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Kit Plummer
Software Engineer :: Techitect :: Evangelist
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I’ve been saying for a while now that CS graduates are ill-equipped as they enter the working world. I don’t believe it is a language issue, or even really a skill issue. But, after reading this I’ve figured out the problem. CS programs are just too easy? NO. CS programs are just selling the wrong stuff.

There is a huge difference between CS and the profession of software engineering. I don’t want to rehash old arguments here but, I think Dewar misses it big in his source argument. I’m mean come on, this coming from a guy who makes his living off of Ada? Give me a break! Students don’t need more languages to learn in college. They’ll get that eventually if they are good enough to survive. They need to know how to integrate both technically and socially.

The bottom line is that there are jobs working with many different languages. Mashup artists are in high demand…because projects really aren’t single language-centric anymore. It is all about system integration – the wheel has already been invented (in most cases). Testing, collaboration and architecture are way more important than the Towers of Hanoi problem.

So, if you aren’t getting introduced to Spring, RTOSes, Javascript/Python/Ruby/AS3/etc, Eclipse, Behavior-Driven Development, robotics, SOA/ESB/WS and the like – then you are indeed getting ripped off. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the science part of CS is irrelevant – it just isn’t everything.

More importantly, if you as a student of CS, are only concerned with what you are being fed, and are not smart enough to look around at what is going on in the industry – then you are probably getting exactly what you deserve. The problem here is that most hiring peeps don’t course correct, and not hire you.

Ok, now consider how sour the software development job market has gone. Outsourcing, is everything now. Hell, the outsourcing companies outsource. There just aren’t enough good software engineers out there to fix this problem. Yes, I’m pointing the finger at the university systems, especially here in the U.S. But, equally to blame are the students, and to some extent companies that hire incapable CS grads. Well, that’s full circle isn’t it. It does get worse. Because, who do you think drives curricula at these schools (why is Java being taught)? That’s right, industry.

Damn, I don’t even remember why I started this rant. Oh yeh. At least we are starting to take a finer-grained look at the problem. Dewars’ entry in the CrossTalk Journal is a step in the right direction…obviously, my small voice wasn’t making a damn bit of difference.


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