Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Are CS students poor programmers?

DavidHumus (725117) writes | more than 6 years ago

Programming 2

DavidHumus writes "Recently, at a computer conference, I heard two separate people say the same thing during the same day: computer science students are usually very poor programmers. Both these people were college professors in areas that do a lot of computing — mathematics and biology (population genetics) — and have dealt with a lot of students who have had to write programs for their courses.

The specific complaint of both professors was that CS students seem to have very superfical knowledge, that they don't understand things like the limitations of floating point arithmetic and verifying their output. One professor recounted the story of a student who wanted a good grade on a program because it ran to completion — never mind that the answers it gave were off by many orders of magnitude.

Do slashdotters agree or disagree with this? If it is true, why? Shouldn't computer science students be good programmers?"

cancel ×

2 comments

over generalization (1)

boobavon (857902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21175899)

So two professors at a conference complain about some students they had that were poor programmers, and now every CS student can't program? That is an affront to the rest of the CS students who can program. I know many, my school is among the top for the discipline.

Yes and No (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21179917)

Sounds like those professors had been dealing with too many interns just out to pad their resume. Or their school's CS departments suck. Where I'm studying, there is a mandatory hardware level class sophomore year. I've talked to juniors who have already forgotten the details of floating point math by the next semester. The reason they forget? It is never used again until maybe the senior level classes in bioinformatics or data mining or simulations. Go with Human/Computer interaction, or another area, and you may never deal with floating point numbers more than superficially. Operating systems doesn't touch on it, much. We had to write some fixed point math, but to keep things simple the CPU simulator doesn't do floating point. Data structures doesn't need to focus on floating point math, again the stuff you are learning has little to do with that detail.

It is taught, though. In the same way it's taught that you don't use a PR-Quad tree where a binary tree will do. Is that something that the professors would be blaming the CS department for too, or would they have the brains to admit that they hired a D student?

All points within this post are null and void if the school really doesn't ever teach hardware, or the students hired got a 'CS' degree from ECPI or ITT.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...