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Is Computer Science Dead? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:07 PM


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Post #1274040
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:53 AM
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I never really thought about it that way, but it is so true.
Being a DBA can sometimes be outright boring and that's why I still do programming on top of being a DBA. It just amazes me how all my old programming techniques fit right into these new frameworks (well just .Net as that is the only one I currently use.
Yes, my days with Pascal (and Assembler) taught me a lot and yes, programmers should start learning by using one of these 3rd generation languages but that is a big ask these days.
Post #1274083
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:47 AM


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All i really need to know i learned in the first year of programming course in the college.
I learned little bit more next years, especially Simula 67 (3rd year).

Technology is far away now, but the principles are the same.




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Post #1274142
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:57 AM


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These days I found self called developers or programmers that don't know the meaning of OOP and C or C++ are "ancient" languages, nevermore used Study computer science, it will pay off.
Post #1274149
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:31 AM
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Yes - It's dead.

I'd never recommend someone to learn computer engineering so he can work as a dev or dba etc.

In the end it's all about what you want, where will you earn decent money and have a fulfilling job. You can earn better at a lesser effort in other jobs, so why go for this?
I personally like it, but as time changes and IT moves towards lower cost countries sooner or later that will affect us a lot more than it does today.

Back to the money and effort. Two friends bailed on computer engineering after one year because they found it too heavy, these were normal people, not better or worse than anyone else. However, as economy engineers they could study at 200% speed and still find it easier than 100% speed studying for computer engineer.

I do not believe there is a future for this job, it's already dead. You can do well within it, and I think change will come slowly, so it might take 20 or 50 years before salaries really starts to drop as india and china and east countries competes efficiently. But why would you spend as much effort in this job unless you love it and do it for joy when you can earn better and do less in other jobs?
Post #1274185
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:58 AM


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I have seen recent graduates (last 10 years) with a distinct lack of understanding of programming fundamentals. These people were writing software!!!

There is a reason that I was taught different languages through my 8 years of full time Computer Science education. Different languages solve different types of problems and also show different ways of doing things. Some of the simpler free form languages, such as Pascal, make for an excellent basis in learning to program as it allows for discussions and demonstrations on the importance of naming, code structure, comments, format etc. As a previous contributor said, C/C++ (amongst others) allows for performance tuning, memory management and algorithm evaluation. Nowadays I would expect to see OS scripting taking a more formal approach (*nix shells and PowerShell should not be considered anything short as being part of a systems administration or specific scripting module). Teaching someone to do a simple type of application development closely coupled with a particular framework is very short sighted.

Programming is not going anywhere. I have heard that no-one was going to be coding in the West for decades now. Demand has not really decreased. It will if there are no decent coders left. On the job learning is fine but there needs to be an academic foundation too. I am not prescribing full time education but I believe that that too has its place.


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Post #1274191
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:47 AM


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One can learn to program and be a hell of good programmer without ever stuying computer science or anythig related to it....BUT be sure that this person will study by his own everything he needs and even more. Finishing a full 4-5 years of computer science will not turn you into Alan Turing, Linux Torvalds or any other, but will help to set the bases. Again, those bases can be settled up by your own, maybe in less time, maybe already targeting a known goal, sql developer, sysadmin, dba, .net developer, etc. But just knowing all the .net framework and all the commands does not make a good programmer. Studying and practice is the key to success, without spending hours studying and then applying that knowledge, no way that person can turn into a good developer/dba/etc.
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Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6:01 AM


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yazalpizar_ (3/28/2012)
One can learn to program and be a hell of good programmer without ever stuying computer science or anythig related to it....BUT be sure that this person will study by his own everything he needs and even more. Finishing a full 4-5 years of computer science will not turn you into Alan Turing, Linux Torvalds or any other, but will help to set the bases. Again, those bases can be settled up by your own, maybe in less time, maybe already targeting a known goal, sql developer, sysadmin, dba, .net developer, etc. But just knowing all the .net framework and all the commands does not make a good programmer. Studying and practice is the key to success, without spending hours studying and then applying that knowledge, no way that person can turn into a good developer/dba/etc.


I agree that it can be done outside of an academic institute or other structured learning methods but this issue is twofold:
1) People don't know what they need to learn without decent guidance.
2) People just don't do this (the majority that I come across anyway).

There are always exceptions of which I think that you will find a higher percentage amongst contributors to forums such as this.


Gaz

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Post #1274222
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:09 AM
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I wish I had a nickel for every time someone told me programming was dead. Back in the 70's CASE was going to make programmers obsolete. At one time I was told spreadsheets were going to lead to the demise of programming because the average user could arrive at their own answers. The list goes on.

The best argument I heard was when an "expert" panel at an early personal computer show pronounced that COBOL programmers would soon be extinct because all high school students would soon be graduating knowing how to program. An elderly gentleman (to me, I was in my early 20's) rose and said that wasn't so. He said, "Look around you, everyone in this room knows how to read and write. But how many of you are going to write novels?"

I've never been a fan of a computer science education. Certainly there is an advantage to being taught, but I want programmers who want to learn instead. The best hires I've made have been people who did not have a degree but had been self taught. That indicated to me the desire to learn, even if it is on their own.

One time I had this conversation with an accountant who wondered why programmers were necessary, hadn't we written everything yet. I reminded him that programming is less than a century old, while accounting was thousands of years old. But what I thought was my best response back to him was, "Who programmed cellphones before they existed?"

My most fun and challenging projects have been when I worked in languages that did already have all the good stuff preprogrammed (spoolers, communications, math, etc.), unlike today when you spend most of your time learning the APIs of the packages that have already been written. But there are plenty of libraries that can be yet written.

We still have challenges ahead, multi-cores are here to stay and efficiently using them is still not baked into the languages.

The world has not caught on to the information age. Industrial Age thinking still prevails. A friend related a story from his work where a VP had bragged about how they planned to add off-shoring in both India and China. He thought that at the end of the day the programmers present would transmit their code to the next team who would continue coding and then ship it off to the next. He said, "Just imagine what your code will look like when you show up the next day."

And be honest, we still have a long way to go on developing the human-computer interface.
Post #1274259
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:35 AM
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Yes, its dead. Other ways to get into programming or DBA. My wife and I are programmers. She took the punishing route.

And C was the most terrible class I took in college. (Just my opinion) But working with memory and understanding pointers was a waste of time.(again, just my opinion) It was punishment for the sake of punishment. Out of 30 students, I was the only one to get one of the assignments done. And only because I had a friend who programmed in C that practically did it for me. Of couse, unless you actually want to work with memory or pointers.

To be honest, if one wanted to change the world, a class in proper database design should be required in high school and college. Until then, no real progress will be made in this world. You think I am kidding, but I'm not.

I went the Psycholgy and Criminal Justice major route with business minor, then MIS as a master. Then a slew of books in my free time in order to pass MS exams. I would have never made it through CS.
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