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Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 5 Dec 2002 11:51:36 -0500
text/plain (62 lines)
Hi everyone,
> I'm glad you said this! My boss gets mad when I say it, but I agree
> completely. CS grads rarely have any "design" skills. It's hard to fault
> them however, it's the schools that let them graduate without any real
> design skills or concerns for quality. There are good profs and schools that
> teach these skills, but they are rarely in the CS departments. Give me EE's
> (hell, any engineer (even an ME or CE)) with a little SW training any day.
I've seen and heard these generalizations for many years. As a CS
professor with 28 years in these trenches, I am well aware that my
own, and MANY other, undergrad programs genuinely ARE doing the best
they can to foster design experience and a concern for quality. In
our own case, many of the employers of our 20-40 annual graduates
tend to confirm this.

Every university in the country will "permit students to graduate"
(as John puts it) with a C average; nobody requires a 4.0 average
to get a degree. A C average can mean 40 C's out of 40 courses
(though most C students have more of a mix than that).

Needless to say, if you hire my "C-average" students you'll get a
"C-average" worker (no pun intended about the language C:-)).
And that includes a "C-average" engineer, too. Yes, I and others
have graduated some turkeys. I wouldn't drive over the bridges
they designed.:-)

If you hire my A students, you'll damn well get an A worker. They
know a lot, and what they don't know, they're ready to learn.

  * * * * *

Over the years I've had great difficulty getting people who make
these generalizations to provide specific examples of CS programs
that they've found to be notably poor, or good, at providing grads
who meet their expectations. John and others, here's a challenge:
give me some specifics, publicly or privately.

Let's get beyond the generalizations.

Please discuss the *recent* graduates you've dealt with; telling
me about your own experiences 15 or 20 years ago won't tell me much
about the current state of things.

Yours truly,

Michael Feldman
Michael B. Feldman -  chair, ACM SIGAda Education Working Group
Professor, Department of Computer Science
The George Washington University -  Washington, DC 20052 USA
[log in to unmask] - 202-994-5919 (voice) - 202-994-4875 (fax)
"Teach me to be an engineer. I don't care if it takes all day."
from a Dilbert comic strip
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