UVSC BYU U of U etc was"Software Engineering (was Re: Java)

Hill, Greg grhill at corp.untd.com
Fri Feb 16 12:57:23 MST 2007

> I think the real point of going to a college or university is to get
> skills you need to find a good job.

No that's the point of apprenticeship and trade schools.  University was
always intended to provide an education and has only been seen as a
career-preparation academy in the last few decades.  The only real
problem is that there aren't any very good trade schools any more
because of the shift in perception.  UVSC started as a trade school and
morphed into a University because trade schools became thought of as
second-rate.  It still teaches like a trade school, and that's fine, it
just isn't what it's supposed to be as a University.

> If the college can't teach you any real skills then it is useless in
> opinion.  My experience with BYU was you go to school to learn how to
> learn on your own, since most of the professors have no real world
> working experience.  Those who can do and those who can't teach.
> Besides anyone that is any good in CS is not going to settle for a
> professor's salary.

I used to think like this, but I've come to realize how wrong I was.
Yes, it would be nice to learn practical skills at University, but it's
really not the point of University.  That saying about teaching is trite
and false.  I can "do" but I certainly can't "teach".  It should be
"Those who can do, do; those who can teach, teach".  Some people are
inclined towards the doing end of the spectrum, others are inclined
towards the teaching end of the spectrum (and there are plenty of
examples of incapable people doing either one).  Many professors
couldn't handle a career, because frankly it's beneath their knowledge.
They'd be bored doing the inane programming tasks that come as part of
any programming job.  And career programmers aren't usually good
candidates for teaching because they get caught up in the details of
implementation, where they would need to focus on the theory to be able
to teach properly.  Some can do and teach, but most can't.  Some can do
neither, and become the bad examples that phrases like that are based

This is all coming from someone who only went to University for only a
year before going into a career, so maybe that skews my perception.  Not
having the advanced theory hasn't really hindered my ability to make
good money as a programmer, but I still regret not learning more of it.
The practical knowledge was incredibly easy to teach myself, the theory
is not.  IMO, a degree from places like UVSC is a waste of money and
time.  You could easily teach yourself more in less time by either
getting an entry-level job and working up or picking up some books and
teaching yourself (or a combination of both, as I did).  If I'm going to
spend thousands of dollars on something, it will be to be taught things
I couldn't easily teach myself.


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