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Re: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills

by fergal (Chaplain)
on Jan 23, 2006 at 20:49 UTC ( #525052=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills

Update: moved my comment to the top and off-site links to the bottom.

Somone who knows all the theory can pick up CVS, xUnit, Test::Builder whatever without much trouble. It doesn't work the other way around.

stare at you blankly if you ask them about red-black trees. That might be OK depending upon what their work requires them to do.
but you have no real way of knowing what their work requires of them and when a CS grad would have said "aha this would be much faster with a red-black tree" and make what seemed impossible, possible.

I worked somewhere that use Delphi/Object Pascal (very similar to Java). It has no hash data structure in it's standard library but it had associative arrays. They are implemented as arrays of (key, value) pairs. Which is fine for a short list but very bad for a long one. Most of the coders there had never heard of hashes and didn't even know what they were missing.

Joel Spolsky talks about this stuff in his graduates from Java-only schools. Basically, when he interviews them and throws them a question that require recursion (or pointers), if they struggle, he can't tell if it's because they're smart but recursion wasn't an impportant part of their education or if they're someone who'll never grok recursion.

lambda-the-ultimate has lots of discussion and links to even more discussion about this article.

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Re: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills
by jonadab (Parson) on Jan 24, 2006 at 14:17 UTC
    Joel Spolsky talks about this stuff in his graduates from Java-only schools.

    Wow, one-langauge CS departments? I find it appalling that such a program can be accredited. I only _minored_ in CS, and I had courses in some eight different languages. Granted, my Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis course was not as difficult as Spolsky describes, but I certainly was exposed to pointers and recursion in my various other courses. OTOH, purely functional programming per se was rather missing, but then, this was only a minor program, and one supposes that a major program would include it.

    "In adjectives, with the addition of inflectional endings, a changeable long vowel (Qamets or Tsere) in an open, propretonic syllable will reduce to Vocal Shewa. This type of change occurs when the open, pretonic syllable of the masculine singular adjective becomes propretonic with the addition of inflectional endings."  — Pratico & Van Pelt, BBHG, p68

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