Computer science or computing science (abbreviated CS or CompSci) is the scientific approach to computation and its applications.

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73
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How can I make sure that I'm actually learning how to program rather than simply learning the details of a language?

I often hear that a real programmer can easily learn any language within a week. Languages are just tools for getting things done, I'm told. Programming is the ultimate skill that must be learned and ...
69
votes
16answers
9k views

Do the young minds need to learn the pointer concepts?

Why did the C master Dennis Ritchie introduce pointers in C? And why did the other programming languages like VB.NET or Java or C# eliminate them? I have found some points in Google, and I want to ...
62
votes
29answers
8k views

Why does a computer science degree matter to a professional programmer? [closed]

I have a degree in computer science. It has been great for opening doors, getting a job. As far as helping me in the professional field of C# .NET programming (the most popular platform and language ...
61
votes
32answers
9k views

What's a nice explanation for pointers?

In your own studies (on your own, or for a class) did you have an "ah ha" moment when you finally, really understood pointers? Do you have an explanation you use for beginner programmers that seems ...
43
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23answers
29k views

Should certain math classes be required for a Computer Science degree? [closed]

For a Computer Science (CS) degree at many colleges and universities, certain math courses are required: Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics are few examples. However, since I've ...
42
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27answers
7k views

What is the biggest weakness of students graduating with degrees in Computer Science?

This question is directed more toward employers and graduate student advisors/professors but all opinions are welcome. What do you find is a common weakness of new hires and/or new grad students? Is ...
34
votes
11answers
3k views

What are the factors that have made Java a success as a programming language in enterprise computing?

What are the factors that have made Java a success as a programming language in enterprise computing?
34
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16answers
6k views

Will a computer science college degree ever hurt my employability? [closed]

Too often, I can see that there are many viable programmers without college degrees in Computer Science, Informatics, etc. Now that I've been reading more articles about underperforming education ...
27
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11answers
10k views

What to do when coding begins to feel boring, like it is all just more of the same? [closed]

I started programming at the age of 6 on a Commodore 64. Now I'm 28, and I have to complete 4 courses from a first degree in Computer Science. I'm starting to get bored with writing code after all ...
27
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6answers
3k views

What is the difference between 'layer of abstraction' and 'level of indirection'?

I am not sure if both terms can be used interchangeably. Maybe there is some academic distinction in computer science which is not relevant for day-to-day programming? Or can I use both term ...
27
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10answers
3k views

In the absense of a CS degree, how can I “fill in the gaps” so to speak?

The problem here is that "I don't know what I don't know". How can I fill in those gaps? What is it that a computer science degreed person will know that I don't? Note: This isn't a personal ...
27
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I find young developers to mentor?

I'm looking for a way to take my experiences (and the experiences of others), and provide a more active approach to an apprenticeship for CS college students or young developers. It seems to me that ...
26
votes
4answers
31k views

How do I completely-self-study Computer Science? [closed]

Being a completely self taught programmer, I would like it if I could better myself by self-learning the computer science course taught to a typical CS grad. Finding different resources on internet ...
25
votes
18answers
2k views

What is the one bit of computer science theory I should know? [closed]

Speaking as someone with an Electronic Engineering rather than Computer Science degree, what is the one bit of computer science I should know to make me a better real world programmer? (By real world ...
25
votes
15answers
7k views

Is a big name computer science degree worth the cost? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I need to go to a big-name university? I'm currently in High School and trying to look into what I want to do after I graduate. I know that I will be going to ...
25
votes
4answers
8k views

Upcoming Google interview, looking for some preparation advice [closed]

Well I've been hitting the books wherever I can. I have an interview coming up, first one via phone, for a software engineer position. I've read all the blog posts, I've read all the accounts of ...
23
votes
17answers
5k views

Is “Computer Science != Software Engineering” an excuse to teach programming poorly?

We've all heard it; whenever there's a discussion about CS grads having poor development skills someone eventually says, Computer science isn't software engineering. The problem that I see is ...
22
votes
17answers
3k views

What are some good assignments for an introductory course, to reach today's students? [closed]

I periodically teach an introduction to programming course using Java. I want to give my students some exciting assignments that they can relate to or find interesting. At the very least, I want ...
22
votes
7answers
6k views

Is a Master's worth it? [closed]

I know there are a few questions already about getting a Master's degree in Computer Science, but my question is a bit different. I've started programming when I was quite young. I did receive a BS in ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What are Ruby's strengths?

Before I'd read this article, I never understood why anybody liked LISP. After reading it, I was able to give LISP a fair enough shot and have since grown to like it. It wasn't until I read this ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are strings so slow?

Ever since my very first programming class in high school, I've been hearing that string operations are slower — i.e. more costly — than the mythical "average operation." Why makes them so ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

How to emphasize the differences between Software Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science to high schoolers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 30 minutes to explain programming to a 15 year old As a professional software engineer I have been asked to speak at a local high school junior class career day. As is ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How not to forget new and interesting information [closed]

The thing is that I read a lot of things over a period of time because it is interesting and I like to know it and secondly it will be helpful in my future job interviews. For example I read about ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

How can a self-taught programmer learn more about Computer Science? [closed]

I'm a self taught iOS (iPhone/iPad) programmer but didn't study CS in school. Are there any books or site I can study that will teach more about CS, in general. For example some common practices and ...
18
votes
13answers
2k views

Is the science of Computer Science dead? [closed]

Question : Is the science and art of CS dead? By that I mean, the real requirements to think, plan and efficiently solve problems seems to be falling away from CS these days. The field seems to be ...
18
votes
2answers
937 views

What class of problem is this, and what math do I need to know to solve it?

Mushroom cultivation requires fairly precise chemical composition of substrate (a.k.a. growing medium). Let's pretend we're growing shitakes and that this is the required composition of their ...
17
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12answers
5k views

Is this a bad time to be majoring in computer science? [closed]

There has been a lot of media attention paid in recent months and years to the increase in CS majors and the possibility of a second tech bubble. Some news reports have suggested that as more people ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

“Gödel, Escher, Bach” still valid today? [closed]

I have just completed a course on computability and logic which was an interesting course. The lecturer recommend a few books on his slides, which include "Gödel, Escher, Bach". I can see the book is ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

What methods are there to avoid a stack overflow in a recursive algorithm?

Question What are the possible ways to solve a stack overflow caused by an recursive algorithm? Example I'm trying to solve Project Euler problem 14 and decided to try it with a recursive ...
17
votes
12answers
6k views

Computer Science: Arts or Science? [closed]

Various colleges and universities may offer a degree in Computer Science either as an Arts or a Science. What differences are there between the two? Would recruiters and those who conduct ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

What is an example of a computationally impossible business problem?

I have coworker who refuses to accept the reality that Turing machines (and Von Neuman machines by extension) cannot solve their own halting problem stating: You can do anything with enough time ...
16
votes
3answers
892 views

Why do trees grow downward?

Why do trees grow downward in computer science? I have a feeling it goes back to a printer, and that a program traversing a tree first prints the root, and uses the notion of a bottomless stack of ...
16
votes
1answer
435 views

Can all code be represented as a series of Map / Filter / Reduce operations?

I have recently been refactoring large chunks of code and replacing them with Linq queries. Removing the language bias - Linq is essentially a set of Map / Filter and Reduce operations that operate ...
15
votes
14answers
1k views

Education vs. Experience [closed]

I'm going through a rough time. I'm a CS student at UIUC, which I hear is one of the top schools for CS. I love computers and programming. I've been pretty much doing it my whole life. I'm a freshmen ...
15
votes
10answers
1k views

Is learning C essential for Computer Science? [closed]

I am a front-end developer who barely even see a file with .h or .c extension. I know basic C syntax, I've learned it in Unreality but never was interested in such low level programming because it ...
15
votes
18answers
7k views

Why is Software Engineering not the typical major for future software developers? [closed]

While most agree that a certain level of Computer Science is essential to being a good programmer, it seems to me that the principles of good software development is even more important, though not as ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

Why is Perl so heavily used in Bioinformatics? [closed]

What is it about Perl that makes it so useful in Bioinformatics ? Why isn't C++ or Matlab or Python the big language?
14
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7answers
4k views

What discipline does Computer Science belong to? [closed]

Is Computer Science science, applied mathematics, engineering, art, philosophy? "Other"? To provide background, here is Steven Wartik's blog posting for Scientific American titled "I'm not a real ...
14
votes
12answers
2k views

Computer Science Degrees and Real-World Experience [closed]

Recently, at a family reunion-type event I was asked by a high school student how important it is to get a computer science degree in order to get a job as a programmer in lieu of actual programming ...
13
votes
18answers
3k views

I'm 15 and I really want to study Computer Science at University, any advice? [closed]

I already do a lot of programming in my spare time. I'm confident with PHP, Javascript, jQuery which I use in combination with HTML to create mock-up websites. The specific part of programming I want ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Backtrack My “Education”

A while ago, I decided to start programming. I really, just jumped into a language (Perl) and went from there. What I regret is that I just jumped in: I didn't learn the basics (if you would call ...
13
votes
7answers
372 views

If someone offers you an unverified statement regarding software development practices, do you respond with “citation needed”? [closed]

Recently I attended a lecture given by Greg Wilson (Chief Scientist of Software Carpentry). From the abstract: The idea that claims about software development practices should be based on evidence ...
13
votes
3answers
363 views

Why is the c family the standard CS study regiment for Mathematics/CS programs instead of the LISP family?

I have been familiarizing myself with LISP for self improvement purposes. One of the things I have noticed is that LISP is much more within the paradigm of Mathematics than say C. The syntax and ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Mathematics for Computer Science [closed]

I am going into university next year. I think maths would be one of the more important aspects of computer science. I recently saw the MIT Introduction to Algorithms video on YouTube and the maths ...
12
votes
19answers
6k views

Is it worth becoming a programmer? [closed]

I'm a first year student in CS and I absolutely love programming. Many people have told me it isn't so good once you start working due to bringing your work home (thinking about how to solve problems ...
12
votes
13answers
1k views

As a code monkey, how to discuss programming with a guy who almost has a doctorate in computer science [closed]

A friend of my wife's is coming over for dinner tonight and he is a lot smarter than me. What do we have in common, well... A Bachelor's in Computer Science, and that should be enough of a ...
12
votes
10answers
9k views

How to master C++?

I am a grade 11 student and have Computer Science... I just love the subject.. We are doing C++ ... I have loadsss of interest in this subject ... I am kind of able to do the programs but would like ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

How do I apply a computer science degree to web development?

I'm a web programmer, but I haven't found many opportunities to take advantage of a formal education in computer science. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but it seems to me like most of ...
12
votes
4answers
22k views

Preparing for Interviews [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to prepare yourself for programming interview questions? Could someone give me pointers on how go to about preparing for a technical interview? As a CS graduate, I ...
12
votes
8answers
707 views

Can anyone suggest a project for me write to help me understand threading

I am currently a C# developer with a pretty shaky understanding of threading. Both of these links have been suggested in other posts: http://www.yoda.arachsys.com/csharp/threads/ ...