Re: [plug] [OT] Programming in the Philippines.

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Author: Jan Alonzo
To: compsci
Subject: Re: [plug] [OT] Programming in the Philippines.
On Fri, 2003-11-14 at 17:56, Dean Michael C. Berris wrote:
> Now for the problem solving schemes like problem recognition and
> figuring out solutions is what the heart of Computer Science should be.
> I don't believe that you have to be taught how to program in CS, but
> rather how to solve problems using known algorithms and approaches, and
> even to formulate/design your own methods of solving problems. CS !=
> programming.

True, but it's part of it.

> We in UPLB are not taught how to program, rather we are taught how to
> solve problems using known theories and methods -- and the programming
> part and learning to program part is the burden of the student, which
> he/she shall take on his/her own. We are not taught how to program in C,
> but rather how to solve problems algorithmically -- the student should
> learn C by him/herself, after all it is the student's responsibility.
> Implementing the solution is up to the student, which IMHO should be the
> case.

Yup, but IMHO, eventhough it's the student's responsibility, Professors
should always be there to _check_ if the student is doing the "Right
Thing". If you just let the students learn the programming part on their
own, what's the point of attending a Computer Science degree course? Why
not just attend a BS Math course? ANYONE can program but not all can do
it well and do it right. And to do it right, you need someone to guide
you. <see Sacha's reply on my post>

> If you wanted to learn how to program, don't get a BS Computer Science
> degree, get a vocational course on learning <a programming language of
> your choice> instead.
> If your school taught courses on programming instead of Computer
> Science, then you should -- otherwise you shouldn't.



> > not some elegant enchancement.
> >
> A CS Graduate != programmer. A programmer is someone who programs, while
> a CS Graduate is a person who successfully finished the alloted number
> of academic units needed to be called a Computer Science Graduate.

<see my post above />

> And programmers are not designers, they just program. A developer on the
> other hand would handle the two things at the same time, while a systems
> analyst would go a step further and actually analyze the system he/she
> is working on/building.

But most of the time, this overlaps. So skills in other aspects are
really important, e.g. communication and management skills.

> >
> > anybody have suggestions on how else to remedy the situation?
> >
> If you wanted a programmer, train one -- don't get a CS graduate. If you
> want someone who can solve a problem algorithmically with known methods
> or solve problems in a brilliant and elegant way, get a CS graduate --
> just don't expect him to be a programmer also. :)

OTOH, in the real world, eventhough you're a CS grad, you still get
called 'A Programmer'. And that's where you realize that names are just
names. ;)

I like Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters"[1]. Computer Science is not
just Math nor Engineering. It's a combination of both. Given a problem,
you solve it algorithmically and engineer it programmatically.

I hope i'm making sense. :-)

Jan Alonzo <jmalonzo@???>

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