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#1 Cuzzie  Icon User is offline

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Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:40 PM

Hi guys! I know a lot of you here are college students who are taking IT-related courses. I was just wondering if it's sufficient for a student to be good in a programming language if he/she depends solely on the programming lessons given in his/her class? Is it even possible for a lecturer to finish teaching everything about a programming language in a few semesters?
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#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:46 PM

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No. Eventually, you will have to do your own research, develop your own approaches, etc. For more advanced classes like data structures, AI, etc., the instructor will probably cover what your book can't or doesn't very well. Yes, lecture can be important. However, doing things for yourself like research, practice, etc. is even more important.
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#3 Mercurial  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:25 AM

No, but don't get discouraged. It doesn't mean you have to bust your head about what should you work on. Teachers usually give big projects(both team and individual) and assignments which is actually research work.

This post has been edited by Mercurial: 05 August 2010 - 08:26 AM

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#4 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 05 August 2010 - 03:52 PM

another point to note is CS is evolving at a rapid pace, everyday new technology is born, you have to learn and adapt to these new technologies relying on your intelligence and self teaching abilities. So if you cant figure stuff on your own and always relied on others teaching it to you, then this field is not for you.
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#5 eclipsed4utoo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 06 August 2010 - 06:38 AM

Do projects outside of class. Take what you learn in class and expand on it to do other things. Strictly using coursework will not help you. You need to do more.
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#6 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:04 AM

View PostCuzzie, on 04 August 2010 - 03:40 PM, said:

Hi guys! I know a lot of you here are college students who are taking IT-related courses. I was just wondering if it's sufficient for a student to be good in a programming language if he/she depends solely on the programming lessons given in his/her class? Is it even possible for a lecturer to finish teaching everything about a programming language in a few semesters?


It's never sufficient. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a university that teaches things that are required in the work field.

If you'd like to read some more interesting thoughts on the subject, check it out here: What's the most important thing you weren't taught in school?
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#7 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:42 AM

Lectures, books, all the materials you can be exposed to, they won't make you a programmer. They give you information, not knowledge or experience. You will only be gain that on your own, through your own work.

You can watch all the cooking shows on TV ( there are lots now ), read books forever. But until you crack an egg, light a fire, see how all the elements you've learned about behave on your own, you can't claim to know how to cook.

You classes provide a foundation. It's unlikely you will use all that information or even the languages you learned. The importance is having a conceptual grasp of programming. In the fast moving world of computers you'll be presented with new technologies you can't anticipate. The best you can do is be in a good position to teach yourself the new stuff. Sometimes no instructor is available to you.
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#8 eZACKe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 08 August 2010 - 02:35 PM

Another thing to note is that when you enter the real world and look for a job, companies are going to hire people who stand out. If all you've done is go through your schooling, then you're not going to stand out to potential employers.

You need to do your own projects, learn new material, and try to stay up to date with the computer science field. These are things that will help you stand out, but won't necessarily be fully exposed to in college.
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#9 Riggs109  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:37 AM

I will be a third year CS student this coming semester. I have programmed quite a few things outside of class that I found fun to do. I believe that I have learned more out of class than I have in class looking things up, and figuring out how to get my application do what I want it to. As I've heard many times, experience is more than half of getting a job in your field. I would recommend looking for internships through your college to get some experience in programming.

Riggs-
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#10 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:19 AM

from a non-programming perspective, I worked in the professional graphics field for a few years before I tried college (the first time). I was (and still am) very professionally competent with photoshop- I got to the photoshop class in the college and not only did they completely skip most (maybe 2/3ds) of the absolutely necessary skills that I was using every day at the time, the skills they did teach were not generally taught well- not that the teacher was bad, he was a good teacher, he simply didn't have the information on how to do what needed to be done.

The small experience I have with freelance programming tells me that the programming world is the same. Lots of kidiots graduate and say "I'm an expert C# or Java programmer!" because they've gotten good results on tests, but the thing is, their teachers, no matter how good, are not working in the programming world, they're working in the educational world, and in the best case they aren't going to be able to answer half of the questions a typical student (who makes the effort) will have. And so the graduates- at best- know the syntax of the languages they've been exposed to and have had to work in, and that's it. The software blog Joel on Software did a bit about this a while back, and the thing that he pointed out was that this was perfectly acceptable 20 years ago when you could have a reasonable chance of finding a job writing pure bit-moving algorithms in C- but it no longer works because most (99%) of the time you spend programming will be spent dealing with things specific to the platform you are programming on, and what graduate has this experience?
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#11 JamesConley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 16 August 2010 - 08:41 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 04 August 2010 - 07:46 PM, said:

No. Eventually, you will have to do your own research, develop your own approaches, etc. For more advanced classes like data structures, AI, etc., the instructor will probably cover what your book can't or doesn't very well. Yes, lecture can be important. However, doing things for yourself like research, practice, etc. is even more important.


I completely agree, also with all of the other posters.
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#12 CasGrimes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Depending Solely on Programming Lessons in Colleges

Posted 28 August 2010 - 04:20 AM

Knowing is only half the battle.......GI JOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEE
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