Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How To Get Into an Elite Comp-Sci Program

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the a-little-nepotism-goes-a-long-way dept.

Education 297

alphadogg writes "With early applications to elite colleges at an all-time high, the nation's highest-rated undergraduate computer science programs are bracing for an uptick in applications between now and January. High school seniors are facing stiffer-than-ever competition when applying to the nation's top computer science programs this fall. But admissions officers and professors at elite tech schools can offer tips aimed at helping your child get accepted come spring."

cancel ×

297 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Missing the point. (5, Informative)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#38125176)

In the end your own talent matters more than where you go.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 2 years ago | (#38125206)

Where you go sure can help, though.

Re:Missing the point. (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#38125238)

It might help on applying for your first job, but after that I presume that your experience will matter a lot more. I wouldn't actually know since I'm still technically on my first job.

Re:Missing the point. (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#38125570)

yes and no.

my college years were in the early 80's. I planned on graduating but after transferring a few times (life sometimes happens..) I found I was missing some credits and after my 4 or 5 yrs (co-op schools had an extra year) I just wanted to be done. I accepted my first computer job (after 'finishing' college) and for most of my career, the lack of an actual degree was not a show-stopper. been at a few boston companies and now in the bay area. until recently, it has not been a problem finding a job and the lack of degree would be something I'd have to explain but my experience (25+ yrs) would be why they would hire me.

problem is, now, extra experience means you expect higher pay and they don't WANT to pay high anymore. there's 100 younger guys willing to be abused, work longer hours and be on call 7x24 for their bosses and there's little reason for companies to hire folks like me. even if I did have a degree, it would not matter much at my age. my age is what works against me, not my 'lack' of education or experience.

when you are fresh out of school, school is all they can look at to evaluate you. if you don't go to a co-op school, where you get assigned (or nearly assigned) a company to work for for 3-6mos then having the degree will matter a lot. but if you are able to fit in some work experience, the degree matters less and less.

what does matter is that you present yourself as willing to be abused and used by the company. THAT, they love. they just love that shit. they'll take a yes-man over a smarter guy most of the time, these days.

Re:Missing the point. (5, Informative)

kirillian (1437647) | about 2 years ago | (#38125838)

I've been out of school for about 4 years now and already see that attitude. My company highly values the work I do (probably because I come very cheap compared to what it would cost to replace me) because I've adapted to the bullshit that has gone on here for four years. I'm already working an average of 50-60 hours a week, but my last review from my boss was "I need you to be available more". My jaw pretty much dropped to the floor. I'm salaried at way under my paygrade and have been a workhorse for the past few years just making the things that others break work and spending my evenings for the company. All the company has to say is "You're not doing enough". Damned companies.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Insightful)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | about 2 years ago | (#38126036)

Why the fuck do you still work for them? You have four year's work experience, time to move on!

Re:Missing the point. (2)

kirillian (1437647) | about 2 years ago | (#38126192)

Oddly enough...I am :) My wife and I recently decided that it was just plain a good time to move on (after the review). I just recently started posting my resume and am looking. Thanks for the affirmation though. I was just posting my personal experience to supplement the parent comment.

Re:Missing the point. (3, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 2 years ago | (#38125768)

It might help on applying for your first job, but after that I presume that your experience will matter a lot more.

Ah yes, cue the endless stream of /. folk saying it doesn't matter... I graduated from one of those schools and 30 years later it still helps ;-) Experience counts very much of course, but some degrees confer instant credibility before anyone starts the process of examining your experience.

Or, to put it another way, I start with the assumption that all MIT CS graduates are "fizz-buzz capable", and I've never been disappointed...

Re:Missing the point. (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 2 years ago | (#38126042)

As someone who's done some hiring, and who's competed against others in being hired, I'd say it depends. If you went to a third tier school and I went to a fifth tier school, it probably doesn't matter once we both have five years or so under our belts. If you went to MIT or Stanford... That's a whole other ballgame. Names like that matter well into your career, possibly for your entire career. In the end a guy from MIT might not always get the job: interviews matter, experience matters, even advanced degrees might matter, but there's definitely a little wow factor added to your resume with that degree even 10 or 15 years down the line (might definitely make a difference in making the cut to get that interview).

That's what this article is about. Getting into one of those 5 or 10 schools where having the name on your resume matters, and will likely continue to matter for a while.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

blackicye (760472) | about 2 years ago | (#38125272)

Where you go sure can help, though.

True, assuming you can do it without incurring huge student loan debt.

Re:Missing the point. (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#38125498)

Where you go sure can help, though.

True, assuming you can do it without incurring huge student loan debt.

Which means you have to get an elite level job to pay for the elite level loan. This can have some severe issues WRT quality of life, if you take a "small" pool of jobs and make it even smaller by only being able to survive with the most elite of that already small pool. So you'll be the last STEM guy who's job is exported to India, who cares, you'll only be a couple years behind me, in the long run it won't matter to either of us... If you want to work 80 hour weeks and not recognize spouse/kids, go to MIT, if you want 40 hrs/wk like I have, then... don't. I caught a lot of flack 25 years ago telling my HS guidance counselor that I appreciate that he insists I should apply to more elite schools because of grades / scores whatever, but I don't want to go and want to attend state U instead (because I was obsessed with the then new-ish movie "Animal House", and I later re-enacted most of those scenes as a freshman, except for the motor cycle up the front stairs, but that's a whole 'nother (fun) story)

Re:Missing the point. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125286)

In the end it is not where you went to school. But more of what you have learned and can you apply it.
I have seen people, from notable schools, that just did not have a clue of what was asked of them on the job.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 years ago | (#38125388)

But their job would be paying much more than someone who knew what they were doing, but from a less notable school (atleast for the 1st few years)

Re:Missing the point. (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#38125474)

Where you go for your undergraduate work is largely meaningless. If you're concerned about wasting money then just don't. Save it for your graduate work at such a university.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125624)

Sweet Jesus, do not go to grad school in comp sci if wasting money is your concern. (In other disciplines, I agree that the undergrad institution doesn't matter if you plan to go on.)

However, if you plan to work as a developer immediately after college, there are three important things to consider in an undergraduate institution: networking, networking, networking. Alums who are hiring will always read the resumes of fellow alums more carefully, fair or not.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 years ago | (#38125236)

Yes and no. Yes, your talent is the most important long term factor. But the elite universities take a very different approach to teaching, especially for sciences and engineering. Compare the CS curriculum at MIT to that at your state college. MIT's is far more hardcore, and with much greater emphasis theory. Same for other fields. There is a qualitative difference between a top tier school and the rest of the pack.

Re:Missing the point. (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#38125270)

Penn State is pretty hardcore.

Re:Missing the point. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125364)

It's more hardcore then state pen!

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38126154)

It's more hardcore then state pen!

We'll be able to interview Sandusky about that soon enough.

Re:Missing the point. (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#38125294)

I'm not so sure that a place like MIT is any more theoretical than some land grant college. It's certainly more stressful though. It's also a lot more expensive. You will likely be saddled with a much larger debt when your done.

What advantage you get might not be worth the cost.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#38125440)

I'm not so sure that a place like MIT is any more theoretical than some land grant college.

Not always. Some places, especially smaller colleges, treat CS as IT/Software Engineering, when we all know they are very different. The result is you come out of school with a degree in "computer science", but you lack foundational knowledge like calculus. All you really did was get a degree in programming.

It's also a lot more expensive.

Also not necessarily. Stanford is free for lower income families. I went to CMU and they gave me a grant (aka never have to pay it back) that covered half of tuition. In the end it cost me less than going to state school.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#38125990)

Not always. Some places, especially smaller colleges, treat CS as IT/Software Engineering, when we all know they are very different.

This. I went to a college-style Ivy, so I didn't have to declare a major until sophomore year, so getting in was just a matter of applying early decision.

But... after taking CS there and then talking to a friend who was going (a decade later) to a small school in Boston, I was shocked at what they were teaching for 'computer science'. They got none of the fundamentals, just run-at-the-wall programming.

There were kids having trouble in those classes /because/ they lacked the fundamentals. It wasn't their fault, but I wonder how this group of professors managed to come up with such a hair-brained curriculum (or how they got to be CS professors in the first place). Even in IT, CS fundamentals are essential for proper understanding.

It wasn't a college with a poor reputation, either. There's no reason a community college couldn't have an excellent CS program either - they cost next to nothing to implement (heck, a fundamentals CS program could be taught on anything with an MMU).

I suppose an independent rating system of some sort would be helpful here.

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38126186)

Some places, especially smaller colleges, treat CS as IT/Software Engineering, when we all know they are very different.

To be fair, most people that go into CS really want IT/Software Engineering anyways. How many places offer separate Software Engineering and CS degrees?

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125562)

I went to a school with similar reputation and price tag to MIT. $160,000 well spent. I do not regret a penny of those loans; they'll be gone in a few more years. I'd have been successful no matter where I went, but the top-tier program boosted me to a whole different level, both in the curriculum and in the tremendous amount you learn from your fellow students. You can get an interview anywhere just by waving your school name. All this with a 3.3 GPA.

I chose to optimize for interesting work, not high salary, and as a result my income is not jaw-dropping, but I absolutely love what I do and it is large enough to deal with the loans quickly while allowing me to live comfortably and save some away.

Should your child go to an elite school? That I cannot answer. You can get a great education anywhere, but you'll be more likely to at the top.

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#38125846)

All this with a 3.3 GPA.

People know that a 3.3 at a place like MIT is a 4.3 anywhere else. I know a kid who has a 4.0 from a local state school. Impressive I guess until you look at the classes he took and realize none are really that hard.

Re:Missing the point. (4, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 2 years ago | (#38125426)

I take it you didn't take statistics from an elite school. Since 'elite' schools have tougher acceptance criteria, it only makes sense their students would perform better. To my knowledge, there has never been a true 'double blind' study, where students with similar grades and performance levels in high school were compared between community colleges and 'elite' schools. Please post one if there is one.

I will admit that there are a few companies that specifically seek out and recruit from elite schools, but they will see through anyone that doesn't have talent. So, at best, going to an elite school really only provides someone a slight edge. And they will only take 'the best of the best', so unless someone is sure they are in the top 10% already, good luck with that degree really amounting to more than from a community college.

As long as someone can click on the box 'I have a degree', that's all HR will care about. The manager might be impressed by an elite degree, he might be intimidated by it, or he might turn it away because of expected salary costs. These things can work against you also.

I remember talking with a VP of programming about 10 years ago, wondering why someone with a masters in marine biology would want to be a computer programer. He didn't even interview the kid. But then again, the VP had his PhD in neural networks, and was working for a financial company and was fired after two years because he had terrible people skills. A lot of good his degree did him, he was one of the worst managers I'd ever seen. The company I worked with hired a financial wizard from some elite school with a very impressive background, and just fired him 6 months ago for the his lack of people skills and terrible work ethic.

If someone has the money to blow, there is nothing wrong with an elite school. But I sure as hell wouldn't spend a lot of money I didn't have in the hopes of making up for it later.

Re:Missing the point. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125808)

I will admit that there are a few companies that specifically seek out and recruit from elite schools, but they will see through anyone that doesn't have talent.

Cough GWB Cough.

Re:Missing the point. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125874)

Cough Obama Cough.

Or replace just about any politician you wish.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 2 years ago | (#38126244)

Since 'elite' schools have tougher acceptance criteria, it only makes sense their students would perform better.

Well, thats kind of the point, and that alone may justify the presumption that a graduate of an "elite" school will be more talented. In general, if you're smart and prepared to work hard, I'd recommend going to the most selective school that you can get into (and afford, after whatever aid may be available). The level that your peers are at will determine the level at which your classes are taught, how much is expected of you, and ultimately where you set the bar for yourself.

Re:Missing the point. (3, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | about 2 years ago | (#38125458)

And the contacts you make. Networking is as important as anything else. The old axiom of "it's not what you know, it's who you know" certainly comes in for a lot of abuse and cynicism with people making the connection of "jobs for the lads", but it's more than that.

If you went to school with someone whose family connections got them an interview at a prestigious company, you now have a connection. With so many applications to weed through, and high competition for any kind of position in a poor economy, it can be immensely helpful just to have a foot in the door. And that foot in the door often is someone who already works there who (a) will get a bonus if they refer someone who ends up getting hired for a position, and (b) thinks "hey, Steven would be good for this job, and I know he was a hard worker at school so I may as well recommend him".

Re:Missing the point. (5, Funny)

LordNacho (1909280) | about 2 years ago | (#38125278)

IMO the main point of going to a big-name school is it buys you a good rep, rightfully or not. You get one good glance at your CV if it has a name on it. Also, people simply think that I'm smarter than I really am, because they see where I studied. Working hard at proving them wrong.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#38125346)

In the end your own talent matters more than where you go.

True, but having a degree from a prestigious university will open doors that talent won't always open.

Re:Missing the point. (3, Informative)

j-beda (85386) | about 2 years ago | (#38125524)

And for "talent" one should generally read "drive/motivation/work". But to continue on this idea of "it's not the school" that can lay claim to success, here are some thoughts.

Graduates of "elite" schools do go on to have more "successful" careers in terms of money and other measurements compared to other less "elite" institutions. However those graduates did not necessarily have that success because of the school - they might have had similar success had they gone elsewhere. The elite schools might be "creating" winners, or they might be "picking" winners.

How could we find out? Well, we could examine the "success" of people who were accepted to an elite school but went elsewhere and see how the compare to those who did attend the elite school. Fortunately, people have done such studies:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/revisiting-the-value-of-elite-colleges/ [nytimes.com]

"A decade ago, two economists — Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger — published a research paper arguing that elite colleges did not seem to give most graduates an earnings boost. As you might expect, the paper received a ton of attention. Ms. Dale and Mr. Krueger have just finished a new version of the study — with vastly more and better data, covering people into their 40s and 50s, as well as looking at a set of more recent college graduates — and the new version comes to the same conclusion."

Basically, if you've got the chops to apply to these elite schools, you're very likely to be successful no matter where you go.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38126004)

Tell that to Bush and the other boarderline retards who get into and "pass" at institutions like Yale.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | about 2 years ago | (#38126142)

At the top schools I can say that this isn't totally true. I was talented enough to get into grad school at CMU but not undergrad. Aside from the obviously more rigorous and higher quality of courses taught here, students get an enormous advantage by having CMU tied to their resume. Even at the job fairs here, employers are practically begging students to visit their booths. Yes, you must be talented to be successful, but being at a big-name CS school will help you immensely.

Computer science != IT jobs (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#38125202)

My brother is an IT consultant, he says the contract job opening has been consistently high and the unemployment is quite low in that field. However his skill set is mainly in coding on the PeopleSoft API. Comp Sci degree is not required for that job. Wonder how many high school students flock comp sci thinking of coding jobs? How many are going to confronted with concepts like P and NP problem sets and equivalences and find that harder than calculus?

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#38125282)

The issue is that IT is such a broad field that specialists in CS find themselves confronted with jobs that aren't really that related to what they learned how to do. My graduate program deliberately went after folks who DIDN'T have their undergraduate degrees in CS, because different backgrounds will bring in more well rounded perspectives to teams. Since most IT projects are done in groups (no one codes in a vacuum) you also need people who can think creatively, who can write English well, or who can think in terms of customer interactions. "Elite" CS programs at colleges crank out excellent coders and engineers, but that doesn't always mean they'll be good project members later on later on.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

mrzaph0d (25646) | about 2 years ago | (#38126238)

yep, this is part of the problem. so many jobs are lumped together as "IT". I get umpteen million offers for network engineering, when i've never configured a router (other than my wireless one). but because my resume has something about understanding networking, i get those requests to apply.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125332)

My brother is an IT consultant, he says the contract job opening has been consistently high and the unemployment is quite low in that field. However his skill set is mainly in coding on the PeopleSoft API. Comp Sci degree is not required for that job. Wonder how many high school students flock comp sci thinking of coding jobs? How many are going to confronted with concepts like P and NP problem sets and equivalences and find that harder than calculus?

You have no idea what you're talking about. Get a CS degree and work as a programmer for 15 years -- like me -- before you comment.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (4, Insightful)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 2 years ago | (#38125398)

You have no idea what you're talking about. Get a CS degree and work as a programmer for 15 years -- like me -- before you comment.

Ditto. CS degrees teach about algorithms and data structures, file systems design, operating system design, parallel programming, software engineering, compiler, grammar and language design, and many other concepts that make CS graduates excellent coders. Non-CS graduates are permanently handicapped and they don't even know it.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125452)

Wow, you really think that someone can't learn those thing alone ??

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (4, Insightful)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 2 years ago | (#38125526)

Wow, you really think that someone can't learn those thing alone ??

You can learn anything alone. You can teach yourself quantum physics if you want. But do you think self-education is going to be as good being taught by professors? If you do, I suspect you don't have a college degree at all; you haven't gone through that experience. Having Yoda teach you to be a Jedi is more effective than becoming a Jedi by yourself.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (2)

xero314 (722674) | about 2 years ago | (#38125796)

do you think self-education is going to be as good being taught by professors?

He would be a fool to think such a things, since self-education shows a dedication that a college graduate will rarely ever have. The self educated is more likely to be up on recent technologies. In fields like programming, the education system wastes a large portion of the person time on information that is at best not applicable, and at worst detrimental (If you've ever had to deal with a custom implementation of a sort algorithm in a business software project, then you'll understand what I mean).

Having Yoda teach you to be a Jedi is more effective than becoming a Jedi by yourself.

Yet both the most powerful Jedi's in the series never completed their training. But I guess self-education is your equivalent to the dark side.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#38125862)

But do you think self-education is going to be as good being taught by professors?

Sometimes. If you work it out yourself rather than being spoon-fed it can sink in better.

If you do, I suspect you don't have a college degree at all; you haven't gone through that experience.

Up yourself much?

Dennis Ritchie didn't learn C in college.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | about 2 years ago | (#38126098)

Dennis Ritchie didn't learn C in college.

No, he created it.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#38125994)

But do you think self-education is going to be as good being taught by professors?

Yes, absolutely, if the person is sufficiently motivated. There are two problems with being self taught. The first is in knowing what to learn - this is much easier now that places like MIT put their curriculum and lectures online. The second is being sufficiently motivated to do the required work without someone telling you that you'll fail if you don't. This is no easier now than it was 100 years ago, but if you can find the motivation then you can learn as well by yourself as with a professor - often better because you can easily set the pace of learning.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#38125504)

Out of the dozens of successful coders I know, two have CS degree. Many others have degrees in engineering and science, but computers were tools not the focus of their education. History majors seem to be common also.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

vbraga (228124) | about 2 years ago | (#38126202)

Posting to undo wrong moderation.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#38125556)

I suspect that if you're poking around in the innards of an ERP system like the great uncle does then a CS degree would be a handicap. You'd be going "OMG, what is this shit?" so much you'd go mad.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#38125616)

How about I DONTget a degree, and still work as a programmer for 15+ years? Cause thats what I did. Took one day of CS classes before I realized that they where teaching me how to not think.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#38125406)

However his skill set is mainly in coding on the PeopleSoft API. Comp Sci degree is not required for that job.

Agreed. However, many HR departments use automated scanners to filter resumes and if you don't have CS or and Engineering degree, you won't be interviewed for the position. Some companies have made it difficult or impossible for managers to find their own people without the HR department.

Re:Computer science != IT jobs (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#38126286)

Very few of his fellow consultants have CS degrees. They still manage to find contracts and the unemployment is quite low. Many of them run their own tiny companies, more like a group of doctors coming together to set up a practice. The best course for someone looking for plain programming jobs on APIs of these databases is to find these tiny companies, join as an intern and get trained on the API and get some practical training under these consultants. Then get a contract job and eventually make partner or get out and hang a shingle on your own name. To get contract jobs you should have good English skills and good interviewing skills. Any basic degree is enough, but the "programmer/coder/hacker" mind set is a must. It would probably take about 3 months of training and 3 more months of practical work before you start billing clients.

My point is, if someone is just looking for a way to get decent well paid job, CS degree is a hard way to get it.

Not Elite... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125208)

I'd much rather be Leet.

Same thing, but with Mad Skillzzzzzz!!!!!

Wish it was not "Your Child" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125212)

The world is as it is, but, it is my desire that these tips were directed at (and people expected them to be directed at) the "children" (adults) applying and not the parents.

Here's a tip (0, Flamebait)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#38125320)

If you don't get in on your SAT scores alone, you're probably not smart enough, so don't bother.

Re:Here's a tip (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125378)

Don't be such an asshole.
College rewards those who have the ambition to do the work, not those who are just good at passing tests.

Re:Here's a tip (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#38125424)

Don't be such an asshole.
College rewards those who have the ambition to do the work, not those who are just good at passing tests.

Yep, though I still think test grades are weighted too much in college courses. I don't care what the discipline is, a one hour test over all the material does NOT approximate "a day in the life" of someone who's mastered that material.

PS I hate tests, standardized crap tests infinitely more than other tests.

Re:Here's a tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125536)

A 3 hours exam can only cover so much a long time ago, so I only studied 3 -10 hours for it depending on the multiplier factor of the subject.

I did pretty well for Science course because I studied the basics and can derive the rest and not waste time doing "example" like the rest. They would not be able to answer question they have not seen before.

Re:Here's a tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125476)

College rewards those who have the ambition to do the work, not those who are just good at passing tests.

In theory, maybe. In practice we don't know, because they don't get in.

Which was the frikking point, y'moran.

Re:Here's a tip (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#38125896)

No, college rewards those who learn quickly and pass the tests.

Do you think "working harder" will teach you how to program? I remember the people who worked harder at my supposedly "elite" CS school - they frequently stayed up all night on assignments, struggled to get by. Most failed out in the first year, but it was the ones who barely made it that saddened me. Why were they doing this? How could they possibly love to do something they found so difficult?

You've either got he knack for it or you don't. And if there is one field that resembles the stupid logic puzzles of standardized tests, it is this one.

Re:Here's a tip (3, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#38125542)

SATs are a filter. They don't get you in. If you get a 1600 (or whatever the max is these days) you're now on par with 10,000 other kids who also got a 1600.

The valedictorian at my highschool, 5.0 GPA (AP scale), 1600 SAT, smartest guy I know, got rejected from MIT. He ended up going to U Penn, now works at Google. Another girl got into MIT with lower GPA and SAT, but she had like 400 extracurriculars and was involved in everything. Just goes to show it's not all grades that count.

Re:Here's a tip (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38126092)

Another girl got into MIT with lower GPA and SAT, but she ...

... was a girl.

fixed that for you.

Re:Here's a tip (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#38126318)

Yeah, everyone I know at Google got perfect or near perfect scores on the SAT, and none of them went to MIT. They all went to other supposedly "elite" schools, had no trouble getting in, and excelled without difficultly.

So what did we learn? Don't apply to MIT if you're not an application-padding suck-up, a lesson not much different than mine. Everything is a filter.

(And her SAT scores were still above the threshold, don't deny it.)

> Just goes to show it's not all grades that count.

I said nothing about grades. Grades are so inflated and non-standard they're practically worthless.

I said SAT, because it is a predictor of intelligence, particularly for systematic thinking. I'm not saying the tests are great, but if you can't beat the average for one of these schools, you have no business applying to its CS program.

thoughts (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#38125354)

Assuming your kid is capable of getting into an "elite" Computer Science program, how about instead he:

1. Goes to a upper-tier state school (helps if there's one in your home state, but not necessarily a deal-killer),
2. Does a paid internship (or two) before graduating,
3. Graduates with the albatross of huge debt around his/her neck (and with some work experience).

For an undergraduate Computer Science degree, I'm not convinced it's "worth it" to pay the big bucks.

Re:thoughts (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#38125558)

why the "upper tier"? Why not save some money and send them to a local good two-year school, then go to state or good (not premium) university? Yes, do some interships. Tens of thousands of dollars not spent are a great thing.

Re:thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125842)

why waste the first two years when you can be taking upper level classes then? I couldn't have done complexity theory and topology etc at the local 2 year sophomore year...

Re:thoughts (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#38125876)

Upper tier because you can get a degree from an upper-tier state school without breaking the bank, and a degree from an upper-tier state school is more marketable than a degree from a non-upper-tier state school. It feels like the sweet spot.

all wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125368)

step 1: pay cash for tuition. preferably in well-worn, small denomination bills.
step 2: donate an additional, equivalent amount to the school's football team.
step 3: make sure to include the words "hadoop" and "cloud" at least five times each in your admissions essay

done.

Do as I say. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125410)

Sell drugs to get lots of money, because (you know) 9 of 10 US domestic dollars are in the hands of illegal aliens that sold drugs ( way to go, 'murika).

Then, bribe some employees to sabotage a Tech company,
so you can buy it out durring a bankruptcy ( that's how China Bank of Reconstruction bought 1 of every 5 US mortgage frauds of 'murika).

Now you own a tech company and you can hire skilled software ENGINEERS to exault you.

Keep selling drugs ( you know, because 'murika will always spend 9 of 10 US domestic dollars on drugs rather than lifestyle improvements ) and bribe a DoD contractor to let you in on their commercial ventures with your stack of skilled ENGINEERS filed in your cabinette.

Sell some products in a monopolised economoy, bribe legislators to stifle your competition, rinse and repeat.

That's what United States does every day, but now not only domestically but across the entire world: United States commits fraud on more foreign elections than any other.

It helps being a girl... (3, Informative)

olau (314197) | about 2 years ago | (#38125418)

From the article:

It also helps to be a girl. At Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, for example, only 14% of the computer science majors are women, so it's easier for female applicants to stand out from the pack. [...]

What kind of advice does that lead to?

"MISC NOTES FROM APPLICANT: He walks like a girl, swims like a girl and talks like a girl! Also he likes being called Ada!"

Re:It helps being a girl... (1)

rcuhljr (1132713) | about 2 years ago | (#38125934)

Rose is more of the exception then the rule (at least I hope so) in that it only went co-ed in 1995? When I attended our gender ratio regardless of major was only 18-20%

Want the truth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125436)

Find a world class programmer and setup a mentoring relationship with them. They'll likely do it for free or low cost and your kid will learn for more about both theory/application as well as how to work...hard. I'm not anti MIT or any other formal education institution...I'm against the obscene cost involved and the debt accumulated. Education is an investment. Like any other investment, you must do a cost benefit analysis and be completely objective in your analysis.

Not Sure (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125442)

I completed my BS in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University ( consistently ranked #2 or #3 in CS), and I'm currently in the master's program there. How did I get in? I'm not sure. I've never felt like I was smart enough to be at this school, and I think this is a common conception among students here. We all feel like the admissions staff made some kind of mistake. I think it all comes down to showing that you are really passionate about computers, and have taken initiative to do stuff on your own. What did I do in high school? Mostly, I just screwed around, but I did do a lot of programming projects on my own: video games, web apps, robots. That's what we talked about most during my interview. Not my grades, or my SAT scores (though they were pretty good.)

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125444)

paranoid conSpiracy

At 17, how are you supposed to know? (3, Interesting)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | about 2 years ago | (#38125468)

Looking back to when I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted out of college or what I really wanted to do with my life. By my last year in high school, I had been an unpaid summer intern at a software company and taken AP Computer Science, but even then, I really wasn't sure. I _thought_ I wanted to study Computer Science, but I had no idea how hard the theory courses would be or if I had any hope of becoming a competent programmer. When I was in high school, I thought that after a semester or two of college CS courses, I might change my major after deciding it wasn't what I had hoped for. In the end, everything turned out well and I did get a CS degree, but that doesn't happen to everyone.

As a highschooler, I also was misinformed about the quality of education I would receive at different schools. The misconception is that only at an ivy league school or other similarly ranked private school will I get a solid education. I applied to several top-level CS schools but ultimately went to an in-state highly ranked public school since it was much cheaper. There are plenty of good public schools that offer strong CS programs -- MIT, Stanford, et. al. are good, but there are many others that also meet a high quality threshold. I came out of undergrad as a strong programmer with a solid understanding of the theory of computation, in part because of my schooling, but also because I was willing to learn. Internships also helped -- these were especially helpful in gaining employment.

Re:At 17, how are you supposed to know? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#38126314)

any elite program in any field is geared towards people who have a passion in that field by their teen years. not for someone who doesn't know what they want to do. all the elite CS programs are geared to people who make the jailbreaks and roots for mobile phones. not the people who download them and think they are cool.

Start your essay like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125480)

Mark Zuckerberg doesn't know what he's doing, I mean I'm sure he's a good businessman and all but technically speaking, Facebook should've been way better.

It's not what you'll learn, it's who you'll meet! (2)

Squeebee (719115) | about 2 years ago | (#38125502)

Look at Mark Zuckerberg, do you think he managed Facebook because of the superior comp-sci education he got at Harvard? No, it was because of the connections he made and the people he collaborated with. It's the same with any of the 'elite' schools, the real value is that you will either get to know some very smart people, or some people with access to a lot of money or ideally both that is the real payoff for going to such schools.

The other comments are correct that talent and a good mentor can give you what you need to build skill, and that the degree itself really just gets you into your first job with experience getting you your next job, but it's the connections these schools provide that help make the difference between getting a good job and building a world-class career or company.

It's a sham (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125510)

Being good at something is more important than being trained at something.

I've been using computers since I was a child, I started programming in Basic at 8, PHP at 13 and moved to C# and Obj-C at 18 as part of my first job. I only got enough credits from a local community college for an associates degree, which I didn't even get as I was offered work before I completed it. I was able to pay for college out of pocket and any debt I incurred while I was there I was able to pay off with my first three months of paychecks.

I may only be a 'lowly web developer' but outside of the big-wigs of Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, I'm highly sought-after and paid well (Market rate is about $50-$60/hour). I greatly enjoy what I do and the field is (for the moment) ever growing. I may not be doing hardcore comp-sci work, and I may not work for the biggest names in the industry, but neither of those things are important to me. Of my friends who obtained college degrees, I make the most money and have the least debt, never struggle to find work and have no complaints other than those pesky client requirements.

Have I thought about going back? Sure, I took a semester at my local university of Physics. I found not only was it too time consuming for full time work, but the cost (over $7,000 semester, about what I spent in total on my CC education) but almost no one else there took it as seriously as I did (they wanted to party, and f*ck, and make lots and lots and lots of money with their philosophy degrees.) I feel like I came out on top without kidding myself or digging a hole of debt I can never repay.

People should really consider their options and not just follow the status quo. Not that there's no room for a proper college education; there's a LOT I don't know because I didn't get a degree. However, I can look up what I care about by reading books, the internet and wikipedia (and I do all of the above). Those same text books the students buy can be bought be anyone, and in fact there are much cheaper alternatives when you're not required to be a specific print/edition.

Re:It's a sham (1)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 2 years ago | (#38125668)

You'll never have the respect of people who have put in the time & work & rigor of earning a degree. Never.

Re:It's a sham (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125854)

I realize your post is pretty much just trolling, but I'll address it anyway.

I have the respect of my coworkers because I have demonstrable knowledge and ability in my field, and in many cases more than someone who has a degree. Passion and skill will take you further than that degree you earned years ago. My passion keeps me fresh, keeps me learning new things. Many developers who got a degree, especially those who did it for the title/money are stuck in their position because they had the motivation to "put in the time & work & rigor" to earn a degree, but not to move ahead in their career.

My motivation is not career driven, but the passion I have for doing it. The career is just a side reward for having this interest. I'm considered a senior developer in my field and that's not a title I simply asked for. I don't hold people's degrees against them and I respect them for obtaining one, if they can show that they don't rely solely on that degree to have their job. If someone wants to hold their degree against me, let them, I'll hold my paycheck against them.

Re:It's a sham (0)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 2 years ago | (#38126340)

I'll hold my paycheck against them.

And it'll be less than the guy who has your passion and motivation AND a degree.

Money talks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125514)

Get your parents to donate a few thousand dollars, or better yet a building.

Re:Money talks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125728)

A few thousand dollars will get you a thank you form letter you can use as a tax receipt.

don't go big for undergrad (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#38125552)

Unless you're planning on getting one degree (bachelor's) and trucking out of academia for life, don't go to a big name university for undergrad. They're expensive and the material and lessons do not change enough to warrant the cost.

If you *are* planning on getting one degree and trucking out of academia for life...still don't go to a big name U. You probably know exactly what you want to study, so apply to a program that's well known for that degree. There's still no need to hit a top 10 college in that case because undergrad material really isn't ground breaking stuff. (It can be, in the later classes, and in those cases you're walking the line toward further academia.)

Unorthodox approach... (1)

nerdyalien (1182659) | about 2 years ago | (#38125590)

Just my 2 cents....

1. Enter to a top college in either Electrical Engineering or Physics... or some other technical major
2. Do as many as possible CS courses while there
3. Do few internships in CS related field
4. Self-learn whenever you can, whatever you can find in CS field

I did Electrical Engineering in college. But half way through I realized that only thing I liked about that major was, digital logic and programming. So I enrolled into as many as possible CS related courses; did my senior year thesis something close to CS (communication protocol simulation using distributed network); and read/learned as many as possible CS related topics (mainly programming theory and parallel computing). Then I did my PhD in Electrical Engineering too. I managed to make my thesis much more CS related (machine learning + pattern recognition) and used much of my knowledge in algorithm, optimizations and distributed computing.

Just 2 weeks ago, I secured a web developer position at a software firm (somewhere in far east). Still I had to go through a written + oral technical examinations on programming, algorithm and puzzle solving. But the knowledge and experience came in handy. One added advantage I have, coming from Engineering background, is knowing everything from how the microprocessor, cache, memory works up to the level of how protocols at WWW level works. And when you start programming with "so-called ancient" multi-paradigm languages like C++ and some assembly in college (most microcontrollers still use C/C++ and/or ASM), it gives you a good foundation on whatever language you need to learn later on. Over the years, I've learned MATLAB, Python, JavaScript, SQL, C#... and now Ruby... but still, fundamentals concepts I understood while learning C/C++ was critical in most cases.

One Way (4, Funny)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 2 years ago | (#38125652)

Just crack their admissions system and approve your application. While you're at it, give yourself a scholarship.

How to get in? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#38125674)

Here is how to get in. Insure your parents have made sizable donations in the past, then apply and insure that the next donation comes in only after you've been accepted.

If admissions are at an all time high... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#38125702)

If admissions are at an all time high, then why is Microsoft and Google still pushing for exceptions for more visas for foreign workers? Corporate officials keep complaining that there aren't enough CS grads and yet, the schools say otherwise.

Re:If admissions are at an all time high... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#38125928)

Guess why admissions are at an all time high? Students are coming in droves from China and India. Then they either go back to their home country or they return here from jobs at Microsoft and Google.

Re:If admissions are at an all time high... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125940)

Different countries, different work ethics. It's obvious those corporations have some very strict needs, like high quality, loyalty and low salary. First world countries lose a lot on the salary point because CS is classed by in popular mentality somewhere slightly above a mechanic. As in, anyone can do it, but for the "slightly" more advanced stuff you need some certification, a few dozen hours to become BMW qualified or a few years in college, in most people's minds is pretty much the same thing.

"helping your child get accepted come spring" (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#38125718)

You mean "come spring 2016 or later." If you're applying to schools now or in the next year or so, picking up anything new isn't going to matter, it might even hurt your chances at the top schools. Not only do schools care about what you do but they also care about how long you stick with it -- they want motivated people who can slog through the tough times, rather than dilettantes who join in a popular season. Freshman year of high school is probably the last chance you have of boosting your extracurriculars in a meaningful way, unless you're really outstanding (state level recognition or higher).

Advice articles like these should be for parents with middle school aged students.

Does it matter? (2)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 2 years ago | (#38125820)

I've managed to carve out a pretty successful IT career graduating from a big state university, in a completely unrelated field (chemistry.) The thing that seemed to help most was the practical experience I got during school (tech support was my student job), and graduating in the late 90s helped. That said, recruiters weren't falling all over themselves to hire me like they might a grad from CMU, UIUC, Stanford, etc. It took work to get my first job, it was a crappy one, but every job thereafter has been won based on skill (and decent interview skills.) I do systems integration work rather than software development, and a good part of my job falls back on critical thinking skills and the ability to creatively solve a problem without infinite money, hardware or compute time. You gain that experience IMO, by doing what I did -- riding out the dotcom boom in a "boring" field where I could learn as much as possible about a wide array of systems and concepts. I wasn't an HTML millionaire, but I managed to get through 2000-2001 with marketable skills that kept me employed.

So, is a big-name school worth it for a CS degree? I think not, and here's why:
- If you believe the IT field is shrinking, and you'll probably have to take a lower wage to do what you want, then you shouldn't blow all your money on an expensive school. Especially if you need loans, you'll be paying for that education for a very long time.
- "Reputation enhancement" that you get from the big name probably isn't the same as what you get in other degrees/fields. If you graduate with an MBA from an Ivy-league school, you are almost guaranteed to make a few high level connections that will get you ahead faster than your peers. Some jobs like investment banking or management consulting are very difficult to get into without big-name school recognition, simply because they're a ticket to instant riches and kind of a closed club. Some "elite" tech companies like Google might place a premium on your educational pedigree, but unless you have your heart set on working there, it's probably not going to matter much.
- Recruitment is easier at big name schools, because large corporations seem to just send people to collect a few new grads based on the fact that they went to that school...at all levels of work. So, the difference might be "hand in your resume and watch the offers pour in" versus "hustle and pound the pavement yourself." If you can handle that for your first job, you don't have to do that for the second if you've managed to gain any marketable skills in the first.

Here's something else to consider -- I didn't do CS, but knew a lot of people who did. Very few people end up working as "computer scientists" doing the low level theoretical stuff. In fact, the secret is that business IT is full of contractors/consultants who make huge amounts of money doing work in some obscure niche. SAP implementations, Oracle DBAs (good ones,) and guru level network guys come to mind here. Think about the places you've worked where they parachuted some consultant in to work on fixing some problem. That guy probably makes $150+ an hour, and works 8 months out of the year.simply because he fills an immediate need for some weird combination of skills. You certainly don't need to be a computer scientist to figure out Oracle's garbage dump of a documentation collection [1], or solve a thorny OS problem. You just need to have a head for problem solving and the ability to travel anywhere at a moment's notice (perfect for a recent grad.)

Also, as noted in many other places, the cost of a college education keeps going up every year. Big name schools can charge more. You have to think of it as an investment, in terms of future payback. Do you pay, let's say, $50K at a state school or $200K at a name brand school? Are you reasonably guaranteed to make back to $150K difference and way more? If not, then don't do it!

[1] Oracle's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. First rule is that you can't properly install or tune an Oracle system without access to the support and patches. I just did a test implementation of RAC in our lab that had several errors in the main manual, and points in the install where it just wouldn't work unless you applied multiple patches to the install media. Second rule is that Oracle has a big network of for-hire consultants, and has no incentive to update the documentation when a problem is found. Doesn't exactly sound like a CS problem, does it? Well, every software/hardware/OS vendor is like this to some degree. Microsoft and Red Hat are actually some of the better ones -- on the other end of the spectrum from Oracle, CA, EMC, Cisco, etc.

Re:Does it matter? (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#38126072)

Do you pay, let's say, $50K at a state school or $200K at a name brand school? Are you reasonably guaranteed to make back to $150K difference and way more?

It's important to note that the $200k at a brand name school is a volatile number. If your parents don't have a ton of income and chose not to save money in a college fund, that might become $0 at the name brand school while the $50k remains $50k at the state school. Ivy League schools are giving loan-free financial aid to students with family incomes below about $70k, with some variation from school to school. I didn't quite meet those requirements and I ended up with loans, but $30k in tuition plus loans for 4 years in an Ivy League school wasn't bad. It's sort of like shooting the moon, though: if you don't get into one of the Ivies you're going to have to pay far, far more.

If you want to be elite.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125824)

you gotta do a righteous hack.

--Hackers

View from the top (3, Insightful)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#38125834)

The advantage of going to a more elite school is that your peers, on average, are going to be smarter and generally more accomplished. This ripples down in many ways, including a faster paced, more in depth curriculum, better resources, better professors, and, perhaps most importantly, connections & relationships for networking that can last a lifetime.

Not saying there aren't smart, capable people at the less elite schools, but generally those who claim it doesn't matter where you go are those who really didn't have a choice.

Dont' waste your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38125980)

If you don't have a full ride, don't waste your money going to an elite program. You aren't going to make 100k plus out of college, and you'll just end up making yourself broke/poor.

If you are truly intelligent, your innate ability to read books and develop an understanding will be enough, you don't need a professor to read the book to you.

My advice? Find a local community college with a computer science program (most have them) and then transfer to a state school afterwards. If you play it right, your entire college education (4 years bachelors) will cost you around 11k.

Elitism - not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38126010)

it's a shame that many who want to learn are denied because there's no short term profit in it for the already affluent

the current education system is about salaries, not education

This article should be named: (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | about 2 years ago | (#38126180)

"How to get into big college debt for no good reason"

I suspect almost every state in the country has an in-state college or university with a perfectly good comp sci program that costs 10's or even 100's of $k less than an 'elite' school. The notion that the name on your undergrad degree could possibly be worth as much as a house is ridiculous. Worry about where you go to grad school, what classes you take, what grades you get, not where your undergrad is.

If you get a scholarship that makes going to MIT super cheap, the more power to you. All you need to consider when going to an undergrad program as far as I'm concerned is education quality/cost. Undergrad isn't about getting a big name, or having famous professors, or any of that. In grad school, those things can really matter (doing cutting edge research? need cutting edge professor. Learning how to code assembly for the first time? Probably any nice professor will do.). In undergrad, usually you pay more for those things and don't really learn much more. Probably a lot of programming teachers at community college do a better job than a lot of college professors. And they certainly run a lot cheaper.

Really, the best thing to do would be, in my mind:
1) pick a school you're interested in and think you can probably get into (maybe pick two or three)
2) Figure out how many credits they will let you transfer in, and then go to a community college for every last one.
3) Save thousands of dollars, by a car or save for a downpayment on a house
4) Transfer into Big University and get your degree
5) Get the same job as the chumps who went to Elite University
6) Look at your $0 debt in the bank, then look at Mr. Elite University's $100k debt and have a good chuckle.

Make sure the school hasn't gone nuts (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#38126216)

I had the unfortunate experience of going through Stanford for a MSCS just before the "AI Winter". The "expert systems" (remember "expert systems [wikipedia.org] "? ) profs were running the department. It was becoming clear that expert systems weren't going anywhere, and the faculty was in denial about that. They'd set up a 5-year "knowledge engineer" program, with a combination of computer science theory, philosophy, and psychological interviewing technique to write rules for expert systems (Where are those people now?) I had one exam where a question was "Does a rock have intentions"?

It took over a decade for the CS department to recover. After I graduated, the CS department was moved from Arts and Sciences, where it had been mostly autonomous, to Engineering, where it had adult supervision. It wasn't until the DARPA Grand Challenge forced Stanford to bring in machine learning people from CMU that the department really started moving forward again. Now they're making real progress.

(This is not well known, but Tony Tether, the director of DARPA, used the Grand Challenge to kick some ass in academic AI. The schools receiving funding from DARPA were told that if the private sector did better than they did, DARPA was turning off their grant money in AI. That's why the big schools put entire CS departments on the Grand Challenge.)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>