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Few months ago, I was invited to a forum in a local university to discuss about programmers´s job market. The forum joined teachers and companies representants for understand this issue.

The final conclusion of debate was that the students are focused on tech part of software but they don't get understand the business concepts because classes has a little bit or none focus at that.

The university has commited to insert more business concepts on some tech courses.

What do you think about this? More business concepts really would help companies and students or tech courses must focus on tech things?

EDIT: The event was focused on Business Intelligence. So, companies were interested in programmers who had easy understanding to business rules too.

I think that, in this area, is essencial have these knowledgment.

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Is the question really: What do you think of this? –  JohnFx Oct 21 '10 at 23:07
@JohnFx: Yes. I updated the description to insert my opinion.. –  Pagotti Oct 22 '10 at 11:41

2 Answers 2

This was sorta asked before and I'll give a similar answer - there just in not enough time during a 4 yr degree to teach all the engineer mechanics necessary, provide a well-rounded education, and include business courses. It would be nice, business would love it but it's just not possible. Personally I would not want to ding the engineering courses to add business courses.

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I searched similar question, but I not found it. Do you have a link? –  Pagotti Oct 21 '10 at 20:31
Search for Is “Computer Science != Software Engineering” an excuse to teach programming poorly? - similar at least –  bigtang Oct 21 '10 at 20:57

First question: what's being removed to add business concepts? I've looked at curricula before and thought they were light on certain concepts, but couldn't find anything less valuable to remove. The number one desirable feature in a programmer hire is the ability to program well, number two is the ability to fit into the team. (Fail either and you've got somebody worse than useless, while a naive but competent programmer can be very useful.) Knowing how the business works is nice, but way down there.

Second question: Which tech courses are we talking about, and who takes them? Science courses should concentrate on science. People taking the courses to go to grad school have no immediate need of the business concepts, and need all the tech prep they can get.

Third question: Which business concepts? Ideally they'd be fairly basic and applicable to most businesses, and that really limits them.

What anybody in a company needs to know is what pays their salaries, and that's fairly simple in most companies. Knowing how sales, marketing, accounting, and such things work is usually not important.

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The goal is not provide deep business knowledge, of course, but contextualize students on some concepts like cash flow, financial indicators, forecasting, supply chain, resource planning, stock market, etc. About courses, here we have more people graduating in information technology than in computing science. –  Pagotti Oct 22 '10 at 16:56
@Pagotti: IT is more business-oriented, and IT grads probably should have some idea of business. Possibly adding an intro to business course would be useful. –  David Thornley Oct 22 '10 at 18:10

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