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 Post subject: Computer Programming University
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:12 pm 
Northwood
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If you go to a university like Waterloo, they teach C#, however, lets say you get computer programming job that uses a different language, or they use a lot of stuff you haven't learnt in school. Do they provide on the job training, or do they expect you to start doing stuff as soon as you get there?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:47 pm 
TravBv2.0
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My guess is that they would pick the person who they deem best fit for the job, even if they don't match perfectly to what they're looking for. Seem to simple?

I know of plenty of work places that will test to see a glimpse of what you really know and what you have no clue about. I doubt that you'll go to a University for 4 years and only learn your Gen Ed courses and one programming lingo. That's like getting a Network Engineering degree and only knowing about HTTP.

If the employer you're applying to thinks you either know what they need you to know, or you're smart enough to learn it quickly, then you've got a chance at a job.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Most universities select one language and use that language throughout your career. These languages are usually C++, Java, or C#. You may get a taste of some assembly language but they tend to stick with one language. They start you off with basic stuff, and expose you to more advance functionality of the language as your courses become advanced. This should not be a concern, however. If you pick up one language, it is easy to pick up other languages. Unless the languages are of a different paradigm, the differences are mainly syntactic with some nuances.

If you take a comparative language course or something like that you will be exposed to some languages that use paradigms other than object oriented. I also recommend compiler courses if they have them at your university.

Edit: To address the other part of your question. Yes, I would say most companies will understand you are a new developer and will give you on the job training that weren't learned during your secondary education. Graduating gives you the essential technical know-hows and your company will provide you the training to appropriately apply your knowledge.

As with any new developer or college student, I highly recommend taking software/system engineering courses if they are electives and study design patterns and best practices on your own. This will give you a head start over your fellow graduates.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:24 am 
Java Junkie
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volatile wrote:
Most universities select one language and use that language throughout your career. These languages are usually C++, Java, or C#.


Really? I can't think of one. A CS degree that only teaches one language is worthless.

I studied Java, C, C++, Fortran, prolog, assm, lisp, perl, ruby, python, php, and smalltalk during my undergrad.

Different courses use different languages to teach concepts. I learned smalltalk in a class on OOP and lisp in a class on the principles of programming languages. How can you learn to program with only one language? You can't learn OOP using C; you can't learn structured programming using C#.

You need to use the tools to understand their differences.

Having said that, what you learn in university will have little bearing on your first job. You'll learn more about coding on the job than you did in school.

Hopefully, you'll take some co-op terms and get some experience under your belt before you get to the 'real world' ... landing that first job is the most difficult. Once you've got some experience, you'll understand what employers are looking for and how to convince them that you're the person they want to hire.

Edit: Waterloo teaches a lot more than C#, btw.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
volatile wrote:
Most universities select one language and use that language throughout your career. These languages are usually C++, Java, or C#.


Really? I can't think of one. A CS degree that only teaches one language is worthless.

I studied Java, C, C++, Fortran, prolog, assm, lisp, perl, ruby, python, php, and smalltalk during my undergrad.

Different courses use different languages to teach concepts. I learned smalltalk in a class on OOP and lisp in a class on the principles of programming languages. How can you learn to program with only one language? You can't learn OOP using C; you can't learn structured programming using C#.

You need to use the tools to understand their differences.

Having said that, what you learn in university will have little bearing on your first job. You'll learn more about coding on the job than you did in school.

Hopefully, you'll take some co-op terms and get some experience under your belt before you get to the 'real world' ... landing that first job is the most difficult. Once you've got some experience, you'll understand what employers are looking for and how to convince them that you're the person they want to hire.

Edit: Waterloo teaches a lot more than C#, btw.


Maybe I shouldn't have said most since I pulled that out of my butt. But most of the universities I know of or have attended have 1 primary language. They were usually C++ or Java. I think, depending on electives taken, other languages were covered. I mean I learned SmallTalk, LISP, and one or two other languages but I would say it's far from being proficient at them since it was either just one course or two. They wouldn't take a language and try to enforce a paradigm it wasn't made for. But the core classes like operating systems, OOP, data structures, etc. used one language.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:02 pm 
Java Junkie
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Can you show me a curriculum for a reputable university that has '1 primary language'?

My years studying CS in several schools in Canada have taught me a couple of things:

1) the only time the faculty agrees to teach a language is through 1st and sometimes 2nd year. They stick to one language to teach basic programming concepts.
2) after 1st year, each prof will choose the language(s) most relevant to the course that they are teaching and expect their students to learn it. C for system / OS classes, smalltalk or java for OOP, C# for software eng. or GUI classes (ugh), etc..

If an accredited university has a systemic approach to ensuring that students use 1 language in the majority of their courses, I've yet to see it .. and I would recommend that (a) no one attend that school, and (b) that their accreditation is pulled.

It makes absolutely no sense to even consider. Having said on many faculty curriculum committees, I can say that I've never ever heard this approach discussed. It is akin to teaching someone to work on cars and only allowing them to use a single wrench.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Can you show me a curriculum for a reputable university that has '1 primary language'?

My years studying CS in several schools in Canada have taught me a couple of things:

1) the only time the faculty agrees to teach a language is through 1st and sometimes 2nd year. They stick to one language to teach basic programming concepts.
2) after 1st year, each prof will choose the language(s) most relevant to the course that they are teaching and expect their students to learn it. C for system / OS classes, smalltalk or java for OOP, C# for software eng. or GUI classes (ugh), etc..

If an accredited university has a systemic approach to ensuring that students use 1 language in the majority of their courses, I've yet to see it .. and I would recommend that (a) no one attend that school, and (b) that their accreditation is pulled.

It makes absolutely no sense to even consider. Having said on many faculty curriculum committees, I can say that I've never ever heard this approach discussed. It is akin to teaching someone to work on cars and only allowing them to use a single wrench.


Virginia Tech and George Mason (meh). Like I said, I'm not saying no other languages are used. I attended both universities and George Mason was Java heavy, while VT was C++ heavy (at least at the time). I believe UVA also used one language for a lot of their classes, at least the person I helped made it seem like that.

I retract my statement, since I can't have gone to every school. Again, it is based on the electives you take. If you take multiple compiler type courses, they aren't going to make you do it in Java. At Virginia Tech I used C++, C, LISP, Scheme, and a couple others. However, I'd still say the majority of the courses involved using C++. Hence, why I say C++ was the primary language used.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Ok, Jip, you win the argument. I looked over the current course descriptions for Virginia Tech and it looks like they are using C for lower level programming and Java for OO programming. I was wrong for applying my outdated curriculum with the way current schools probably do things. Man...I haven't even been out of school for that long. Anyway, I wasn't trying to be argumentative with you in the first place. So my bad.

My original response still, partly, stands. The languages you learned specifically at your school won't harm you in anyway as long as you can demonstrate competence at the job interview. School should give you foundational knowledge to make you adaptable. Coming out of school I only knew C++ and just a little bit of Java, but I got a job as a C# developer. Although, there weren't any major differences between those languages to prevent me from picking it up quickly.


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