Are colleges out of step when it comes to their programming language courses?

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
6,289
I'm not here to fight or be more right than you, I was just arguing and you take everything the wrong way lol
Not really. I am just making a point that colleges and universities don’t normally base their curriculum of what they can get from a corporation. They often seek support for the curriculum they do develop from corporate partners who can help with it, though.

I can tell you that, at least in the US, universities are not teaching Java because Oracle pays them to do it—for example.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
19,023
What is actually taught in university courses may be largely irrelevant. It is the process of organizing and implementing a solution to a problem. It is not about specific technologies which may or may not have a half-life that exceeds the four years of an undergraduate curriculum. You think your university is on the wrong path? Don't bother whining on a forum, vote with your feet and your wallet.
 

Beau Schwabe

Joined Nov 7, 2019
126
Not to beat a dead horse, I do agree that there is a disconnect between what is offered vs what is practical and used in the industry. I taught myself 6502 Assembly when I was 12 years old with the 2600 Game console and generally taught myself how to program well before any formal school. In fact when I was in mid high school there was a "Computer class" offered that was centered around Atari computers. Imagine 20 Atari computers networked to a manually switched single printer and a single floppy and tape drive. On many occasions I ended up helping the teacher ... an easy A for me. We had a punch card computer in the classroom that was modified to accept "scan tron" so we could write a program and 'test" through a specialized assembly language called TIM (The Information Machine) which had a total of 9 instructions. When I moved on to college COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL, and BASIC were all offered. There was even a special class dedicated to FLOW CHARTS which was probably the most beneficial class I ever took as far as a fundamental approach to coding. The instructor drilled into us that if ANY lines crossed on the flow chart that it was wrong and an automatic 'F' grade. To this day I still start out most of my complex programming tasks with a flow chart. As a fundamental tool, if you can master flow charting then you can master any programming language you encounter.

In my line of work, there are many different platforms that I use depending on what the requirement is. Sometimes there are multiple languages and platforms required for one project. For instance I have a current project where I am using an Arduino to emulate a quadrature rotary encoder (<--for DEBUG purposes, I can set an exact number of pulses at speeds up to 11kHz) which feeds a PIC16F15323 micro controller that I can confirm the number of received pulses to make sure I didn't miss any during any communications to a COM link. The micro controller written in Assembly language is for an 'Addressable H-Bridge Servo Controller' that communicates on a multi drop communication network with many other addressable connected nodes. The Servo Controller ultimately connects to a Raspberry Pi where there are Perl, Python, HTML, CGI, Java, among a few others that push and pull information to the internet and serviced as a persistant HTML web page to the user that can control and monitor all of the nodes connected to the multi drop with real time feedback.

Now, as an example with my current project mentioned above, If I were to tell a career counselor that I wanted to do something in custom automation along those lines. I would be really surprised if the counselor would even have a clue as to where to send me for a proper educational career path since everything is custom even down to writing the server code from scratch in that project.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
8,460
A University is the wrong place to teach a commercial product. You wouldn’t go to university to learn how to fly an Airbus. Nor would you complain if they didn’t teach flying a Boeing.

Universities should teach concepts, philosophies, mathematics and literature. In my day, people would complain if a college restricted itself to a single commercial product.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,651
What is actually taught in university courses may be largely irrelevant. It is the process of organizing and implementing a solution to a problem. It is not about specific technologies which may or may not have a half-life that exceeds the four years of an undergraduate curriculum. You think your university is on the wrong path? Don't bother whining on a forum, vote with your feet and your wallet.
Hola PB

Sorry, but coming from you, with so much experience after a long career obviously talking from personal experience addressed to the OP who also seems to have beaten a long path in a similar life, isn't too late now to start voting?
Who could actually make such a decision prior to starting his first year at the Uni?

It is pretty much in line with what I use to comment here sometimes when a newbie doesn't know to pose the proper question: when you learn what to ask about a certain subject, you got great chances that you don't need to ask them.

With all my respect to you.
 

drjohsmith

Joined Dec 13, 2021
458
With a new school year coming up, this is a question that's been nagging me over the years.

When I was in college (over 30 years ago--I'm old), I majored in Electrical Engineering but then changed majors to Computer Science.
At the time, C and C++ were the mainstream programming languages being used in the electronics system design industry in general.
But I remember being annoyed that the college(s) I went to only taught programming languages like Fortran, and that useless "academic" language Pascal.

In recent years, I worked with a lot of Cornell engineering students on project articles---pretty much all Microchip PIC32 based projects--and the programming language they used--- for about 90% of them -- was Python. I don't know how Python ranks these days as a language used in the industry, but I definitely hear a lot of buzz about it.

My question is, have any of you had a similar experiences in college where they didn't offer programming language courses that were in synch with the times? And has that situation gotten better to your knowledge?
Yes.

Im in the UK,

our schooling for 17 / 18 year olds, is based on "exam boards"
who set the exams and curriculums,
They are always teaching out of data languages, but Python is taught,
The argument I hear is the boards are teaching "ideas" and the language does not matter so much,

Universities,
two routes,
Most students in there first year are still taught "to compute"
These students still just do the C to F program, in any language ,
IMHO its main aim is to check the students have laptops, and can use the "big system" when needed.
the other is those that have / are computer based.
They still learn more concepts than languages.
Yes Modular2 is still seen used as an education language !
Most students given there own, seem to use C++, Rust , Python
That is when they are not trying to hack the system / bypass fire walls / access extra storage etc.
Seems its a right of passage / constant "war" between the staff and students ,

Out of interest,
I learnt Cobol / Fortran / Basic at university , on punch cards / tty , and in the last year a green and black screen terminal!
 
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