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A coworker of mine, Anand Iyer (www.Artificialignorance.net), pointed us to a really good article / opinion-piece by Joel Spolsky. Joel rants on the “Perils of JavaSchools”.
Now, you have to indulge me a bit here. Yes, I’m an IT Pro. But my upbringing into my career was with a CompSci degree at the University of Minnesota, where I was trained in Computer Science and Software Design/Engineering using FORTRAN, Pascal, C, and LISP. Following that I spent many fulfilling years as a Software Engineer, writing in C and C++, and cranking out some (what I thought were) elegant uses of pointers, funky-recursions, etc. Stuff that, quite frankly, would make YOUR head explode. <heh> So I know and can relate full-well to what Joel is talking about. And while I’d like to disagree with his brief statements about how far Microsoft is behind Google in massively-parallel computing (we’ll save that for another day), I really loved Joel’s take on the state of computer science programs and what/who the schools are churning out.
It’s well worth the read for any of you that have a similar CompSci background, or are considering going into it.
We're (my lovely wife and I, that is) agree that there needs to be a certain level of difficulty. Languages like LISP (or it's cousin Scheme) drive recurssion home like no other language. And how the heck are you going to <i>effectively</i> teach data structures with Java? This is the core of Computer Science.
I never enjoyed the weed out courses, but now I can easily say that they're necessary.
My 2 cents.