Programming vs. Computer Science

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

16 Replies - 3618 Views - Last Post: 03 March 2008 - 08:45 AM

#1 thenovices  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 9
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 19-January 08

Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:04 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm still a high-school student, and I am wondering if I should major in EECS for college. I currently really enjoy programming and am learning PHP/MySQL on my own while learning Java in APCS at my school. I heard that EECS has one of the highest drop rates in college because many people find out that they liked only the programming aspect and not computer science.

All I basically know is that programming is a relatively low-level job, while computer science is more abstract, dealing with algorithms or security.

Could someone please clarify the two differences for me so I have a better idea whether majoring in EECS is right for me?

Thanks in advance!

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Programming vs. Computer Science

#2 capty99  Icon User is offline

  • i am colt mccoy
  • member icon

Reputation: 98
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,081
  • Joined: 26-April 01

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:27 AM

cs ..... lots of math. if you don't like math. i doubt you like it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 baavgai  Icon User is offline

  • Dreaming Coder
  • member icon

Reputation: 5760
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,574
  • Joined: 16-October 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:31 AM

In the early days of computers, there wasn't a computer science major. When people started looking for one, it often because a specialty within the math department. In many universities, it retains that. You can take some CS classes where you'll never see a computer and never write code. Personally, these kind of classes always annoyed me.

Computer Science, as it's generally taught, will be heavy on theory, which can be useful. And, heavy on math, which is far less useful, IMHO. Regardless of the importance you put on such things, that's what you're likely to get. I believe computer science should be heaviest on logic and critical thinking. Alas, I don't believe anyone teaches critical thinking, or perhaps it can't be taught?

That said, the basics of computer science are pretty fundamental. Any curriculum that's computer based should give you the core stuff. The specifics of computers are always a moving target, anyway.

View Postthenovices, on 2 Feb, 2008 - 02:04 AM, said:

All I basically know is that programming is a relatively low-level job, while computer science is more abstract, dealing with algorithms or security.


Computer Science is major offered in schools. Jobs are jobs. In any job you find someone with a CS degree, you'll find people with other degrees as well. For the specifics, algorithms are the joy of the math types. Security is real world software and has little to do with theory. In theory, software can exist without security issues.

As for the low-level job, who cares? Do something that you enjoy; you'll have to do it every day of your life. All starter jobs are low-level. Once you move out of the trenches, the pay is good; though generally not as good as some computer rags would have you believe.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 thenovices  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 9
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 19-January 08

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:27 PM

hmm... I am starting to think that EECS may be right for me. I am very strong in math and pretty strong in critical thinking. I will probably try to get some internships to get more insight on the job.

What would someone working in computer science do? Would they be doing more design/algorithm stuff rather than a normal programmer just writing out the code after given all the documentation?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

  • Segmentation fault
  • member icon

Reputation: 180
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,641
  • Joined: 30-December 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:31 PM

I'm pretty sure the categories you should be deciding between are "computer science" and "computer engineering". I talked to a guy who was a "computer engineer", he said they do more stuff with the hardware (like making embedded systems), whereas "computer scientists" just write desktop/server software.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 davegeek  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 5
  • View blog
  • Posts: 81
  • Joined: 30-January 08

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:35 PM

Hi guys!

It all depends.
Say, when I was taking my computer science classes, I really learned programming.
In other words, if someone wanna know what exactly is offered in some course, then u better contact this particular dept or whatever college/University to get more info about the course.

I have some mates who took programming courses and as they told me there was no difference between those 2 areas of IT (cs & programming, but CS IMHO is more about PCs in general, algorithms, etc).
Though, again, it may vary from college to college.

This post has been edited by davegeek: 02 February 2008 - 02:36 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3093
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,139
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:04 AM

Computer science encompasses many things (all of which have already been stated), programming, thoery, and math. Still being a college student myself makes the following statement rather poignant (if I do say so myself :) )...

Having a piece of paper that says computer science (or computer engineering, or computer and information science, etc...) does not mean that you can't program, or run networks, so on and so forth. It allows future employers to see that you are trainable and have the capacity to learn. College degrees are there to make yourself more valuable in the marketplace.

--KYA
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 Hellsbellboy  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 28-June 03

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:28 AM

Not to hijack the thread, but I have a similar question.

I'm horrible with math and not looking forward to that aspect of Computer Science. So say I just want to be a Programmer. I want to code stuff in C++ or whatever is the programming language used today. How do I I get into that? I ask cause the colleges around here all have Computer Science with mostly math and classes on theory and Object Orientation but I don't see any classes on Javascripting, C++, C#. So where or how do I learn that? Is that a specialist school or something?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 dubs07  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 107
  • Joined: 03-January 08

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:06 PM

not sure mate
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3093
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,139
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:17 PM

Maybe I'm just ignorant, but programming and computer science seem to go hand in hand as well as all forms of math. How can one be a computer scientist without programming? How can a programmer not be considered a 'computer scientist'? How can anyone be a computer scientist or programmer without also being a mathematician (sic). I guess it all depends on your school and program.

Quote

Not to hijack the thread, but I have a similar question.

I'm horrible with math and not looking forward to that aspect of Computer Science. So say I just want to be a Programmer. I want to code stuff in C++ or whatever is the programming language used today. How do I I get into that? I ask cause the colleges around here all have Computer Science with mostly math and classes on theory and Object Orientation but I don't see any classes on Javascripting, C++, C#. So where or how do I learn that? Is that a specialist school or something?


Most computer science/computer and information science, any derivative of that major has theory, programming, math, OOP, etc... to make you a well rounded individual. :) I have never heard of a trade school for just programming.

--kya

This post has been edited by KYA: 15 February 2008 - 06:19 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 Hellsbellboy  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 28-June 03

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:50 PM

View PostKYA, on 15 Feb, 2008 - 06:17 PM, said:

Maybe I'm just ignorant, but programming and computer science seem to go hand in hand as well as all forms of math. How can one be a computer scientist without programming? How can a programmer not be considered a 'computer scientist'? How can anyone be a computer scientist or programmer without also being a mathematician (sic). I guess it all depends on your school and program.

Quote

Not to hijack the thread, but I have a similar question.

I'm horrible with math and not looking forward to that aspect of Computer Science. So say I just want to be a Programmer. I want to code stuff in C++ or whatever is the programming language used today. How do I I get into that? I ask cause the colleges around here all have Computer Science with mostly math and classes on theory and Object Orientation but I don't see any classes on Javascripting, C++, C#. So where or how do I learn that? Is that a specialist school or something?


Most computer science/computer and information science, any derivative of that major has theory, programming, math, OOP, etc... to make you a well rounded individual. :) I have never heard of a trade school for just programming.

--kya


Ok cool.. so when you went to University and majored in Computer Science you took classes in C++ or Java (or both or some other programming language?)

I'm just curious how the whole process works. In a few months I'll be deciding if I want to do that or if I want to do Web Developement or something else entirely.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3093
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,139
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:27 PM

I'm still in college/university, but yes I have taken java, C++, etc... Most of the 100 level classes were in java (I don't particularly care for it, but hey).
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 thenovices  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 9
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 19-January 08

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:16 PM

from what i thought, programming is more like, someone gives you the design, tells you what to do, and all you have to do is write it up.

I suppose computer science would be more like designing the product, doing stuff about security, finding the algorithms for the product, etc.

Thats just my impression of the difference, don't know if its right or not.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3093
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,139
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 18 February 2008 - 05:45 AM

I would say any programming project would encompass all of it (from design to production to end result). Unless you're brought in to do maintainence.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 P4L  Icon User is offline

  • Your worst nightmare
  • member icon

Reputation: 34
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,788
  • Joined: 07-February 08

Re: Programming vs. Computer Science

Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:39 AM

Hey everyone,
I am a current IT/CS major, and in my college, University of Phoenix, I am learning more programming than anything. My current class, Programming Concepts, was all programming in C. I will also be learning Java, C++, HTML, XML, IT Security, and a bunch of other things. I HATE math, to the point that I still can not remember which sign is for greater than, and less than, but I am carrying a 3.0, and have almost completed 2 years. So as I have noticed being said in this forum, it is all dependant on the college that the individual is in. On a side note, my company wants to send me to get certified in Object-Oriented programming, and SQL/Database programming since I use them the most.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2