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Author Topic: Number of CS Majors Doubles  (Read 233 times)

benali72

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Number of CS Majors Doubles
« on: January 26, 2019, 09:38:29 pm »
This article says the number of undergraduate computer science majors has doubled between 2013 and 2017.

It's entitled "The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting into Class."

http://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/technology/computer-science-courses-college.html

While starting salaries are declining, there's no question that it's better than getting a generic liberal arts degree and ending up as a barista.

JoFrance

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 01:42:12 pm »
I don't understand why you need a Ph.D (according to the article) to teach some of these computer science classes.  There are plenty of skilled, older CS grads that would probably do a better job because they can offer some real world experience.

The biggest problem with studying CS is that you can't depend on it to be a lifetime career.  I look at my sister, a tax accountant.  She was still working part time in her 70's.  My other sister in her mid 50's started as a nurse and is now a director at a hospital.  Age is not a factor in either one of those professions.  Lawyers I know work into their 70's.  Its worthwhile to invest in your education in those fields

Maybe CS should have had more of a professional designation so the field wouldn't get overrun with a lot of young wannabes that know nothing.  Your breadth of knowledge is not being recognized as an asset in CS like other fields.  Instead, youth is valued. 


The Gorn

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 01:59:13 pm »
Quote
Instead, youth is valued. 

Jo, have you taken a close and exacting look at what (say) developers have to know today in order to compete? It's an absolute blizzard of stuff, no matter what niche or specialty.

Example: I used to develop on Windows and Linux in C++, Delphi, VB, C. I recently took a look at the Android SDK.  I honestly didn't have any clue where to begin.

I've paid attention to a lot of small business informational articles, etc. One recurrent theme of hiring practices is to hire for enthusiasm, not necessarily raw ability, nor even experience.  You just run out of that (enthusiasm) as the years drag on.

I'm not saying that I agree with the Kleenex theory of discarding humans when their short term usefulness has expired.

What I am saying is that there's a reason for everything under the sun and sometimes unfair practices happen to align with the reality of the situation. 

Everyone 45+ in this field seems to expect - rather stupidly, in my opinion - that they should somehow be able to get approximately the same kind of job that they held, say, 10-15-20 years ago. That type of job just doesn't exist any more.

It hasn't been offshored, either. It is part of a tech ecosystem that's changed radically.

In today's environment, a systems company like Microsoft is now embracing Linux and open source libraries and tools as necessary, resulting in needing to learn 2x-5x the quantity of stuff in order to land a journeyman job.
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unix

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 05:07:53 pm »
That's an interesting perspective on things, Gorn. Refreshingly so.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

The Gorn

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 06:44:28 pm »
Go find the mailing list for the Programmer's Guild. You basically have hundreds of aggrieved developers with Y2K and batch COBOL orientations bleating about the unfairness of EVERY. SINGLE. H1B QUOTA INCREASE.

They're powerless, deluded, in a fog, wasting their lives, aimless, and just plain wrong. They're stuck in 1997. You try to tell any of them that and they are basically in a fugue state, drooling.

Their skills are useless today. Because if they were not useless they could still find jobs or contracts.

I'm quite proud of my past mastery of C++ but I will be the first one to say that it's too fussy and expensive a skill for any fast turnaround development today so it's effectively useless.  And it's used on nothing except some financial quant work, embedded, and some products.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 07:00:11 pm by The Gorn »
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JoFrance

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 03:29:34 pm »
If developers need to know so many different things, why hire an enthusiastic young person without the experience or ability?  I was never a coder or developer so maybe that's different than working in networking, but I never lost my enthusiasm for the work.

C++ is still valid, so why doesn't it give you an edge?  Lack of enthusiasm?  What if you were enthusiastic and experienced?  You should be golden, IMO.

I understand the realities of the IT field today, but because we didn't protect the profession like say Accountants did our profession was bastardized.  Accountants certifications are worth something for life, IT certs are worth nothing after the next new thing comes out.  Accountants maintain their CLE credits every year with classes, IT professionals have classes to maintain their knowledge and get nothing for it.

Why bother with a profession that throws you out the door when you get older?  Accounting jobs have to deal with all the new laws every year, healthcare jobs embrace so many changes too and yet, those professions value their employees and give them opportunities to update their knowledge.  In IT, they lay you off and get an "enthusiastic" young person.

If IT was treated as a profession you could be a C++ certified person today and still relevant, much like an EA (enrolled agent) in the tax accounting field is relevant for as long as they hold that certification.

C++ is used by SpaceX, so its not passe yet.


The Gorn

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 07:08:32 pm »
Jo, it's a cultural thing. Plus ageism.

Quote
C++ is still valid, so why doesn't it give you an edge?

Didn't I make it clear? Nobody uses it. At least nobody outside places in coastal or tech belt areas.

In the case of C++, in order:

- Nobody at the interviewing end is smart enough to appreciate C++ skills. They may genuinely believe that HTML is "harder".
- They may be threatened by the knowledge of something they don't know.
- They may believe that C++ is "too old" to be relevant.
- They often think I'm bullshitting about my skills.

As for the rest of it, you nailed it, so use Occam's Razor to figure out the why! This is NOT a profession. It's an occupation of elitist kids who call most of the shots.

Also, in the specific case of C++ - the language has mutated well beyond what I used in the mid 20-oughts. Today C++ is a problematic language that is very hard to use for implementation. Complex and easily broken new language constructs are REQUIRED to be known by most shops that use C++. I stopped learning them because there was no need.

"Plain" C++ without recent new keywords, templates, smart pointers, etc is still quite useful, but nobody will hire anyone who doesn't have the little-needed current layer of garbage.

In short, my C++ skills are dated and unmarketable, even though I have the abstractions (the hardest part) down cold.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 07:53:20 am by The Gorn »
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unix

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 05:18:46 am »
Interesting.

It just proves you can take these skills and translate them into anything else. But the HR drones don't see it that way.

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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2019, 08:52:27 pm »
Jo, it's a cultural thing. Plus ageism.

Quote
C++ is still valid, so why doesn't it give you an edge?

Didn't I make it clear? Nobody uses it. At least nobody outside places in coastal or tech belt areas.

In the case of C++, in order:

- Nobody at the interviewing end is smart enough to appreciate C++ skills. They may genuinely believe that HTML is "harder".
- They may be threatened by the knowledge of something they don't know.
- They may believe that C++ is "too old" to be relevant.
- They often think I'm bullshitting about my skills.

As for the rest of it, you nailed it, so use Occam's Razor to figure out the why! This is NOT a profession. It's an occupation of elitist kids who call most of the shots.

Also, in the specific case of C++ - the language has mutated well beyond what I used in the mid 20-oughts. Today C++ is a problematic language that is very hard to use for implementation. Complex and easily broken new language constructs are REQUIRED to be known by most shops that use C++. I stopped learning them because there was no need.

"Plain" C++ without recent new keywords, templates, smart pointers, etc is still quite useful, but nobody will hire anyone who doesn't have the little-needed current layer of garbage.

In short, my C++ skills are dated and unmarketable, even though I have the abstractions (the hardest part) down cold.

And this is why I went hands off with tech.

I focused on PM and BA work - today its nothing but PM work and finance (PM's now spend an enormous amount of time playing with budgets). The skill set you have to maintain as a PM is much easier than that of a developer. I could see it already years ago which is why I stopped coding.

Its a real grind to maintain that kind of skill set. The dam scrip kiddies keep reinventing the wheel and coming out with new stuff all the time for literally no reason.

I have a friend who is a high end Java architect - he regularly talks about reading at a minimum of a dozen development related books a year. Jenkins, Spring, blah, blah, blah

SoftwareDev

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Re: Number of CS Majors Doubles
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 06:28:08 am »
The dam scrip kiddies keep reinventing the wheel and coming out with new stuff all the time for literally no reason.

Hammer on the nail