compilers will optimize away bad algorithms;
I've never heard anybody making that claim - au contraire, the saying is that the algorithm chosen is generally a lot more important than the language you implement it in.


Unfortunately, wording is important, because I have heard people twisting that rule into something else to excuse their own lazyness. It's much like people trying to twist a holy text, like the bible, to fit their own perverted needs or agenda, however just like twisting the bible, people listen. A light joke taking the format similar to the bible accurately illistrates the problem.

How Shit Happens wrote:
In the beginning there was a Plan.
And then came Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the plan was without substance.
And darkness was on the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying
"It is a crock of shit, and it stinks".
And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said
"It is a pale of dung, and none may obide the odor thereof".
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying
"It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none can abide by it".
And the Managers went unto their Directors saying
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength".
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying one to another
"It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong".
And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them
"It promotes growth, and it is very powerful".
And the Vice Presidents went unto President saying unto him
"This new Plan will actively promote growth and vigor of this company, with powerful effects".
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
This is how shit happens.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 11:47
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
If a teacher says that most people will never need to touch assembly these days, I will agree wholeheartedly.

If the claim is that most people shouldn't write assembly because the compiler will beat them, I will agree partially; it requires a fair bit of experience to write good assembly code, compilers generate pretty decent (though not perfect, of course) code these days, and it's too time-consuming hand-optimizing a full application (especially considering how little gain it's going to give).

Heck, I'd even grudgingly agree that knowing assembly isn't super important for most developers - as long as they have a decent understanding of algorithms (beyond just choosing the algo that has best big-O notation, e.g. knowing that a bubble-sort will outperform quick/heap/whateversort for a very small dataset) and data structures (e.g. when (and why!) a linked-list is better than an array). This does imply knowing about computer architecture, but not necessarily being able to write assembly code.

That said, I still feel that being exposed to assembly makes you a better programmer overall, even if you're not going to write any assembly code... but it's not the most important thing for educating good programmers.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 12:36
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edfed



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 4237
Location: 2018
edfed
it would be very easy to create a sort of evaluation of people on this board.
our fasm internet university.
specialised in asm.
then, habilited members will constitute the jury.
and we decern diploma to member who are pretty good and want to be evaluated.
then, wait for this paper to be cocignized by employers as if it was an official state diploma.

isn't it a good idea? (not only to joke)

for example, i am fasm technician lvl 1
one years,ago i was fasm dreamer lvl 6
2 years ago, i was a fasm error lvl 8

Laughing

and you, what will be your grade? Wink

many of you can be qualified as fasm doctorate. Wink that's why i think it is important to seek an other way to study.

like Jules Ferry invented the laic scool, I, EDFED the tiger, son of moile the bourbon and marie antoinette de burville, vicomte de fartignac, j'ai inventé l'ecole internet reconnue d'utilité publique.

it rox!

now, i need a server, a very fast connection, and a site where to put courses and documents for studes.


Last edited by edfed on 03 Dec 2009, 13:10; edited 1 time in total
Post 03 Dec 2009, 13:02
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
f0dder wrote:
If a teacher says that most people will never need to touch assembly these days, I will agree wholeheartedly.

If the claim is that most people shouldn't write assembly because the compiler will beat them, I will agree partially; it requires a fair bit of experience to write good assembly code, compilers generate pretty decent (though not perfect, of course) code these days, and it's too time-consuming hand-optimizing a full application (especially considering how little gain it's going to give).

Heck, I'd even grudgingly agree that knowing assembly isn't super important for most developers - as long as they have a decent understanding of algorithms (beyond just choosing the algo that has best big-O notation, e.g. knowing that a bubble-sort will outperform quick/heap/whateversort for a very small dataset) and data structures (e.g. when (and why!) a linked-list is better than an array). This does imply knowing about computer architecture, but not necessarily being able to write assembly code.

That said, I still feel that being exposed to assembly makes you a better programmer overall, even if you're not going to write any assembly code... but it's not the most important thing for educating good programmers.


If those were the claims being made, once again, it would be acceptable. But there's a difference between assembly being just an option that isn't popular and assembly being a bad option. If you don't believe me on how professors talk about assembly, go to just about any non-assembly programming forum and claim that you not only know assembly, but actually use it. Flame-war galore... If you need to make things interesting, confess that you would rather code some things in assembly than other languages, and see how fast your post gets smeared with mis-information that's heresy to refute.

I hate to say this about the open source movement, but they're the worst of them. It almost makes me want to become pro-DRM just so i can make a program in my favorite language without getting called a loony.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 13:10
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MHajduk



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 6034
Location: Poland
MHajduk
edfed wrote:
like Jules Ferry invented the laic scool, I, EDFED the tiger, son of moile the bourbon and marie antoinette de burville, vicomte de fartignac, j'ai inventé l'ecole internet reconnue d'utilité publique.
Hehe, right, École de FASM? Wink I guess you'll be the first His Magnificence Rector of this school. Very Happy
Post 03 Dec 2009, 13:32
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
kohlrak: teh intarwebs is and will be teh intarwebs - fortunately, real-life teachers and programmers I've talked to have been a lot more nuanced than most programming forums. Being able to read body language and not having the "oh goddammit, yet another of those pesky trolls invading our forum!" thought helps a lot, too Smile

And yes, the a lot of people subscribing to the opensores movement are pretty radical... especially if you find them on irc/forums/usenet. Mailing-lists and real-life tends to be a lot more nuanced.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 13:43
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cod3b453



Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 619
cod3b453
I'm in my final year of CS and from my experience, only the first year had any programming being taught (Java mostly, some C, very little C++), the second had some scripting (Perl/Python/JS) but was mostly theory like the 3rd and 4th years. Of that large volume of theory I feel that, at best, about half of it is actually useful, since many modules hardly went into any meaningful detail, and probably only a handful were truly worth studying. As a result, there are people coming out with good grades who actually can't program, design or reason effectively.

The crazy thing is, most of my defining skills have been self taught and the university's primary use towards my future career has been to get a piece of paper at the end.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 14:25
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
Quote:
kohlrak: teh intarwebs is and will be teh intarwebs - fortunately, real-life teachers and programmers I've talked to have been a lot more nuanced than most programming forums. Being able to read body language and not having the "oh goddammit, yet another of those pesky trolls invading our forum!" thought helps a lot, too Smile

And yes, the a lot of people subscribing to the opensores movement are pretty radical... especially if you find them on irc/forums/usenet. Mailing-lists and real-life tends to be a lot more nuanced.


Well, although i haven't spoken personally to college level compsci students and teachers, i have spoken personally to the lower levels. The highschool teachers and corresponding students. Although they don't accurately exemplify college level students and teachers, they do accurately describe that this is not an online only, lack of nuance problem. Of course, one could say that i've just ran into bad luck with the two teachers and complete skiddy troupe that i've met, but that would be saying that i'm just that unlucky. I wish i was that unlucky, but i'm honestly afraid that putting assembly on the resume would be job search suicide.
Post 03 Dec 2009, 14:49
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farrier



Joined: 26 Aug 2004
Posts: 274
Location: North Central Mississippi
farrier
I went thru my BS and MS from 1981-85. My classes were an interesting combination of programming, microprocessor interfacing, math, and control system theory. But what provided the most useful/practical information was the time I spent talking to other students who knew how to use/program the Terak, Apple II, Kaypro, IBM PC, and microprocessors that were just coming into practical use.

Although the information I obtained in my classes got me my first job in Control Systems, the "other" info is what led me to my next and longer lasting career.

Useful information is where you can find it. Find the people who have that information and are willing to share it. Of course, if you want a job, find out what the people hiring want in a applicant; or create your own job or consulting business. Then you have to find out what your customers want.

farrier

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Post 04 Dec 2009, 04:45
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 8870
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sleepsleep
Quote:

it would be very easy to create a sort of evaluation of people on this board.
our fasm internet university.
specialised in asm.
then, habilited members will constitute the jury.
and we decern diploma to member who are pretty good and want to be evaluated.
then, wait for this paper to be cocignized by employers as if it was an official state diploma.

isn't it a good idea? (not only to joke)

for example, i am fasm technician lvl 1
one years,ago i was fasm dreamer lvl 6
2 years ago, i was a fasm error lvl 8


at first, i thought cert on web is not real, but i got mine from brainbench last time, they really sent the cert to my mailing address.

http://www.brainbench.com/

it is free and fun. u guys should try take a test there.
Post 04 Dec 2009, 05:16
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