Questions about education paths one should take as a programmer.

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125
votes
22answers
2k views

How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?

I work with three other guys; I'll call them Adam, Brian, and Chris. Adam and Brian are bright guys. Give them a problem; they will figure out a way to solve it. When it comes to OOP, though, they ...
64
votes
33answers
42k views

Do I need to go to a big-name university? [closed]

As a soon-to-be graduating high school senior in the U.S., I'm going to be facing a tough decision in a few months: which college should I go to? Will it be worth it to go to Cornell or Stanford or ...
61
votes
22answers
4k views

Learning to program without a computer

I have a friend in prison who wants to learn programming. He's got no access to a computer so I was wondering if people could recommend books that would be a good introduction to programming without ...
59
votes
28answers
824 views

Am I too young to be worrying about college right now? [closed]

I'm 19 and have been a hobbyist programmer since I was a freshman in high school (2002). I recently graduated in May of '08. Right out of high school I had my first job programming contract work for a ...
54
votes
9answers
5k views

Am I a bad programmer, or does everyone have this feeling? [duplicate]

I tend to understand things rather quickly, but after 2 years of programming in Python I still stumble across things (like Flask today) that amaze me. I look at the code, have no idea what's going on, ...
49
votes
16answers
7k views

moving from Windows to Linux [closed]

I need to reconcile these 2 facts: I don't feel comfortable working on Linux; I need to develop software for Linux. Some background: I have a 10+ years of programming experience on Windows (almost ...
49
votes
8answers
2k views

When stuck, how quickly should one resort to Stack Overflow? [closed]

I'm self-learning iOS development through the iTunes U CS193p course, and I often find myself stuck. I've been trying to get unstuck myself, but it might take me hours and hours to figure out what I'm ...
48
votes
21answers
7k views

Years experience over unfinished degree? [closed]

I'm currently in my placement year and working for a great software development company. It was always my intention of getting to this stage through university, getting enough academic experience as ...
48
votes
10answers
5k views

Graduate expectations versus reality [closed]

When choosing what we want to study, and do with our careers and lives, we all have some expectations of what it is going to be like. Now that I've been in the industry for almost a decade, I've been ...
47
votes
12answers
11k views

What is a Ph.D. good for in the software industry? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer and have just started a computer science degree to supplement my knowledge and fill in the gaps. However, I'm already debating the direction of my education. I want a 4 ...
42
votes
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 ...
38
votes
17answers
4k views

Will my communication skills be wasted in a software engineering career?

I've been in the financial engineering arena (after BA Math and BA Computer Science) for about 5 years (20% analysis/programming, 80% communicating) and take pride in my ability to communicate with ...
38
votes
20answers
2k views

Does teaching programming make you a better programmer [closed]

I consider myself an intermediate Python programmer and have been offered an opportunity to be a trainer for a beginner Python programming class. I was wondering if this would really widen my ...
38
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I get my progress reviewed as a solo junior developer

I am currently working for a 2 person company, as the solo primary developer. My boss gets the clients, mocks up some png design templates and hands them over to me. This system has been working fine ...
37
votes
23answers
4k views

Is a university education worth it for a good programmer?

I've been doing design and programming for about as long as I can remember. If there's a programming problem, I can figure it out. (Though admittedly Stack Overflow has allowed me to skip the figuring ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

Most effective way to increase programmer salary besides just doing your job? [closed]

If you have the time and resources, what would be the most effective way to increase your salary as a full-time programmer, outside of just doing your job? By "salary" here, I mean salary (adjusted ...
34
votes
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 ...
32
votes
19answers
5k views

CS subjects that an undergraduate must know

In college, I was never interested in theory. I never read it. No matter how much I tried, I was unable to read stuff and not know what was actually happening practically. Like for example, in my ...
31
votes
19answers
4k views

“Half of everything you know will be obsolete in 18-24 months” = ( True, or False? ) [closed]

Just ran across this, and wondering if anyone has a way to prove or disprove this statement: Something to keep in mind ... what's the half-life of knowledge in high tech? It tracks with ...
31
votes
17answers
3k views

Introducing Programming To a Mathematician [closed]

I currently am a programmer, I'm almost 16 years of age and have pretty much narrowed my careers down to something involving a Computer Science degree or Electrical Engineering degree (I know they are ...
30
votes
15answers
54k views

Does having Master's degree in Computer Science help your career? [closed]

I am curious about experiences of programmers who have gone beyond college or university and now work in the industry. I am not talking about academia (you need PhD there anyway). Do you have a ...
29
votes
15answers
2k views

Any advice from self-taught programmers on competing with more conventional types? [closed]

As a self-taught programmer myself competing in an industry dominated by CS majors, I often find myself intimidated. I have a BA in liberal arts but have found that many "trained" programmers tend to ...
29
votes
5answers
1k views

As a self-taught programmer, how do I get the academic foundation without attending school again? [closed]

I've made a pretty good living as a self-taught programmer, but when I find that I discuss some low-level fundamental topics with my peers who have a CS degree, holes appear in my knowledge. I'm a big ...
28
votes
13answers
3k views

Tutoring students who are struggling with the basics in C++

I am tutoring a few students who are having significant trouble learning the basics of their first programming language: C++. I have known many excellent and bright students who have failed or dropped ...
27
votes
18answers
17k views

Is it ever too old to learn how to become a programmer? [closed]

If you want to be a good developer, but start developing at the age of 26, is there any way to became a good programmer ?
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
16answers
1k views

What would you say to a bunch of software engineering students on their first day at college?

Next Friday I'm giving a short (30 min.) talk to a bunch of software engineering students who will be attending the same university I did. Some context: The place is Montevideo, Uruguay The ...
22
votes
13answers
3k views

Low level programming - what's in it for me?

For years I have considered digging into what I consider "low level" languages. For me this means C and assembly. However I had no time for this yet, nor has it EVER been neccessary. Now because I ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I know if I have a good programming professor? [closed]

Today I begun my second programming course. The professor seemed a bit different from the others - we had some fun saying things like "he's probably a misunderstood genius". He criticized some other ...
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
22answers
6k views

Is learning how to use C (or C++) a requirement in order to be a good (excellent) programmer?

When I first started to learn how to program, real programmers could write assembly in their sleep. Any serious schooling in computer science would include a hefty bit of training and practice in ...
21
votes
12answers
854 views

Efficiency of self-education

Do you think being self-educated in software development is good? Please give an example of what you have learnt successfully by yourself.
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Do people who get paid to write code but score low on the “programmer competency matrix” have an ethical duty to find a different kind of job?

People advise me to "find a job doing something that you are good at", but the truth is that I don't believe I am good with anything other than just writing code. I don't think that I can design or ...
20
votes
16answers
3k views

Why is Java the lingua franca at so many institutions?

EDIT: This question at first seems to be bashing Java, and I guess at this point it is a bit. However, the bigger point I am trying to make is why any one single language is chosen as the one end all ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

What programming should I know before college?

I am a student in high school who has wanted to become a computer programmer since elementary school. There are not very many places that teach programming to people my age around where I live, so I ...
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 ...
18
votes
7answers
739 views

How to improve the training of students regarding maintainability?

Maintainability is a major stake of professional software development. Indeed, maintenance is nearly always the longest part of a software life cycle, as it lasts from the project release until ...
17
votes
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
9answers
11k views

Becoming a professional programmer, without going to college? [closed]

I was recently rejected from a college that had previously accepted me, on the grounds that I spent a year of high school in a foreign country and the college wasn't interested in recognizing ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Is objected oriented programming paradigm outdated since it is anti-modular and anti-parallel? [closed]

I have read the controversial article Teaching FP to freshmen posted by Robert Harper who is a professor in CMU. He claimed that CMU would no longer teach object oriented programming in the ...
17
votes
9answers
423 views

How involved should our employers be in our education?

I consider myself a Software Craftsman. I like to attend local user groups and events to learn about new technologies as well as network with other software craftsman. We love to talk about what ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is studying an lisp interpreter in lisp so important?

I have seen many CS curriculums and learning suggestions for new programmers that call for the aspiring programmer to study a lisp interpreter that is specifically written in lisp. All these sites ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

What would be a good first functional programming project? [closed]

What would be a good first functional programming project? I am looking to finish with a bang on my bachelor project and I want to finish it with a functional programming project. We didn't study it ...
17
votes
5answers
481 views

Programming concepts taken from the arts and humanities [closed]

After reading Paul Graham's essay Hackers and Painters and Joel Spolsky's Advice for Computer Science College Students, I think I've finally gotten it through my ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I compensate for having gone to a JavaSchool?

In an earlier question, I asked for career advice for new software engineers who did well before and during college. But what about people who weren't fortunate enough to go to MIT or Yale, for ...
16
votes
22answers
3k views

Is software development an engineering discipline?

Can software development be considered engineering? If no, what are the things that it lacks in order to be qualified as an engineering discipline? Related to this is this question on Stack Overflow ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it still worth learning desktop gui development?

For the last couple of years, all of the serious projects I have worked on have been either web based, or had a non graphical user interface (services, command line scripts etc...). I can throw ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

Need advice: Staying techie or going the MBA way? [closed]

I know this is a very subjective question and I am the best person to decide this for myself...but I am just looking for your views. I have 5 years of experience as a professional developer. I have a ...
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
12answers
2k views

Teaching myself, as a physicist, to become a better programmer

I've always liked physics, and I've always liked coding, so when I got the offer for a PhD position doing numerical physics (details are not relevant, it's mostly parallel programming for a cluster) ...