As many of you know, I started in Civil Engineering, before moving into the IT arena. All I know about computers, www, languages etc. is self taught and sessions attended virtually. Hence I always felt like I really missed out on getting a true CS degree. The more I talked to other kids (who were in College or recent grads) I felt like I was better off than them for being trained by the industry and the job. But still something was nagging me..I couldnt put in words what it was, until reading a recent essay by Joel.
An excerpt from his essay
But what about the CS mission of CS departments? They’re not vocational schools! It shouldn’t be their job to train people to work in industry. That’s for community colleges and government retraining programs for displaced workers, they will tell you. They’re supposed to be giving students the fundamental tools to live their lives, not preparing them for their first weeks on the job. Right?
To which I say amen…Learning to do a job is not the right way to go about this, learning to think and create is the goal.
Joel surmises accurately why the standard CS curriculum these days dont produce the caliber programmers and thinkers we need..or better yet, the ones I want to emulate like him, him or him.
This is semi-analogous to our recent MLB players on steroids to play better ball..by not working hard and paying the price, some of the best things are missed. By not thinking about core CS concepts like a good language design/functional programming/pointers etc. the brain is not stretched enough to make the jump to the next level of thinking, which is very crucial in making the next big discovery or invention.