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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A semi-serious question.

    Is it the job of universities to train people to do computing jobs?

    I completely agree that - by and large - a CS degree doesn't prepare folk for many aspects of the job of being a developer. But should it?

    Getting nostalgic for the old polytechnics...

    • I think it's the job of universities to teach their students the skills they need to succeed in their chosen field. If it's not computing jobs, that's fine, but if it is, they fail.

      • Universities have 3 basic missions:

        1. Advancing the state of knowledge.
        2. Exposing students to knowledge.
        3. Training students for future careers.

        These are listed in decreasing importance in the eyes of universities. From the point of view of most students, this should be in increasing order of priority. From the point of view of employers, this definitely should be increasing order of priority.

        Whenever a person or institution judges their performance by different criteria than outsiders judge them by, conflict is inevitable. However do you really want universities to prioritize on career development? The ones that do, tend to be the ones whose CS programs are glorified Java schools.

        That said, every field has a core that everyone is expected to know. My opinion is that the core for CS should include a good dose of software engineering. Which would include many of your topics. However I don't argue that just on its utility on the job, but because software engineering helps you reliably write the kinds of programs that CS research requires you to write.