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There are a lot of schools that teach Java and C++ but whenever I see the syllabus for one of these classes it's almost always some cut and dry OO stuff with possibly some boring end of class project. With all the little gadgets and emulators for those gadgets why aren't more schools re-purposing those classes so that the students work their way up to building android or meego applications? That way students get to experience first hand what it takes to engineer/build a piece of software instead of doing finger exercises with syntax. Practically every self-taught programmer that I know started programming because they wanted to make their gadgets do things for them. They didn't learn a programming language with an abstract conception of using it on some far distant project so I don't understand why schools don't emulate this style of teaching.

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closed as off-topic by MichaelT, jwenting, gnat, Martijn Pieters, ChrisF May 5 at 10:35

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No school/university could teach you to build real world solutions. They can only help. –  Mudassir Feb 18 '11 at 5:51
@Mudassir: I don't understand what you're trying to say. –  davidk01 Feb 18 '11 at 6:26
@davidk01: You've to practice on your own to become better/one of the best. –  Mudassir Feb 18 '11 at 6:56
@Mudassir: I don't see how that's relevant to why school structure their curricula a certain way. –  davidk01 Feb 18 '11 at 6:59
It's difficult to see what's being asked here, and anyway you have to learn the basics of programming (controls structures, classes etc.) before you can move on to building "proper" applications. –  ChrisF Feb 18 '11 at 8:43
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John McCormick (faculty webpage) has been running a successful course in embedded real-time programming for a multiple of years. This course is teaches software engineering in the contexts of a real world model (railway), with seemingly good results. This is not android or meego, but more hands-on embedded technology. Perhaps this might be something towards what you're looking for?

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Neither Software Engineering nor Computer Science are really about the technicalities of programming. The former involves questions of design and project management and the latter is more about algorithms and theory.

If you want a curriculum that puts programming and technology first, you should be looking at the technical schools. And, before everyone starts dumping on the tech schools, they are not all ITT Tech or DeVry. There are good ones out there that will get your hands directly on new technology.

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Care to name such technical schools? –  davidk01 Feb 18 '11 at 8:00
Those are what community colleges are for –  Mahmoud Hossam Feb 18 '11 at 10:02
@davidk01 I'm not familiar with what's available globally, but in my home town of Calgary, SAIT is an excellent tech school. –  smithco Feb 18 '11 at 17:13
@Phobia I think that may just be a difference in regional naming. I think the term 'community college' may be particular to parts of the USA, but it is likely largely similar to the sort of institution to which I refer. –  smithco Feb 18 '11 at 17:15
Well, they're called just "institutions" in my country, so I don't really know what the general term for such schools are, but this term is a good enough approximation IMHO –  Mahmoud Hossam Feb 18 '11 at 17:29
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Seems that you're looking more for vocational education, not university education. At unis they don't teach you to use specific tools, nor specific languages. They are just examples for classes that teach you particular paradigm.

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Pick an open source project that uses a language you want to learn. Work your way into the community by filing bugs, chatting on IRC, and eventually submitting patches. You'll learn what tools they use and pick up the things they won't teach you in CS--version control, code sniffing, etc.

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