I Don't Like Computer Science

  • (4 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »

52 Replies - 5547 Views - Last Post: 25 March 2011 - 08:25 AM

#1 Brewer  Icon User is offline

  • Awesome
  • member icon

Reputation: 178
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,044
  • Joined: 14-June 10

I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 22 March 2011 - 06:19 PM

I don't like computer science. I'm sorry, I just don't find theory to be that interesting, I much prefer application. Can you be a software developer without liking computer science? I love programming, it's my second favorite past-time (sleeping is my favorite thing to do!).

My school offers programs in both Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Of course I would have an easier time getting a job if I did computer science, but I think that electrical engineering would be more interesting to me. Can you be a software developer with an Electrical Engineering degree?

What pulls me towards a degree in EE is that fact that I could create a physical product, and then program it to work correctly. The Electrical Engineering program at my school requires two courses in C++, but the rest of the programming I do would be done on my own. Of course, I'm doing this as it is anyways.

Would doing a degree in EE with the end-goal of being a software dev be a bad idea?

Ideas and opinions, please.

This post has been edited by Brewer: 22 March 2011 - 06:21 PM


Is This A Good Question/Topic? 2
  • +

Replies To: I Don't Like Computer Science

#2 sl4ck3r  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 11
  • View blog
  • Posts: 285
  • Joined: 22-September 07

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 22 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

It is definitely possible, but I think quite a bit harder to get a job programming. The theory will help you in the long run and make you better programmer imo. Good luck whatever your decision.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2506
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,615
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:44 AM

So you want to be a developer, but you want to take electrical engineering to become it. Odd way about it, but if that's what you enjoy, that's what you enjoy. You don't necessarily need ANY school to become a developer (I dropped out of a teaching degree).

but as sl4ck3r put it, the 'theory' will help you in the long run. I taught myself all I know about programming in my garage at home, and I still had to study theory.
Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#4 EarthShaker  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 55
  • View blog
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 16-March 11

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:50 AM

View Postlordofduct, on 23 March 2011 - 01:44 PM, said:

So you want to be a developer, but you want to take electrical engineering to become it. Odd way about it, but if that's what you enjoy, that's what you enjoy. You don't necessarily need ANY school to become a developer (I dropped out of a teaching degree).

but as sl4ck3r put it, the 'theory' will help you in the long run. I taught myself all I know about programming in my garage at home, and I still had to study theory.


No it's not odd at all. both electrical engineering and computer science are closely related to each other.
@OP: If you really feel like you can handle electrical engineering courses which are much much harder than computer science courses, It's really a great choice to go for it.

http://web.mit.edu/c...ngin.elect.html
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#5 SpeedisaVirus  Icon User is offline

  • Baller
  • member icon

Reputation: 114
  • View blog
  • Posts: 855
  • Joined: 06-October 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:13 AM

You do know there is a ton of theory behind EE too right? Not all of your classes will involve building anything. The same with CS.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10180
  • View blog
  • Posts: 37,586
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:48 AM

There is always IT/CIS in the business department for more practical, less theory.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

  • Whorediot
  • member icon





Reputation: 2495
  • View blog
  • Posts: 15,453
  • Joined: 24-September 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:47 AM

WTF?! How exactly is EE and CS particularly close related? They only teach you programming for a few short courses as another tool to solve math problems. I'm surprised they didn't just teach you MATLAB because that's all you'd use anyways. EE is to design electrical systems, make sure the ohms don't completely wipe out the volts, stuff like that. That's not building software, repairing programs, or fixing bugs. :/
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8371
  • View blog
  • Posts: 31,100
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

While I admire your knack for a physical product that's not really what a software developer's about is it? The boring theory classes (how ever you might personally define that) is important to a developer. Sure I won't be using complex compiler theory much after college but to know what your code is doing (generally) behind the scenes at run time or when compiled is important. Any monkey can punk down controls and tap at a keyboard but what separates you from them is knowing the full dimension of what is below this surface activity.

If I were to extend your logic out why even go to college? People here have shown you can be successful as a contractor doing small projects. Screw school, buy some books, and start churning out code!

Oddly your sig indicates "Major Pure Mathematics" what ever that means (is there a tainted mathematics I left in my wake years ago?). That's all theory work too, right?

I would look at if you just like working with your hands on EE projects and dabble at writing code to make your robot go or what ever. You seem to be at a crossroads of intent - how about figuring out what you like to do and go with it? Build a list of pros and cons and find a degree that fits.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#9 shintetsu_80  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 31
  • View blog
  • Posts: 105
  • Joined: 01-July 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:43 PM

That's exactly what I did. I'm and EE and I develop software for a living. It's not a bad choice but if your sole purpose is to develop software I would stick with CS. Honestly that's what I would do if I had to do it over again.

Doing EE opens a lot doors for opportunity because you gain the skills for doing both hardware and software. When I chose EE I wanted to do strictly hardware after my 3rd year I realized I enjoyed software much more, but I didn't want to extend my time at school to change my tech areas to software. I finished with a strong basis in hardware and found a job doing software UI development because I had a good base in software development.

The bottom line is if you can demonstrate that you have the skills to do software during an interview any company looking for degreed candidates for software development will consider EE, CE, and CS.

If your trying to get away from theory don't go EE. You'll only be adding to the suffering. Besides learning software theory you'll also have to learn hardware theory. Then you'll have to stick them together to make something functional.

As a side note the majority of the CS theory courses (algorithms, compiler theory, etc...) are available to EE's as part of there tech area curriculum.

This post has been edited by shintetsu_80: 23 March 2011 - 12:50 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#10 Brewer  Icon User is offline

  • Awesome
  • member icon

Reputation: 178
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,044
  • Joined: 14-June 10

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:18 PM

Ok well I have a few minutes on my hands here, so lets reply to some of these posts.

Before I reply to anyone though, I think I ought to add to/modify part of my original post. Theory is not my favourite thing in the world. As I pointed out, I prefer application to theory probably 9 times out of 10. Of course, at some point I would need to shake things up. One of my biggest weaknesses is my ability to get bored with things very quickly. I wouldn't want a job where I used application 100% of the time, but at the same time I don't want a job where I use theory 100% of the time either. Computer Science encompasses subjects like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Data Mining, Algorithms and Data Structures, and Cryptography. Of course there are a lot more topics than these, but these just don't spark my interest.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but engineers do go out in the field every so often don't they? Getting out of the office for one or two days a month would be nice. On top of that, the prospect of working for a company like Boeing and designing the control systems for the next big air plane strikes me as exciting.

I said that I love programming, and I stand by that. I think I might not be up to the challenge of developing software my entire life though, maybe that just isn't for me. Then again, maybe it is an I don't realize it.

Now let's get to some of these comments you guys left:

@sl4ck3r - You were the first person to point out that theory I would learn doing a CS degree would be important to my later success as a developer. I have to agree, there's no arguing this point. On the other hand, I would be willing to bet that EE majors learn skills that employers wish some of their CS majors had.

@EarthShaker - Thanks for that link. I agree that EE and CS are similar in some aspects. However, I also agree with NeoTifa that they are vastly different in some aspects as well.

@macosxnerd101 - This is an option that I could look into, thanks.

@modi123_1 - I had to decide between going to university or going into the service after high school. The deciding factor was that I chose to move to Canada to be with the girl that I love. The only way I can stay here is to go to school. Also, my school offers two different math degrees: pure math and applied math. I chose a joint major in Computer Science and Pure Math because the math courses required for a pure math degree were closely related to computer science. As per your suggestions of making a list of the pros and cons of each degree, I'll give that a shot. To do engineering I would have to complete all of the requirements for a common first year program at my university called "Engineering One" and then hope that I do well enough to get admitted to the Faculty of Engineering. If I don't get into the faculty then I will have wasted over $10,000 in courses and books.

@shintetsu_80 - Thanks for posting! I always enjoy reading stories about people that have "been there, done that". I suppose the truth is that I'm not completely sure what I want to do at this point, and I'm also not sure how to figure that out. I pay a very steep sum (at least steep for me) to go to school where I do and I can only take out so much in student loans. However, I do like the idea that EE would allow me to go either way. Maybe I would go into EE and then decide that I don't want to work with software after all.

What I find interesting is that while I was filling out a job application the other day (a full-time summer position for Bell Aliant, preferably working in engineering or telecommunications) I came across a question asking me to list my top three skills. Sadly enough, I couldn't do that. It wasn't because I had so many to pick from, rather I couldn't think of three skills that I had (I ended up Googling the question and taking an answer from Yahoo! Answers that said something to the effect of "Teachable, Proactive, Determined"). Maybe I like computers because that is what I'm good at? I took a Psychology course last semester. It was fun but I couldn't imagine majoring in Psych.

Please feel free to comment on anything I said here! And thanks to everyone for their replies!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2506
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,615
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:39 PM

View PostBrewer, on 23 March 2011 - 02:18 PM, said:

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but engineers do go out in the field every so often don't they? Getting out of the office for one or two days a month would be nice. On top of that, the prospect of working for a company like Boeing and designing the control systems for the next big air plane strikes me as exciting.


That really depends actually. It depends a lot on where you work, and what you're working on. For all you know you could end up sitting behind a desk drawing up 'plans' for all sorts of things and never actually go see it. In the same respect you could end up out in the field daily, with your hands in the 'mud'.

EE is a fairly massive field with jobs ranging all over the scope. One of my buddies is an EE and he spends his entire day out on the factory floor maintaining the systems for a large company near by. Where as my brother used to work for a company contracted by Pratt & Whitney, the engineers (several different ones) in his office never went into the field, that's what he was there for.




@EarthShaker - I say it's odd because I feel they are not the same. EE is more physical, where as CS is more abstract. They both require the same sets of maths and logics training. But they approach problems in very different manners. They are the same like Physics and Quantum Physics where in that they actually aren't the same.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 23 March 2011 - 02:47 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8371
  • View blog
  • Posts: 31,100
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:44 PM

Quote

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but engineers do go out in the field every so often don't they? Getting out of the office for one or two days a month would be nice.


Stop..stop.. stop right there. Okay you are mixing burdens. Random-future-company-x's day to day policy shouldn't be affecting your degree. Some company's have outtings.. to bars and what not... on site visits.... locational meetings.. some don't. Some shoot nerf guns all day.. some don't. Using the thought that "this degree has company's that get me out of the office way day a week" is just silly.

Additionally it's not like programmers don't have clients too. Who else would annoy the ever living crap out of us with scope changes and conflicting requirements?
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#13 Brewer  Icon User is offline

  • Awesome
  • member icon

Reputation: 178
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,044
  • Joined: 14-June 10

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:45 PM

View Postlordofduct, on 23 March 2011 - 07:09 PM, said:

View PostBrewer, on 23 March 2011 - 02:18 PM, said:

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but engineers do go out in the field every so often don't they? Getting out of the office for one or two days a month would be nice. On top of that, the prospect of working for a company like Boeing and designing the control systems for the next big air plane strikes me as exciting.


That really depends actually. It depends a lot on where you work, and what you're working on. For all you know you could end up sitting behind a desk drawing up 'plans' for all sorts of things and never actually go see it. In the same respect you could end up out in the field daily, with your hands in the 'mud'.

EE is a fairly massive field with jobs ranging all over the scope. One of my buddies is an EE and he spends his entire day out on the factory floor maintaining the systems for a large company near by. Where as my brother used to work for a company contracted by Pratt & Whitney, the engineers (several different ones) in his office never went into the field, that's what he was there for.


I guess that makes it a bit of a gamble then doesn't it?

Another option is that I could create some massive feat of engineering-genius and start my own company. That would be nice. :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2506
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,615
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

I'm going to repeat modi123_1

Don't decide upon a degree based on the possible perks of a individual job in that field.

Decide your degree on a field of study that interests you. The peripherals aren't always going to be there, but the heart of the study will. So decide based on that. You can always attach your own perks and peripherals down the line.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#15 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8371
  • View blog
  • Posts: 31,100
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: I Don't Like Computer Science

Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:54 PM

By Odin's teet - a gamble? As in a gamble on what you will be doing when you need to pay back your student loans? Well yeah. Not every company does the same thing with the same position titles. Again - get off the kick about what this far flung future company will do or not do. Hell by the time you graduate the world economy will be tanked and no one will have jobs that are not hunting, gathering, or mad-max raiding.

Honestly find something you thoroughly enjoy, squint until you get that fuzzy eye look down the future and can say 'yeah I wouldn't mind doing this', and just get the damn degree.

A degree is like a garden - you gotta dig it.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

  • (4 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »