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Computer Science or Software Engineering


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#1 Dasil   Members   -  Reputation: 190

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 03:39 PM

Hi all, What is the difference between computer science and software engineering, and which would be better for a career in the game industry? Thanks

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#2 dclyde   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 11:32 AM

There are a couple different answers, some are theoretical, and some are practical.

In theory, it depends on what you want to do as a programmer. Computer Science may be better for developing new and innovative approaches to things, which may lend itself better to AI or graphics programming. Software Engineering will teach you great architecture and practices and how to create productive and usable code which could lend itself better to optimization and overall systems creation.

In practice it really doesn't matter. You can pick up both on their own. You could take both in school. You could go to a school that sucks at one and not at the other. You could think you like one but end up liking the other. You could think you like programming and end up liking being a producer with a technical background.

The most important thing about a degree is that you obtain one. The path of reaching graduation is just as important as the curriculum and in some cases more important. I have known programmers with doctorates, associate degrees, no degrees (was still in school) a physics degree, mathematics degreees, cs degrees, etc. All great programmers. Don't get me wrong, I have also known people with all sorts of degrees including cs and se degrees that are bad at what they do as well. The degree is only one part of the equasion.

Ohh, and as far as what the difference between the two an excerpt from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science) explains: "David Parnas, taking a cue from the relationship between other engineering and science disciplines, has claimed that the principal focus of computer science is studying the properties of computation in general, while the principal focus of software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals, making the two separate but complementary disciplines."

#3 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:03 PM

Quote:
Original post by dclyde
Ohh, and as far as what the difference between the two an excerpt from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science) explains: "David Parnas, taking a cue from the relationship between other engineering and science disciplines, has claimed that the principal focus of computer science is studying the properties of computation in general, while the principal focus of software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals, making the two separate but complementary disciplines."
In practice, even if you attend a school which offers both degrees, it is likely that they will have a considerable overlap in material/courses - the two disciplines aren't entirely distinct from one another at the undergraduate level.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#4 daviangel   Members   -  Reputation: 600

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 04:13 AM

"An engineer, it is said, is someone who can do for a
dime what any fool can do for a dollar."




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