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General Chat Thread, A nice rant from The Register in General; ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    A nice rant from The Register

    This article is bemoanign the skills of computer science grads as well as the teachign if ICT in schools.

    Without exception, teachers refer to computers as “tools”, and their ignorance of the inner workings of computers is staggering. Their teaching methods mirror the attitudes of a medieval priest talking to peasants.

    As a kid I assisted at Mass, and we were warned on peril of our souls that there were things we should not do, and places we should not go. Today that is the tone of the letters I get from my kids' school about the rules to prevent my kids showing any initiative or curiosity about computers. Programming is almost wholly absent and if I saw an IT teacher crossing herself when hearing a nine-year-old talking about C# it would not shock me.
    The rest of the article can be found here: No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed ? The Register

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    I'd kill to grab a decent IT grad teacher here who can actually teach programming properly. There's so much we could do / offer if they understood how to do it. Currently I can provide the tools / sacrificial* vms but there's no-one to teach the kids how to use it.

    *in any company of any given size, the first user group to be instructed on "how to reimage your own machine when you break it" is always the devs.
    Last edited by pete; 2nd November 2010 at 01:45 PM.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Best line in it for me was:

    Yes, VBA is the worst language in the history of the world


    Problem is, it's a language that doesn't enable you to think.
    Last edited by mattx; 2nd November 2010 at 01:55 PM.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Some of the comments on that [ and there are quite a few so I'm speed reading them ] are just so true which I can relate to.

    Comment:

    Object oriented software engineering, taught by someone who completely failed to get across any concepts of object orientation.


    I'm sure I must have been on the same course !!

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    Comment:

    Object oriented software engineering, taught by someone who completely failed to get across any concepts of object orientation.
    I had a major rant at every opportunity when doing my HNC in Software Engineering because they dropped the OO theory element in favour of teaching 3D Studio Max. The tutor was supposed to relate it's operation to OO principles but he was an animator / graphic designer type so he didn't care about how it worked at a base level even if he actually knew. I was accused, quite rightly, of getting on my soap box but it annoyed me massively then and still does now.

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    I wish I could afford to goto uni and do CS.

    At the age of 26, married and a home owner, it's looking more and more likely It won't happen. But I know if I did, my salary potential would double or treble almost overnight.

    I have the experience to get looked at for a lot of work, but lack the piece of paper that says I can do it.

    In the last 5 years, only 2 jobs have turned me down on the grounds of experience (after interview), both of those were because they wanted experience in the private sector rather infuriatingly, which I haven't worked in for 5-6 years now.

    But what that article covered does not just cover the College/Uni level, but below that too. I never took GCSE IT, which was brought in while I was in year 9, as even at that stage I know as much if not more about the basic operation of a computer.
    By the time i reached 6th Form, where they made me do Key Skills IT, I walked out of the first lesson, having completed 6 weeks work in half an hour to a level beyond that of the teacher's expectations, then had the teacher exclaim "wow I didn't know you could do that" when I right clicked on the start button and opened up Windows Explorer.

    Over the years I've helped IT teachers copy/paste files, switch a computer on (!!!!), reconnect the keyboard, and taught them some things with MS Office they didn't even know, which were on the syllabus they were teaching!

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    I've been studying with the OU for a few years, but I'm doubtful I'll ever finish the degree with them. Their current courses are all based around Java development, which I have little/no interest in studying. I'm doing a linux course they brought out this year atm, will do a CCNA next year, and a MS server course the end of next year. Unless they release some new courses tied to my field, I will likely stop studying with them.
    I work in education IT, mostly network management and support... Java does not really backup my existing experience, it sets a new tree to follow, one which would take me again years to gain experience or knowledge in that would really benefit my career.

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    CS for me was not even an option - [ showing my age ] and at school I was kicked out of the computer 'club' for knowing more than the teacher. Because of that I snubbed it all for years. The teacher did not like the fact I had written a crap game in BASIC [ on a ZX81 ] and he accused me of 'stealing it' from a software house !! To55er.

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    I did CS, I found out about systems programming, c & unix & plenty of things I'll never use in the real world. I wish I stayed in industry, the degree has got me nothing (except teaching my Delphi).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    I'd kill to grab a decent IT grad teacher here who can actually teach programming properly. There's so much we could do / offer if they understood how to do it. Currently I can provide the tools / sacrificial* vms but there's no-one to teach the kids how to use it.

    *in any company of any given size, the first user group to be instructed on "how to reimage your own machine when you break it" is always the devs.
    Here lies the problem. I.T. Teachers for the next generation need to be people who have worked in the real world in some form of I.T. who can pass on their knolwedge and experiance. However for 20 - 35 k and all the rest not many are going to do it. Its also hard to be enthusiastic when you have a bunch of admin people, ex p.e. teachers, fresh uni grads (god forbid) teaching a less than exciting course.

    Devs do not get taught how to image machines, in most cases thats the job of the system admins not the devs who are being paid most likely to do a specific task or job e.g. Consultants/companies contracted - this is certainly the case for many large companies who are moving away from employing full time devs as employees anymore. Lets not forget I.T. is a large world and education I.T. is a many hat enterprise.
    Last edited by Jiser; 2nd November 2010 at 05:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiser View Post
    Devs do not get taught how to image machines, in most cases thats the job of the system admins not the devs who are being paid most likely to do a specific task or job e.g. Consultants/companies contracted - this is certainly the case for many large companies who are moving away from employing full time devs as employees anymore.
    You miss my point. Devs habitually break stuff - it's part of learning not to do "X". S/he gets shown how to reimage their machine because the alternative is the sysadmin strangling him or simply reporting him to management for failing to do his job properly when he breaks his production workstation (rather than the dev vm/box) for the umpteenth time that month.

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    ICT is not CS and CS is not ICT. A number of fair points but the bit about teachers calling them tools ... yeah? And?
    PE is not Sports Science
    Music is not Sound Production and Engineering

    Horse for courses.
    Heck ... if we wanted to get folk to have more than a basic understand then why don't we get woodwork back into the curriculum (not resistant materials, but woodwork) and get them to build their own desks? Why don't we get cookery back in to provide the cakes for the canteen? Why don't we get the art class to get out the tins of paint to clean up the graffiti?

    Ok ... some schools do actually do this stuff as part of their specialisms ... and it can be wonderful, but it doesn't mean that all schools have their own students running the school kitchens, or producing artwork for sale, or running their own recording studios ... so it is not surprising that not all schools can do a good job with CS ... I just want schools to give students the skills to be able to look at it themselves if they want to.

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    I'm currently at Uni studying Computing for Business (not quite Computer Science but close) and at times I think 'Will I ever use this in the real world?' Even someone senior in my department admitted that the Computer Science degree isn't very relevant in industry and is more suited for research/academic purposes. To combat this they have an IT degree which looks more relevant to industry.

    In terms of teaching programming, in my 1st year we had the best lecturer for teaching Python programming, taught it in a very clear and understandable way.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTCC_Fan View Post
    I'm currently at Uni studying Computing for Business (not quite Computer Science but close) and at times I think 'Will I ever use this in the real world?' Even someone senior in my department admitted that the Computer Science degree isn't very relevant in industry and is more suited for research/academic purposes. To combat this they have an IT degree which looks more relevant to industry.

    In terms of teaching programming, in my 1st year we had the best lecturer for teaching Python programming, taught it in a very clear and understandable way.
    more and more IT and IT related degrees seem to be going down the route of incorporating a fair amount of 'relevant' industry elements. for that, read covering the latest methodologies which are 'in' and gaining experience with using proprietary software products.

    the question is for how long will that be relevant.

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    ...I just want schools to give students the skills to be able to look at it themselves if they want to.
    Would be nice wouldn't it ? Maybe, just maybe there are one or two schools out there which actually do this - and at the same time encourage the kids. My personal opinion but the skills they are taught now in ICT are utterly pointless. My 10 year old is quite ICT savy [ even today he was asking why I was adding a load of numbers & letters into my router at home - I was adding the Xbox350 wireless adapter into my MAC filtering table ] - which then proceeded to talk about ICT security......I stopped when his eyes glazed over and he wanted to get back on MW2 !! I didn't encourage it but for 10 mins he was quite interested. I never seen or witnessed that in a school.

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