Programming As A Discipline

My experience as a C.S. student so far...

Page 1 of 1

1 Replies - 387 Views - Last Post: 05 November 2010 - 07:06 AM

#1 DXDenton  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 28-April 10

Programming As A Discipline

Posted 04 November 2010 - 10:56 PM

I'm a computer science student at a local community college. I've completed my core requirements (i.e. data structures, prog 1 + 2, etc...)but I still don't feel like I have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of software development, or that I've gained the necessary skills to continue pursuing my degree in C.S. at a four year school. Don't get me wrong, I understand that programming, and software development in general, is a huge field and that no one can expect to master it even after obtaining a degree. What I am frustrated with is the lack of structure and classroom discipline demonstrated by my C.S professors, and I don't think I'm the only one who has experienced this.

My C.S. classes were pretty unstructured; lectures were tedious and the professor would usually waste most of the lecture time talking about things completely unrelated to the topic; homework was rarely assigned, but when we did have an assignment the professor wouldn't grade it or provide any feedback on the code and grading was generous to say the least. Now, I know it's a community college, but I expected a certain level of structure and professionalism going in. I wanted to learn how to code and I knew that I would have to put in the time and effort myself, but I needed someone knowledgeable to provide me with some guidance and to help me set reasonable goals.
You see, I am not your typical tech-savvy geek, I didn't write my first program when I was 13 and I never spent sleepless nights learning how to overclock my GPU to get those few extra FPS in counter-strike. But I thought I could approach programming like a discipline; if I put in the time and effort I would be rewarded with the knowledge and understanding. After two years all I am left with is some basic knowledge of syntax and the ability to a code a lot of random little programs. I am left with several questions and the purpose of this post was to possibly get some of them answered. Were my expectations to high going in? Should I expect less or more at a four-year college? What can I do to start improving my programming skills? There is an overwhelming amount of information on the web and its hard to know where to begin. Should I get a firm grasp of data structures? Should I learn specific syntax? Should I try to code my own social networking website and hope that I hit it big? I chose to pursue a degree in C.S. because I knew it would be challenging, interesting, and rewarding. But is it possible to learn how to become a good programmer without having a programming background? I truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this article and I look forward to any feedback.

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Programming As A Discipline

#2 LinuxMage  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 03-November 10

Re: Programming As A Discipline

Posted 05 November 2010 - 07:06 AM

Hi.

I've heard of similar complaints about computer education over the years. It's been a long time since I was in formal CS classes, but I've heard some say they don't feel they are getting what they should out of them. Some classes seem to focus only on basic or theoretical stuff or the "cool" or latest hype ideas, which don't always last. It can produce people who invest in such educations and then can't get a job doing it. I remember a few years ago a guy putting out an ad looking for work to get some practical experience because no one would hire him based on his degree alone.

I would say take what you do know and work with it yourself. Step outside of what they are teaching and look for things that interest you about programming. I won't say totally disregard what is taught, but don't be afraid to go beyond it and start figuring things out for yourself. If you don't feel you are being challenged enough to learn well, then start challenging yourself.

Most of the stuff I write is based on my own explorations and not what I was originally taught. Dig into the things that really interest you and work from there.

This post has been edited by LinuxMage: 05 November 2010 - 07:09 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1