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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Ronald Skoog <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 08:54:45 -0800
Ronald Skoog <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (42 lines)
> From [log in to unmask] Sun Feb  8 06:47 PST 1998
> The knack for programming has not changed since your FORTRAN days,
> they just added 42 new buzz words, and switched from top-down
> design to bottom-up (object oriented) design. However, that knack
> has always been the equivalent of solving Algebra word problems.
> Since the Algebra training is so boring they make you go all the way
> through Calculus word problems, not because you need Calculus, but
> because Calculus is just algebra with the variables changing all the
> time. Thus the knack for solving Calculus word problems is the same
> knack as solving Algebra word problems. And going all the way through
> Calculus repeats those same skills with 4 different instructors, one
> of whom is suppposed to actually transmit to you the skill of solving
> word problems.
> If you can already solve Algebra word problems, you can skip college
> and start programming immediately, either for fun or for a career.

My experience is that most (certainly more than 50%) of the programmers
I've worked with did not have a CS degree.  The best had advanced Math
degrees.  I don't think that current CS programs have enough math
course work, at least not in the areas of discrete math and the algebraic
specification of programs (as opposed to the algebra refered to above.)
I took 3 years of calculus and 2 years of physics when I was a Chemistry
major and I found that helped a great deal with much of my CS work
(outside of the classroom.)

If somebody just wants to be a programmer there is no reason (IMHO) to
get a BSCS (or higher) degree.  A two year degree will teach a person
how to be a programmer.  Added to that is the length of time required
to obtain a PhD in computer science, average is 6 years, compared to
other subjects (hard science or non-science)  which is normally 2 to
4 years (and where the course work for Master's degree will apply to
the PhD.)
> Mike