November 9, 2006

s/undergrad/underinformed/

Do go into computer science if:

  • you love math (I don’t mean you did well at it in HS, I mean you enjoyed it and would learn more on your own)
  • you have programmed and found it fun and interesting (not you tried it and thought it was easy, or did pretty good in some course)
  • you are a strong problem solver

The above slashdot comment got me thinking. I don’t know about you, but when I graduated from high school, my interests were:

  1. Watching sports.
  2. Boobs.

And quite honestly I wasn’t that into sports at the time. Unless a high paying career in the breast inspection field opened up, limiting my prospects to my interests would have rendered me useless to society and foreshadowed a bleak financial future. And trust me, the breast inspection field has some of the lowest turnover of any industry.

By exposing myself to CS I came to enjoy math, discovered that programming can be satisfying, and have improved my problem solving skills measurably. Even among those who came into a Computer Science program with the prerequisites suggested above, few understand what completing a CS degree entails. It’s common for students to become disenchanted with a Computer Science when they realize we don’t create 3D first person shooters as part of the standard CS curriculum.

As CPLUG pres. and a 100th year senior in CS, I find myself talking to freshman who have no idea what’s going to happen to them over the next 5 years they’re in school, and who will most likely become distraught when they find out. They probably still think they’re going to graduate in 4 years, silly bastards.

No Comments »

  1. that’s why there’s computer engineering – higher pay, more boobs, and faster graduation. :-P

    Comment by Ryan — November 9, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

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