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Re^7: So it's homework - so what?

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Mar 19, 2009 at 05:07 UTC ( #751627=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^6: So it's homework - so what?
in thread So it's homework - so what?

I'm fully aware that computer science is not the same as programming or software development. But if you have a computer science degree and cannot tell me the big-O performance of a double loop to intersect two lists, we have a problem. If you cannot come up with ideas to perform the same operation more efficiently, we have a bigger problem.

Every computer science curriculum that I've seen has a Data Structures and Algorithms course in the core curriculum. I honestly cannot think of an easier algorithm efficiency question I could ask. If you can't handle that question, you shouldn't pass that course. But I'd say that at least half of the computer science graduates that I interview can't come up with a reasonable answer to that question.

(Open ended questions are even worse. "What is a class?" Guaranteed disaster.)

Sure, they may have been learning lots of other things in their classes. But to my eyes giving people with holes like this CS degrees is equivalent to graduating math majors who are unable to solve a basic related rates question.

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Re^8: So it's homework - so what?
by gwadej (Chaplain) on Mar 19, 2009 at 13:15 UTC

    I wasn't disagreeing. I've been appalled at what walks in the door trying to get a programming job.

    Unfortunately, some students go through a program with the goal of getting the piece of paper at the end, without any hint of learning anything. I remember people in engineering (and in computer science) cramming for tests, getting a passing grade, and then promptly forgetting the material.

    I suspect that many of them don't believe that the information serves any purpose other than giving them something to be tested over.

    Not being able to answer simple questions about data structures isn't all. Inability to decompose even a simple problem. No ideas of how to troubleshoot. Inability to write a simple loop in the language they are applying for. And those are the ones who claim to be senior developers.

    G. Wade

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