in reply to
(OT?) Usefulness of CS
Being a non-CS grad, I'm finding I need to defend the MIS crowd a bit. I honestly think its a mixed bag on what you get. I know people with Music majors that do better than CS grads, while there are several CS majors that I know aren't worth the money they are getting paid.
I'm a bit unsure of Mr. Mandog's thesis. If you ask any good author what they do in their spare time, they'll say "Read." That's because without having an understanding what is good or bad, it is difficult to be a consistently good author.
Programming, on the other hand, may be different. While I agree that a strong CS background will give most programmers a strong background for their careers. Like the a previous node regarding Design Patterns, I don't believe that many universities give their students enough practical experience to make proper use of their theoretical knowledge. I recently ran across a young programmer that was trying to write a SQL parser in Perl to get the column name from a SQL statement to put on top of the columns of a spreadsheet. My first response was, "Why don't you just type them?" After finding that this was an impractical solution (at least for this programmer), I asked, "Why don't you just fetch using a hash and get the column names from the keys for the hash?" He's thinking about that, but in my heart, I know a parser is going to be built.